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Wyenot News - The weekly News Magazine for Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire
Issue No. 119 - 1st November 2006
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This Week - [Farm Theft - St. Michael's Hospice Awards - Life of a Major-General - One World Week - Business of the Week]
[Painting at the Library - Dead Man's Penny - ]
[The Witches of Ross - Highnam FC visit ABT - Quiz for Macmillan - Christmas Menus]
[Autumn Views of Wilton Castle and Forest -Wye Valley in Bloom - Flavours of Herefordshire - Rugby - Weather Station]

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Half Term Painting at Ross Library

Pictured below at Ross Library with artist Carl Anogo are Anna Freer, William Freer, Henry Wadge, Isobel Wadge, Ollie O'Neil, Ben Cooke, Ellie Cooke, Hannah Fortey, Ben Fortey, Victoria Bailey, Becky Bailey, Alex Bailey and Sacha Stock-Jones.

Artist, Carl Anogo, who some months ago helped the children at Goodrich School paint a large mural, held a half day workshop at Ross Library on Wednesday, 25th October. Paintings produced by the children on the morning will be on display in Ross Children's Library until Christmas.

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Returning The Dead Man's Penny

When Derek Lane found a large round bronze coin shaped object in his pond at Llangarron, little did he know how important it was to a local family. Just before he died at the beginning of this year, Derek asked Sue Parker at the Heritage Centre to find out if the family could be traced from the name - Joseph Preece - on the object. Sue set to work and with the help of local Militaria Historian David Seeney, discovered who family members of the original owner were. Other members of the family also got in touch from Yorkshire, giving details of surviving members of the Preece family still living in Ross.

Last week at the Heritage Centre, this detective story came to its conclusion when Derek's family met with Joseph's family to return the 'Dead Man's Penny', as it is known by its rightful owners.

Continued . . .

Veronica Cartwright, Clive - the retired guidedog, Major David Seeney - Hereford Light Infantry, Edward James Preece,
Jean Preece and Sue Parker. Ref: DSC_7703

Jim was only a one year old when his uncle was killed and the penny was sent to his great aunt Eliza in September 1916. It was lost in a pond in the garden and did not see the light of day again until Derek decided to play there. Jim and Jean were able to meet Derek's partner, Veronica during a very special tea party.

Unfortunately Derek's sister, Phyllis, was unable to attend the occasion but sent highest regards to all. Dennis Holroyd, Jim's cousin, who first sent the family information to the Heritage Centre was also sadly unable to attend. Also on hand to talk to Jim and Jean were David Seeney, local historian Tim Ward and other members of the community with an interest in the story. Mary Sinclair Powell welcomed everyone to this very special event and explained the story of the penny. Handing it over to Veronica, she asked her to present it to Jim, together with a portfolio of the history behind the penny. This was a very emotional time for both families, who discussed their family and military memories.

After the party, guests said how very moving and poignant the afternoon had been. David Seeney was particularly pleased to have been able to attend as he very rarely sees the culmination of his work after giving out initial information of servicemen to those tracing their families.

This was a very poignant year to be able to return the penny to the Preece family, it being the 90th anniversary year of the Battle of the Somme. Joseph was a Private in the 5th Battalion of the King's Shropshire Light Infantry. He lived with his family at Baker's Tump Llangarron, being the son of Eliza Preece and the late James Preece. Joseph enlisted in Hereford and arrived in France on 10th September 1914. He died aged 21 on 16th September 1916 at the Battle of Flere-Courgelette. During this battle, the Battalion captured three field guns at noon on 15th September in Bull's Road. A machine gun was also captured together with fifty prisoners of war. Unfortunately this battle was won at a great cost. One officer and thirty-seven other ranks were killed; eleven officers and one hundred and eighty other ranks were wounded. Of the rest, thirty-four other ranks were reported missing. This day was memorable as it was the first time tanks had been used in warfare. Four were used and one survived to reach Flere.

It seems Joseph Preece died having taken part in one of the historic battles of the war. He has no known grave but is remembered in on the Thiepval Memorial. Jim hopes to be able to pass the penny down through his family for future generations to keep so they will know of Joseph Preece' remarkable story.

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A closer look at the 'Dead Man's Penny'.

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