War medal found in renovation

The medal found during a house renovation in Grafton.
The medal found during a house renovation in Grafton.

IT probably went missing decades ago and has rested unseen in a wall cavity in a house in Alice Street, Grafton, ever since.

This week a builder doing some renovations on a property owned by Allan Gough at 116 Alice Street, stuck his hand into a wall cavity and felt something round and hard.

Mr Gough said the builder, Axel Weise, was amazed to see the medal, which is in a remarkably good state, resting in his hand.

The medal was engraved as belonging to Private JO Langham, who served with the 7th Battalion AIF during World War 1.

According to the Australian War Memorial website, Private Joseph Oswill Langham, 10th Reinforcements, 7th Battalion, of Grafton, NSW, enlisted on July 13, 1915, and embarked from Melbourne aboard HMAT Osterley on September 29, 1915. He returned to Australia on April 18, 1917.

It noted the 7th Battalion was among the first infantry units raised for the AIF during World War I.

The battalion served with distinction at Gallipoli and then on the Western Front in France and Belgium.

It served in France at Pozières in the Somme Valley from July 1916. The unit’s first major action was at Pozières in the Somme Valley where it fought between July 23 and 27 and August 15-21.

It saw out the horrendous winter of 1916-1917 rotating between training, working parties and duty in the trenches.

War records show that Private Langham returned to Australia in April 1917, missing some of the grimmest fighting at Bullecourt and Menin Road.

Mr Gough said some research with neighbours revealed Mr Langham lived at Alice Street and was well known in the racing community. He remained a bachelor throughout his life.

He said anyone from Mr Langham’s family who would like to claim the medal could contact him on 6643 2242.

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