The main event of Wembury Local History Society’s 2014 programme was a World War I exhibition staged in Wembury War Memorial Hall on November 15th.
Based partly on the war’s impact on the locality, and partly on the wartime experiences of forbears of present-day residents, the day was a great success. Themes covered ranged from letters, postcards and stories from the front lines, to the arctic convoys, sea battles and the early Royal Flying Corps.
Happily, it was possible to combine the exhibition with the presentation of a WWI medal to the granddaughter of the soldier who originally earned it.
This story began when David Luscombe, a member the South Hams Metal Detecting Club, found the medal on Traine Farm, Wembury, in October, 2014. Robert Rowland, the farm owner and a member of the Wembury Local History Society, researched the name ‘J. L. Cairns Suffolk Regiment’ engraved around the rim of the medal and found that he was a Plymouth man who died in 1982.
Through Ancestry.com, Robert was able to find the family tree and contact the granddaughter, Helen Bailey. The organisers were delighted that Helen was able to travel down from Kent to be presented with the medal by David Luscombe.
Photograph: David Luscombe presents Helen Bailey with her grandfather’s medal