Man finds vintage 19th century medal in town

Wayne Foster
Wayne Foster

A man is hoping to reunite a vintage war medal with its rightful owners.

Public-spirited Wayne Foster, 31, who works as a cleaner at Priory Meadow Shopping Centre, discovered the 19th century medal in Queen’s Square after the Remembrance service last November.

He handed the item, which dates back to the Indian Mutiny of 1857, to lost property at work, but, as yet, no one has claimed it.

Wayne, who lives in Catsfield Close, St Leonards, said: “I found the medal outside in Queen’s Square in Priory Meadow as I was cleaning.

“It was on November 11 when the annual Remembrance service was held, with veterans and standard bearers parading there.

“At first I thought it was one of those commemorative £5 coins when I found the medal. But I realised it was much older.”

The silver medal has Queen Victoria’s head on one side and the years 1857 and 1858 on it. On the side the words ‘Geo Cox. 73rd Regt’ are engraved.

Wayne added: “I took the medal to lost property at work but was able to keep it after 30 days as no one came to claim it.

“But I want to reunite it with the family the medal belongs to. They must have been very proud to display the medal at the Remembrance service. I was quite shocked, to be honest, as I’d never seen such an old medal.”

The Sepoy Mutiny was a violent and bloody uprising against British rule in India in 1857. It is also known by other names, such as the Indian Mutiny, the Indian Rebellion of 1857, or the Indian Revolt of 1857.

The immediate event which angered the sepoys was about the ammunition for the new rifles they had to use. The cartridges that were used in the rifles had to be bitten open. The Muslims were angry because they thought that the paper cartridges had pig fat in them. Hindu soldiers were angry because they believed the cartridges had cow fat in them.On January 27, Colonel Richard Birch ordered that no cartridges should have grease on them, and that sepoys could grease them with whatever they wanted. However, this only made the sepoys believe that the stories about the cartridge having pork and beef fat were true.

Rebellion broke out when a soldier called Mangal Pandey attacked a British sergeant and wounded an adjutant while his regiment was in Barrackpore. General Hearsey ordered another Indian soldier to arrest Mangal Pandey but he refused. Later the British arrested Mangal Pandey and the other Indian soldier. The British killed both by hanging them because what they had done was thought to be treachery.

Owners of the medal can contact Wayne on 07885 979880.