London bus driver finds WW1 victory medal on bank of Thames

A relaxing stroll along the Thames by London bus driver ended in delight after he spotted a victory medal from the First World War.

A British Victory Medal (centre), one of which was found near Blackfriars Bridge, London last week

A British Victory Medal (centre), one of which was found near Blackfriars Bridge, London last week. Image by RHL Images / CC BY 2.0

The discovery was made on the bank of the river near Blackfriars Bridge by Matthew Virgo (26), who then tracked down the relatives of the soldier honoured with the medal.

Having cleaned up the memento when he got home, he found an engraving of the soldier’s name and number. It read - F A French, 19028 – belonging to Harpenden native Francis Arthur French and he then went about contacting his relatives on social media.

Mr Virgo, who drives the 42 bus, said it was a 'brilliant feeling' to find something so historic and said it was equally amazing to then find the relatives.

The Evening Standard report that he said he is more than willing to give it to them if the family want it but if not, it would be something 'nice to hang on to.'

The bus driver is an enthusiastic member the 'Thames mudlarks' – a group which regularly searches the Thames’ riverbank for historical artefacts.

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