A genealogist has solved a 40-year-old mystery.
A First World War medal was found in a Chatham, Ont., chicken coop 40 years ago. The medal was awarded to Lance Cpl. William Evlyn Skinner, who died in the Battle of Amiens on Aug. 8, 1918, and is buried in Villers, France. Until now, little was known about Skinner, who was just 18 when he enlisted in 1915, unmarried and likely childless.
Laurel Van Dommelen of Wallaceburg, Ontario, was living in England when she heard Skinner's story. As an experienced genealogist, she was able to go through census records and she found a William Skinner whose age and birthplace matched those of Cpl. Skinner. She also found the names of parents and siblings and discovered an older brother James, whose next of kin was listed as Florence Brown of Chatham, the city where the medal was found.
This was "the first eureka moment," Benson told CBC News on Thursday.
You can read more at http://www.cbc.ca/canada/windsor/story/2010/01/14/chatham-medal-mystery-100114.html.
My thanks to Rod Nelson for telling me about this story.