SUR-5ADA50: Modern: Distinguished Conduct Medal awarded to Sjt. GH Humber

Rights Holder: Surrey County Council
CC License:

Rights Holder: Surrey County Council
CC License:

Rights Holder: Surrey County Council
CC License:

Rights Holder: Surrey County Council
CC License:

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Unique ID: SUR-5ADA50

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Published Find published

A Distinguished Conduct Medal from the First World War issued to Sgt. G. H. Humber of the Royal Field Artillery. The obverse bears a profile head of George V looking left; the reverse the inscription in three lines, FOR / DISTINGUISHED / CONDUCT IN THE FIELD. The edge has the inscription SGT. G. H. HUMBER RFA.

The medal is only slightly distorted. A small shred of the attached ribbon also survived.

Following the finding of this medal during an outing by the Weekend Wanderers Metal Detecting Club efforts were made by the Finds Liaison Officer to whom the medal was reported to discover more about Sgt. Humber, with the intention of returning the medal to the descendants of the recipient. Census and death records showed that George Humber was born on the Isle of Wight in 1889 and died there, near Brighstone, in 1985, aged 94.

The London Gazette's citation on the award of this medal (03/09/1919) states that Sgt. Humber served with Battery A in the 38th Brigade, Royal Field Artillery. He had served in France since 1915 and in the following three years had carried out 'invaluable work both as a corporal and a sergeant'. 'He has been through all the heavy fighting in 1916, 1917 and 1918, always commanding his detachment in action with great courage and coolness, often under heavy hostile shell-fire and great difficulties'.

Following a story about the finding of the medal in the Surrey Mirror (28/05/2009), the paper was contacted by Ivan Geal of Holland, near Oxted, George Humber's nephew by marriage (Surrey Mirror 04/06/2009 and 11/06/2009), while the Isle of Wight County Press, who also ran the story, was contacted by three of Humber's grandchildren. Before their marriage Humber's wife, Bessie, one of twelve children of farm labourers Alfred and Eliza Geal, lived with her family at Batchelors Farm, Troy Town, Edenbridge (on the county boundary, although just in Surrey, and only just over a kilometre from where the medal was found). It appears that Humber may briefly have secured a job in the area in about 1920; working on a railway tunnel nearby has been suggested (Surrey Mirror 15/07/2009). It was probably during this period, when Humber was visiting Bessie and her family, that the medal was lost near Staffhurst Wood in a field surrounded on almost four sides by the Wood.

It is understood that a duplicate medal was presented to George Humber in the nursing home at Brighstone shortly before he died.

The DCM is a medal for bravery or gallantry awarded to other ranks (the DSO is the equivalent award for officers).

Find of note status

This is a find of note and has been designated: County / local importance



Broad period: MODERN
Period from: MODERN
Date from: Exactly AD 1919
Date to: Exactly AD 1919

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Saturday 25th April 2009

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Mr David W Williams
Identified by: Mr David W Williams

Materials and construction

Primary material: Silver
Secondary material: Textile
Completeness: Incomplete

Spatial metadata

Region: South East (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Surrey (County)
District: Tandridge (District)
Parish or ward: Limpsfield (Civil Parish)

Spatial coordinates

4 Figure: TQ4148
Four figure Latitude: 51.213802
Four figure longitude: 0.017357
1:25K map: TQ4148
1:10K map: TQ44NW
Grid reference source: From a paper map
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 100 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
General landuse: Cultivated land

References cited

No references cited so far.

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: SUR
Created: 9 years ago
Updated: 6 years ago

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