A METAL detector enthusiast is appealing for the family of a First World War serviceman to come forward after unearthing his medal on a beach.
Tom Neesam found a solid silver medal on Seaton Carew beach while out using his metal detector.
It belonged to Robert Henry Pollard, who was born in Hartlepool in 1886 and went on to receive three other war medals.
Tom, from the Brierton Lane area of town, is keen to return the medal to the officer’s family.
When Tom cleaned up the medal, it revealed the officer’s name and regiment, which was the Royal Naval Reserve.
Tom has since discovered through fellow metal detector enthusiasts who are also geneology fans, that Robert Henry Pollard was married in 1924 and died in Hartlepool in 1947.
He married a woman whose maiden name was Mottram.
Tom, 45, is a member of the Ferryhill-based Dunhelm Metal Detecting Club and has only been involved in the hobby since Christmas.
Since then he has found a range of Victorian, Roman, and First and Second World War coins, a silver Henry VIII coin, a number of rings and a silver hammer.
Tom, who is engaged to Karen Lester and dad to Gemma Hughes and Karen and Katie Neesam, and takes part in digs all over the region, said: “I’m trying to trace the living members of the family to return the medal.
“I could keep it in my collection but believe it should be returned back to the family as its a personal item that someone born-and-bred in Hartlepool was awarded for fighting for King and country and has been found on the beach nearly 100 years after it was received.”
The coin features a man on a horse on one side and King George V on the other.
Tom, who is grandfather to Taylor and Bella Hughes, said members of a metal detecting internet forum advised him to clean it up and said the officer’s name would be on the rim.
He also found out that Robert Henry Pollard worked as a stoker, probably on a ship.
After looking at a census, he discovered the officer lived in Raeburn Street, Hartlepool, in 1909 with a large family.
l Anyone of the officer’s family who can prove they are related should email Tom at firstname.lastname@example.org