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First World War medal stolen in Doncaster robbery

Police are appealing for information after thieves broke into a house in Doncaster and stole a First World War medal.

The incident happened during the day when offenders smashed a window in the back door of a house in Lister Avenue, Balby.

The WW1 Royal Flying Corps victory medal was of huge sentimental value as it belonged to the victim's father.

The medal has a blue and yellow ribbon and a service number on the edge, 11720.

Jewellery, including a silver chain and a silver engagement ring in the shape of a flower, was also stolen.


Diary of an unknown sailor

The King and Country exhibition at Bankfield Museum in Halifax has now been open nearly 5 months and over 10,500 visitors have seen the collection of objects and artefacts on display to mark the centenary of the First World War. Of the 60 interesting and poignant stories that feature as part of the exhibition, one stands out as being particularly intriguing. An unknown sailor’s diary is on display, giving a frank and descriptive account of life in the British navy at the time of the First World War.

The diary was discovered in the attic of a house in Halifax, and despite numerous attempts to discover the owner, or anyone who has any clues about who could have written it, the author still remains a mystery.

The diary gives a day by day account of life on a naval ship during the War. Almost every day has an entry, and the content of the entries vary from the mundane “March 10th – Clean ship. Great.” to the more serious and dangerous “May 12th - At 2.37am crashed into an American Destroyer…Smashed a huge hole in our bows and holed her engine room.”. The diary also contains intricate drawings of boats he encounters and sketches of scenes in dock and on the sea.

Calderdale Council’s Head of Neighbourhoods, Andrew Pitts, said: “The King and Country exhibition at Bankfield Museum offers a fascinating insight into life during the First World War, both at home and abroad. The sailor’s diary provides one of the most thorough accounts of life serving as an officer during the War, and is particularly intriguing because of the mystery surrounding its owner.”

Injured soldier’s own thigh bone used for First World War ‘trench art’

A brooch crafted from a piece of human thigh bone is among the items selected for an exhibition about the First World War at the University of Leeds.

Little is know about the rather macabre piece of jewellery, which is part of the University’s archive of items and documents from the war. It was made from a piece of Sergeant Thomas Kitching’s thigh bone and is thought to have been given to his sweetheart, Lizzie Hunter.

Sgt Kitching, who served with the 12th Battalion, Durham Light Infantry, had his left leg shattered when wounded on the Somme on 7 July 1916. The brooch, together with a portrait of Sgt Kitching and postcards sent to Lizzie at her Birtley, County Durham, address, were donated to the University. He survived the war and went on to marry Lizzie in Chester-le-Street, County Durham, shortly after the war ended in 1918.

The unusual piece of jewellery is among many items selected for a special free exhibition in The Stanley and Audrey Burton Gallery at the University, which runs until Saturday 20 December.

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