Hunt is on to find family of Hitchin’s First World War solider

Mary and George Prowse with the plaque

Mary and George Prowse with the plaque - Credit: Archant

An appeal has been launched to find the family of a solider that died in the First World War after a plaque in his name was found 20 years ago on a dump site.

The plaque

The plaque - Credit: Archant

Edward Christopher Halsey died age 19 on January 1918. He served in the 3/4th Battalion, The Queen’s (Royal West Surrey) Regiment.

The plaque, which was found by Margaret Casserley from Berkhamsted, has been given to the Hitchin branch of the Royal British Legion.

Mrs Casserly came across it on a dump site about 20 years ago in her home town and stored it in her garage.

Speaking to the Comet Mrs Casserly said: “I was throwing stuff in the skip and came across it, I asked the attendant what it was doing there and he said it would be sold off for brass so I brought it. And every year I bring it out on November 11 and place a poppy on it. It would be great to return it to his family.”

Mrs Casserly has researched the soldier’s past and found that he was the son of John and Minnie Agusto, who lived at 31 Grove Road.

Research has also revealed that he was the youngest of four and a brother to John, Joseph and Mary.

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He was killed while serving in Sorel-Le-Grand, France.

He has been buried in the Fins New British Cemetery, Sorel-le-Grand, Somme, France. Research has also shown his grave number which is Plot three, Row F grave 28.

“With the First World War commemorations at the forefront of people’s minds we maybe able to find his family and give the plaque back, which looks like it was in a church,” said Mrs Casserly.

Hitchin Poppy appeal organiser Mary Prowse said: “There must be someone or a member of his family in the area. His name is on the war memorial but it would be nice to give the plaque back to his family.”

If you are or know the family of Mr Halsey call Mary Prowse on 07925 528988.