A Canadian man is searching for the relatives of a Cardenden soldier so he can return a special World War I medal to his family.
Donald Bennett, who lives in Toronto, contacted The Press to say his grandfather, James Eadie, served in the Royal West Kent Regiment during WWI and had given him his service medals including a 1914-15 Star belonging to Private David Kerr.
Private Kerr, who served with the Scottish Rifles, was killed in action during the Battle of Loos in France in September 1915.
Mr Bennett said it was his grandfather’s wish to return the medal to Private Kerr’s descendants - and he believes the young soldier was originally from the Cardenden area.
He said: “From what I understand Private Kerr was born on May 17, 1886 in New Cumnock and his parents names were David Kerr and Elizabeth McGregor.
‘‘Theymoved to Cardenden and he married a woman named Mary Simpson on January 29, 1909 in the village.
“My grandfather served with the Royal West Ken Regiment during World War I and in the late 1970s he gave me his service medals as well as a 1914-15 Star belonging to Private David Kerr of 12224 Scottish Rifles.
“I don’t know if Private Kerr was a friend of his or how he came to possess the medal, but I do know he hoped I would one day return it to his family.”
He continued: “The 100th anniversary of the start of World War I is next year, and it would be fitting for this medal to be returned to one of Private Kerr’s living descendants on the eve of this anniversary. I know he would definitely have wanted the medal to be given to his family especially as Private Kerr was killed in action and never received it - the Star was issued in 1918, approximately three years after his death.”
He added: “Half of my mother’s family were from Fife but I can’t find anything to connect them to the Kerrs. I’m definitely hoping someone in Cardenden or the surrounding areas recognises his name.”
Anyone with information should contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call (01592) 598809.
The 1914-15 Star Medal
It was approved in 1918 for issue to officers of the British armed forces who served between August 5, 1914 and December 31, 1915. The 1914-15 Star was not awarded alone. The recipient had to have received the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
is plain with the recipient’s service number, rank, name and unit impressed on it.