Military medal mystery is solved

Ethan Howarth, 8, from Charnock Richard
Ethan Howarth, 8, from Charnock Richard

The mystery surrounding a military medal has been solved - and it will be reunited with its young owner at the weekend.

The medal - a miniature replica Victoria Cross - was found pinned to the door of Christ Church, Charnock Richard.

Margaret Stewart with a medal found at Christ Church, Charnock Richard

Margaret Stewart with a medal found at Christ Church, Charnock Richard

No message or contact details for the person who put it there were left.

So parish administrator, Margaret Stewart, contacted the Guardian to see if we could help solve the mystery and we ran a story last week.

Dorothy Miller, of Old Dawbers Lane, Euxton, came forward to reveal she had found the medal and pinned it to the church door.

Dorothy, 59, found the medal in the gutter while out walking with her husband Dougie, 57, one Sunday.

She said: “The thing I noticed was the ribbon - it was a pink, purply colour. I saw a medal, rubbed it and put it in my pocket.

“On my way back I started to unravel the ribbon.

“As we came to the church I said to Dougie, ‘right, I’ll tie it to the church door’.

“I just wound it round the handle, tight. Somebody coming to the church on a Monday morning would find it.”

The owner of the medal has now been identified as eight-year-old Ethan Howarth, of Robin Close, Charnock Richard.

Military enthusiast Ethan had chosen the medal in the gift shop at Manchester Museum during the Easter holidays.

But he lost it when he took it to a church parade with his Cub group shortly afterwards.

His mum, Elaine, 43, said: “When he got to the car, he realised he didn’t have the medal.

“We had a quick look on the floor but we couldn’t find it.”

They thought the medal had been lost forever - until they read about it in the Guardian.

Elaine contacted Margaret and they confirmed it was the same medal.

Ethan, a pupil at Christ Church Charnock Richard CE England Primary School, will be presented with the medal during a commemoration service at the church on Sunday.

And he has been asked to talk about his family’s links with the war during the service.

Elaine said: “We’re really grateful to the couple who pinned it onto the door.

“We never anticipated finding it again. He is absolutely made up.”