11 November 2017
Lance Corporal Ben Kirkham from B (Mercian) Company and his parents selflessly tracked down the relatives of a former soldier after he stumbled upon an ID tag while on exercise on Annual Camp at Longmoor this year.When he returned home the Worksop Cadet initiated a search on Google and typing in the Army Number and Name immediately revealed the owner of the dog tag to be Sapper Don F Penfold, 22612510 Royal Engineers. His medal had just been sold in a shop in Bridlington in July to a private collector. The medal was a General Service Medal with 'Near East' clasp. More digging revealed that the Medal and Clasp were awarded to Sapper Penfold for his service during Operation Musketeer in the final months of 1956 supporting UK operations to stabilise and secure the area around the Suez Canal region. At that time it appears Longmoor was a Royal Engineers training camp and records show that those deploying on Op Musketeer were trained there prior to flying out. It's entirely possible Sapper Penfold lost the dog tag on deployment training. After some considerable research a good friend actually discovered the whereabouts of his family. Unfortunately Don Penfold and his wife passed away in the early 2000s. He was survived by sisters, his children and grandchildren who now live in Brighton. This morning Ben travelled to Brighton to gift the family the ID tag together with a replica of the serviceman's medal framed with an explanatory note for them to keep forever. An incredible and humbling story.