Family of ‘Death Penny’ war hero have been found

Ian Nimmo-White with Linda Ballingall from Glenrothes Heritage Centre and the 'Death Penny'.
Ian Nimmo-White with Linda Ballingall from Glenrothes Heritage Centre and the 'Death Penny'.
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The search for the descendants of a World War I soldier, whose ‘death penny’ was found discarded in garden shed in Fife, have been found.

Months of painstaking research and some good old fashioned detective work by Fife historian Ian Nimmo-White has yielded results with the location of direct blood relatives to WWI soldier Thomas Blyth Peebles.

The memorial plaque, issued to the family of the Kirkcaldy-born soldier, a private in the 16th Highland Light Infantry, after being killed on November 18 1916 in France, was found discarded in a Glenrothes shed several years ago.

It’s thought the plaque, often referred to as a ‘Death Penny’, found its way to the town because the soldier’s brother lived in the town until his death in 1973. It was handed into the town’s Heritage Centre, triggering the search.

It’s understood the soldier’s great grandsons and other family members are living in Edinburgh and have now been informed of the attempts to reunite them with the death penny honouring their ancestors sacrifice.

“Without doubt it has been the hardest search of any I’ve ever taken on,” said Mr Nimmo-White, whose research into the Tay Bridge train disaster is highly regarded.

“With links to various parts of Fife, as well as family name changes and a few other hurdles, it’s taken quite an effort to resolve the mystery, but I’m absolutely confident the right family members have now been found,” He added.

Plans to bring the family to Fife to be presented with the plaque are being finalised.