Lancashire soldier's lost First World War medals brought back to his hometown of Chorley thanks to historian Steve Williams

The medals of a Chorley soldier who served in the First World War have been brought back home thanks to a borough historian.

Tuesday, 7th August 2018, 9:02 am
Updated Tuesday, 7th August 2018, 10:08 am
The war medals of Private John Kerr (inset) have been brought back to his former Chapel Lane home in Chorley by historian Steve Williams (Photos: Steve Williams)

The medals of Private John Kerr, of Chapel Lane, Hoghton, were brought back to Chorley by First World War historian and author, Steve Williams.

Brindle-based Steve, chairman of the Chorley in the Great War group and Secretary of the Chorley Pals Memorial Trust, saw the medals of Private Kerr on an internet auction site and was fortunate enough to acquire them.

Steve said: “I don’t normally collect military medals and memorabilia, I prefer stories and photographs, but just had to get the medals and bring them back to the area.”

Private John Kerr's First World War medals

Private Kerr, born in Dumfries in 1889, was recorded as entering the village school in Hoghton in September 1893, leaving in September 1902.

In 1908 he became a joiner, like his father on the Hoghton Tower Estate, leaving on March 3 1916 in what was more than likely a ‘call up’ to war.

He enlisted at Chorley in March 1916 being posted to the King’s Liverpool Regiment and then transferred to the Welch Regiment, doing everything from digging trenches to building to latrines, as well as fighting.

Private Kerr was wounded on the February 15 1917 in Mesopotamia (now Iraq) and died of his wounds on the seven days later, buried in Amara War Cemetery in Iraq on the banks of the River Tigris.

Private Kerr was wounded on February 15, 1917. He died on February 22

66-year-old historian Steve said the medals were probably sent to his parents in 1921 but how they ended up with a private collector in Warwickshire remains a mystery.

Steve, who took them back to Chapel Lane over the weekend, simply added: “The medals have come home.”