Digging up history

We receive items for our museum collection from a wide range of sources.

Sometimes they arrive with lots of accompanying background information, but on other occasions there’s virtually nothing to go on.  Sometimes it’s even that way with people as well as objects!

WO2 John Henry Ghiblin’s Long Service and Good Conduct Medal was a rather unusual find – it was dug up in Devon!  The medal was found by Mr Jason Russell of J & G Euro-International Recovery.  He contacted us to say he had found the medal buried in the grounds of the business and wondered if we had the means to return it to the descendants of the soldier.  So we did a bit digging of our own.

John Henry Ghiblin enlisted in the Regiment on 26th June 1899, and although his service record has not survived we have been able to piece together his military career with the Green Howards.

He does not appear on the Boer War medal list and so we have presumed that he joined the 1st Battalion on their return from South Africa in 1902 having spent time at the Regimental Depot in Richmond in training and general duties.  In the September 1914 edition of the Green Howards Gazette it is recorded that he moved to the 3rd Battalion Special Reserve as a member of the permanent staff and by now a Sergeant.  He is then recorded in the March 1915 edition as wounded.  So again we presume that he was posted to the 2nd Battalion in France.

From his medal card we know that he was awarded the Silver War Badge, which was given to wounded soldiers who could no longer serve, but again must assume that he was a valuable and experienced soldier, and continued in service to train soldiers for the war.

He was discharged on 16th December 1919 at age 39 by which time he would have been eligible for the Long Service and Good Conduct medal.

We would love to be able to trace any of John Ghiblin’s family and let them know about his medal.