Historic war medal returned to owner’s family

Back row:- l-r, Rob McGinley and his dad Alan McGinley. Front row l-r: Walter and Cliff Hankinson and family historian Mike Hutchinson (right).
Back row:- l-r, Rob McGinley and his dad Alan McGinley. Front row l-r: Walter and Cliff Hankinson and family historian Mike Hutchinson (right).
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A FAMILY heirloom has been returned to its rightful owners after several decades thanks to the efforts of a borough college employee.

A First World War British War medal belonging to a person named W Hankinson had been found a number of years previously by Alan McGinley.

Recently, Alan and his son Rob, a joint course leader at TyneMet College, set about trying to track down the rightful owner’s family, placing an advert in the A Creeful of Coals publication.

They were contacted by Cliff Hankinson, 85, of Lynemouth, who saw the article and said he was the son of Walter Hankinson.

Cliff believed the medal had belonged to his father but it had gone missing in the early 1940s.

Further evidence found the medal did belong to Walter.

Rob and his father Alan had the medal restored to its former glory, with the correct ribbon, and had it mounted in a commemorative presentation box.

The pair were delighted to hand over the medal – which had been missing from the Hankinson family for more than 70 years – to Cliff and Walter Jnr.

Rob said: “My dad had looked after the medal for as long as I can remember. It was always kept with my great grandfather’s war medal. My father and I are delighted that it has now been returned to its rightful owners.”