Family's desperate plea to help find missing wartime medals

Rosemary Snowdon and family are trying to find her great uncle Joseph's wartime medals

Rosemary Snowdon, pictured at a Remembrance Day parade with sons Mark and Keith, is trying to find her great uncle Joseph's wartime medals - Credit: Courtesy of Rosemary Snowdon

A family is in a desperate bid to find the medals and memorial plaque belonging to one of four brothers who fought during the First World War. 

Rosemary Snowdon and her relatives, from Thetford, are trying to complete the set of medals which were awarded to the siblings as a result of the four-year conflict. 

First World War medals and memorial plaques belonging to the Muteham brothers, from Thetford

First World War medals and memorial plaques belonging to Thetford brothers George, Bertie and Arthur Muteham. Joseph's are still missing - Credit: Courtesy of Rosemary Snowdon

Mrs Snowdon's grandfather, Arthur Muteham, was the only one to survive the war, losing his younger brothers Joseph, Bertie and George.

Arthur and George's service medals - as well as the latter's memorial plaque - remained with the family for several decades, but Bertie's and Joseph's were missing.

However, two great strokes of luck in the space of a few days saw them reunited with Bertie's medals and plaque in 2015. 

Bertie Muteham's First World War medals were finally located in 2015

Bertie Muteham's First World War medals were finally located in 2015 - Credit: Courtesy of Rosemary Snowdon

It meant only symbols of Joseph's bravery were yet to be discovered and, six years on, their whereabouts remain unknown.


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Tracking down the last remaining pieces of the puzzle is "everything" to her family, according to Mrs Snowdon. 

"It is a family with quite some history," added the 63-year-old.

From L to R: George, Bertie, Joseph and Arthur Muteham all fought in the First World War

From L to R: George, Bertie, Joseph and Arthur Muteham all fought in the First World War - Credit: Courtesy of Rosemary Snowdon

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"No-one ever really spoke of the war and it was only when I looked at my mum's things that I found out for myself just how interesting it was.

"It was such a sad loss, when you think of the parents having three sons not return. It must have been horrific for them and they were all so young."

The Mutehams' descendants hold out hope that Joseph's medals and plaque could still be relatively close to home. 

Joseph Muteham's First World War medals and memorial plaque are still missing

Joseph Muteham's First World War medals and memorial plaque are still missing - Credit: Courtesy of Rosemary Snowdon

Bertie's wartime honours were purchased from a seller in Cambridge, while his plaque had made in its way to Norwich.

What's more, paperwork which came with Bertie's medals revealed they had later been sold by a shop in Mildenhall, indicating that Joseph's may have had the same fate. 

"The brothers' parents, Alice and George, both got Spanish Flu after the war and died," said Mrs Snowdon, who is Joseph's great niece.

Medals belonging to Bertie Muteham have been returned to his family in Thetford after they won them

Dorothy Knights (left) and Rosemary Snowdon with medals belonging to Bertie Muteham after they were found in 2015 - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2015

"We are assuming that, at some point afterwards, there was a clearance of their house on St Nicholas Street, in Thetford, and the medals and plaque were lost."

If you can help Rosemary Snowdon and family, email thomas.chapman@archant.co.uk. 

George Muteham, the oldest of the four brothers, died during the First World War

George Muteham (centre), the oldest of the four brothers, died during the First World War - Credit: Courtesy of Rosemary Snowdon

Arthur Muteham was the only one of the four brothers to survive the First World War

Arthur Muteham was the only one of the four brothers to survive the First World War - Credit: Courtesy of Rosemary Snowdon


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