Digging In the Dirt
Kids love to dig in the dirt. Some kids dig dreaming about hiding hidden treasure in the sand. Most of the time, they don’t find anything more than a cool rock. A 10-year-old boy named Mike Iacovelli from Worcester, England loved to dig in the dirt. He, like most kids dreamed of finding hidden treasure. He was shocked one day when he actually found something incredible. Boy digging in back yard uncovers a treasure so valuable that he decides he has to return it.
Worcester Has Medieval Roots
The town where Mike grew up is located along the River Severn. His hometown had a lot of history and also a lot of stories. Mike had always heard about the amazing things that happened to in his town hundreds of years earlier. Some of the stories were true; some were just folklore. It was these stories that had the young boy outside in his yard often, digging for buried treasure.
One one of Mike’s digging adventures, he dug a bit deeper than he normally did. He found a spot in the yard that had yet to be explored. He dug and dug and was about to give up when his shovel hit something. This time it wasn’t an animal tooth or a rock. It was a real treasure. He called his parents outside so that they could see what he found. He couldn’t believe that after all these years of digging, he actually found something incredible.
A Gold Medallion
At first, Mike thought that he found a gold coin. It wasn’t until her saw that there was a clip on top that he realized that it wasn’t a coin. It had writing on it that read, “The Great War for Civilization 1914-1919.” When his parents saw what he had found, they couldn’t believe their eyes. Their son had actually found something.
Calling In the Experts
Mike and his parents wanted to know what it was that they found. They took the medallion to an expert who told the family that it was actually a metal of honor that was given to soldiers who served in the armed forces during World War I. When Mike heard this, he knew that it wasn’t his to keep. He planned to hold onto the medal until one day; he could find the rightful owner. He knew that when he grew up, he would be able to return the medal to the person it belonged to.
Mike Grew Up
Mike left Worcester when he grew up. He got married and had children. He and his family settled down in Canada. He had a wonderful life, but there was always something in the back of his mind. During all of those years, he never forgot about the medal that he was holding onto.
Finding the Owner
Mike’s children knew how important it was to their father to find the rightful owner of the medal. They suggested that he check Facebook to see if he could find more information. One of his children suggested that he find a group that is dedicated to World War I medals. He ended up finding a group called, Worcestershire Memories. It was dedicated to artifacts and the history of the town where he grew up. It wasn’t long before the photo of the medal went viral.
Help From Facebook
Finally, someone on Facebook told Mike where to look to find out who the medal belonged to. On the ridge of the medal was the name, A.G. George Hammond. After doing some research, Mike found out that he was a gunner for the 61st Division’s ammunition column. On June 12, 1917, he died. He was only 24-years-old.
Finding a Relative
Mike did some more investigating, and he was able to find George’s great-great-granddaughter. Her name was Debbie Evans. Mike sent Debbie a message on Facebook and told her about the medal and how he wanted her to have it back. She was overwhelmed. She told Mike that she would give the medal to her aunt Carol, who was her oldest living relative. Debbie believed that since she was the family’s matriarch, she deserved to have the medal.
Finding a Photo
After hearing about the medal, Debbie wanted to know a bit about her great-great-grandfather. She eventually found a photo of him wearing his officer’s uniform. It was taken just after he joined the service. Debbie is thrilled that Mike was able to get the medal back to her family. Mike was happy that he could finally reunite the medal with its rightful owner. What he found in his yard all those years ago didn’t belong to him. He was just keeping it safe until he found its rightful owner. When he did, he wanted to return it.