Help wanted to trace descendants of ‘death penny’ recipients

The coin found by Matt Bullimore.

A metal detectorist has appealed for help to find the descendants of the family which received a so-called ‘death penny’.

Matt Bullimore found the coin – also known as a dead man’s penny – while searching land near West Burton, in Bishopdale.

The memorial coins were given to the next-of-kin of soldiers who lost their lives in the First World War.

The penny was given to the family of George Iveson Hammond, whose family he believes owned the land the coin was found on.

Private Hammond was killed by machine gun fire on September 13, 1916 during the Battle of the Somme. He was aged just 19.

He died alongside his cousin, Herbert Kilburn, from Aysgarth.

Private Hammond.

George’s parents Tunstall and Ann Hammond lived in West Burton, with his father dying in 1909 and his mother living until 1950.

Matt has been told the land continued to be owned by the Hammond family until the 1980s, however he does not know if there are still family members living in the area.

Matt said: “Being such a personal object I would love to get it back to a descendant of the family, or at least to a local museum or memorial.”

To contact Matt with information click here.




1 Comment

  1. The dead of the Great War were buried close to where they fell. If this ‘penny’ was buried by the Hammond family it was possibly in lieu of a body and they placed the medallion in the ground that they farmed. Surely it should remain there.

Comments are closed.