A FAMILY is calling for help to find a treasured possession which may have been lost two decades ago.

Alan Lockwood was born in Wombwell, Barnsley, and served in the First Battalion of the East Yorkshire Regiment during the First World War.

He died aged 21 on October 31, 1918 and was remembered with honour at the Vis-En-Artois Memorial in France.

Mr Lockwood’s family received his memorial ‘death penny’ and it was eventually passed to his daughter Ivy Manchester, who kept it with her until she moved into a Hawarden-based care home in her 70s.

Officially called ‘The Next of Kin Memorial Plaque’, ‘death pennies’, as they came to be known, were bronze plaques approximately 11cm or 4½ inches in diameter with the name of someone who died serving with the British and Empire forces in World War One.

Mrs Manchester died in 1999 at the age of 80 and recently her family has been trying to track down the penny she kept.

Her daughter Madeline Collard, who was born in Rhyl and now lives in Australia, said: “It wasn’t until years later that we thought about the penny.

“I emailed the home to see if they knew about it, but no luck.

“She was very well cared for at the home. She had dementia and she was a kind soul - she could have given it away.

“Finding out how and where my grandfather died was so moving, and it would be very emotional to be able to get the penny back.

“We’re just wondering if it has turned up somewhere.”

Mrs Collard’s sister-in-law Julie Lewis, who lives in Buckley, found the king’s note which was received with the penny among Mrs Manchester’s belongings following her death.

This, Mrs Collard said, confirms the penny was with her at that time.

Mrs Lewis explained: “When Ivy first went into the home I only saw the penny briefly when we were helping to sort things for her.

“I had never seen one before. It’s a large penny about the size of a saucer.

“I have no idea where it went to, we’re starting from scratch.

“It went to the home with her and it was forgotten about. She had dementia, whether she gave it to someone we just don’t know.

“It is just a shame it has been lost but if Ivy did give it away someone might have it.

“I hope someone thinks ‘oh yes we have that and it would be nice to give it back to the family’.

“It would be so nice to have as a keepsake for Madeline.”

Do you know where Mr Lockwood’s lost ‘death penny’ is?

Anyone who has information can contact the Leader on 01978 340 334 or email steve.craddock@nwn.co.uk