Widower’s mission to return plaque to family of fallen WW1 soldier

Cyril Kingdon with a bronze WWI medal. Ref shs 10-16AW 0288. Picture: Alex Walton

Cyril Kingdon with a bronze WWI medal. Ref shs 10-16AW 0288. Picture: Alex Walton - Credit: Archant

A widower from Sidmouth is looking to reunite the family of a fallen solider with a memorial plaque dating back to World War One.

A bronze WWI medal. Ref shs 10-16AW 0293. Picture: Alex Walton

A bronze WWI medal. Ref shs 10-16AW 0293. Picture: Alex Walton - Credit: Archant

Cyril Kingdon, of Water Lane, contacted the Herald for help in tracking down a descendant of Ernest Albert West, who was killed during the conflict.

The circle-shaped memorial was among the possessions of Cyril’s friend Ernie Earland, who lived with the 90-year-old and his wife Joyce for 40 years.

The commemorative plaque was sent to the families of fallen soldiers and is inscribed with their name and the message: “He died for freedom and honour.”

Mr Kingdon said: “It’s going to mean a lot to someone.


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“If someone does come forward, it would give me great pleasure to know that I have done the right thing.”

After Joyce’s death in November last year, Mr Kingdon began to clear out unwanted possessions and re-discovered the bronze plaque.

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He said: “I don’t know how he [Ernie] got it, but I knew he had it. He never told me about the plaque, but he had lots of things - a whole attic full.”

Mr Kingdon said that Ernie did not have any family and asked if he could live with the couple. He lived with them until his death.

He added: “I had got to the stage where I had to get to turfing things out, but I didn’t want to throw it out and I wouldn’t want to sell it.”

Does the name Earnest Albert West mean anything to you? Contact the Herald on 01392 888511.

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