Police divers have launched an appeal to track down the family of a First World War soldier after finding his war medal during a search of a Sheffield river.
Crews from the Yorkshire and the Humber Marine Unit found the medal of Pte Stephen Smith while carrying out a search of the River Loxley in Hillsborough on behalf of South Yorkshire Police on Thursday.
Sgt Paul Jackson, of the regional underwater team, said divers had found out the Pte Smith served as part of the 6th Battalion York and Lancaster Regiment and landed in Gallipoli, in Turkey on July 2, 1915.
The dad-of-two died of wounds he received on August 9, 1915 and now Sgt Jackson said the were desperate to reunite the medal with his family.
Sgt Jackson said: “We were on an operational job on behalf of South Yorkshire Police at the time and we were waiding through the water near Hillsborough stadium and doing a search.
“We were going slowly working our way down the river and one of the lads stopped because he thought he’d found a coin but then we realised it was a war medal.”
The team posted pictures of the coin on Twitter and Sgt Jackson said it had spoken to staff at The York and Lancaster Regiment’s archive at Clifton Park, Rotherham, to try and trace down his relatives.
He said he wanted to hand it back to Pte Smith’s family, in time for the centenary of the end of the First World War on November 11.
Sgt Jackson added: “It’s something that's very special and with it being the 100th anniversary of the end of the war it would be great to get it back to his family.
“We don’t know how it came to be in the water. It could have been a previous burglary, it could have been anything, we just want to reunite the family with it.”
The Star is calling for anyone with any information about Pte Smith or who knows his family to get in touch.
Pte Smith said: “One of the lads has done a bit of research and from that we’ve spoken to a number of musuems who were able to find out a bit about him.
“We know he had two daughters but one of them died when she was 17 but we don’t know if he was a grandfather or great grandfather.”
Anyone with any information should call The Star on 0114 2767676 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will pass on your details to the diving team.