Bob’s World War One find

Bob Graham with his grandfather's war medals. Ref shs 8829-37-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton

Bob Graham with his grandfather's war medals. Ref shs 8829-37-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton - Credit: Archant

A family trip to a Sidmouth antique shop for a coin valuation turned up lost medals dating back to World War One.

Bob Graham, from Perth, Australia, was visiting his mother who lives in the town.

During his stay he decided to take his father’s coin collection to be valued. Bob’s father Ron had been an avid collector but died earlier this year from bowel cancer.

While visiting Sidmouth Antiques Centre, in All Saints Road, Bob was asked by expert Tom Hart if he recognised two medals amongst the coins.

The 55-year-old was stunned when he found out that the medals belonged to his grandfather, Fredrick Abraham Archer, who served in World War One.

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Bob said: “The man said ‘Do you know the name Archer?’ and my mother’s face was a picture. ‘That’s my father,’ she said, ‘I cannot believe it.’”

Coin dealer Tom said: “I like to check if they are any relation to them. Most medals have little commercial value but they have more value to the family or collector who wants to research the family. I think they were very surprised – his mother was quite teary.”

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After researching his mother’s father, Bob found out that Fredrick was conscripted into the 18th London Squadron and loaned to help Canadian troops during the war.

The father-of-three said: “I was overwhelmed. I will never sell them - they will stay in my family and I will pass them down. My children never knew their grandfather and with it being 100 years since the war, it is a great discovery.”

Bob said: “My father must have picked it up and put it in with his collection. He always said if you look after the pennies, the pounds will look after themselves.

“I feel privileged to touch them. I never really knew my grandfather.”

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