Potential leads in effort to reunite family with medals of WWI soldier

Potential leads in effort to reunite family with medals of WWI soldier
The medals that were found in a coat handed in to a charity shop

Potential leads are being examined in the hope they'll see two medals being returned to the relatives of a soldier who won them in World War One.

News of the discovery of the medals, found in an old jacket handed into a West Cork charity shop, have sparked major interest among amateur sleuths and serious military historians who are trawling through records hoping to identify leads to the family of Private Patrick Ryan.

The medals were found by Steve Roffe, at Kealkill Charity Shop near Bantry and the search for information on them is being coordinated by Skibbereen Heritage Centre.

Speaking to the Irish Examiner earlier this week about finding the medals, Mr Roffe said: "I presumed the clothes had belonged to some old bloke who had passed away.

"I picked up this little old tweedy-type jacket and I felt something in the pocket. The two medals were in it, which came as something of a shock. I never found anything like that before in old clothes."

He said he tried to Google information about the medals which belonged to a Private Patrick Ryan, but didn't make much progress.

It was then that the charity shop decided to send them to Terri Keane, manager of the Skibbereen Heritage Centre, who enlisted an expert to trace Private Ryan's past

That expert, Kevin Tomlinson, was able to ascertain that Private Ryan had been a volunteer who joined the 1st Battalion of the Munster Fusiliers in the first year of the war, 1914.

It is possible that he was born in the Tipperary area.


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