Monday, May 12, 2014
They have been treasured possessions in her family for decades, but when Jenette Taylor looked more closely at her great-grandfather’s First World War medals, she was shocked to discover they belonged to another soldier.
Now the Brundall mother-of-two is appealing for the descendants of Private George Fitt to come forward, so she can return his medals and perhaps solve the mystery of how they came into her grandmother’s possession. Mrs Taylor’s great-grandfather Albert Norman Read grew up in Norwich’s Philadelphia Lane, just off Angel Road. Her research found that George Fitt, who was 26 and in the Norfolk Regiment when he died on November 2, 1917, lived in nearby Long Row, off Waterloo Road. He was the son of Charles and Nellie and the husband of Louisa.
Mrs Taylor, 39, who works as a product consultant for Aviva, said: “My family always thought we had Albert’s war medals, but it turns out when I looked at the rim of the medal we don’t, we actually have someone else’s medals, a G E Fitt. After a little investigation, I found that in the early 1900s the families lived close by, but as far as I can tell they were not related.”
Mrs Taylor’s great-grandfather was 24 when he was killed at the Third Battle of Ypres, also known as the Battle of Passchendaele, and so the two men would have been of a similar age. Also close in age would have been Mrs Taylor’s great-great uncle Billy, William Lambert, whose son gave her some old war-time memorabilia of his father’s which includes photographs of soldiers who she cannot identify and she wonders if these could be of Private Fitt.
But this is where it gets complicated, as while Mrs Taylor’s great-grandfather Albert Read and great-grandmother Lucy Lambert were married, they both had siblings who also tied the knot, making the connection between the two families even closer.
In this case it was great-great uncle Billy Lambert, brother of Lucy, who married Albert’s sister Ada Read.
Mrs Taylor, who is Acle United Football Club’s physio, said: “I do wonder if the Fitt family have got Albert’s medals and we have got his. I have always said I wanted to give them back to the family.”
Can you help solve the mystery of Pte Fitt’s medals? Contact reporter Kim Briscoe on 01603 772474 or email email@example.com
Town’s wartime memories – page 36.