Chesterfield group campaigns to bring family’s medals ‘home’

Henry Miles' war medals.
Henry Miles' war medals.

A Chesterfield community group is launching a fundraising appeal to bring back the war medals of one of the town’s leading military families.

The medals of Henry Miles are currently for sale in Canada, and Friends of Spital Cemetery are asking people to donate to try and get the medals back and on display in the town’s museum.

George Miles's great grandson Andy Miles (left), Liz Cook (middle) and Ed Fordham (right).

George Miles's great grandson Andy Miles (left), Liz Cook (middle) and Ed Fordham (right).

Spearheading the campaign Liz Cook, chairman of Friends of Spital Cemetery, said the Miles family were very well known in the town - and particularly in Spital.

She said: “Given the importance of these medals, of this family and our pride in tending the war graves in Spital Cemetery we have decided to launch this fundraising campaign to bring them home to Chesterfield.”

The project to bring the medals home is being co-ordinated by resident Ed Fordham.

“This is a very exciting opportunity,” he said.

This is a very exciting opportunity.

Ed Fordham

“The medals are a compete set and very significant as it includes the Distinguished Conduct Medal as well as photographs and original paperwork on the bravery citation.”

Lieutenant Henry Miles was awarded the DCM in the First World War. His uncle Charles Miles, who also won the DCM in the Great War, is buried in Spital Cemetery.

The Miles’ were a big family in Chesterfield - Fanny and George Miles had nine children - George, Tom, Henry, Frank, Jack, Allen, Charles, Susan and Agnes.

Tom worked as a printer at the Derbyshire Times and Frank was a reporter there too. Henry had a son, also called Henry, and it is the junior who won these medals. Henry Miles lived on Quarry Bank Road, Spital.

The grave of Lieutenant C Miles DCM.

The grave of Lieutenant C Miles DCM.

It is thought that it will cost around £2,000 to purchase the medals and bring them back to Chesterfield.

People can donate by sending a cheque or donation payable to Friends of Spital Cemetery (marked MILES MEDALS) to Liz Cook, 10 Alexandra Road East, Chesterfield, S41 0HF.

Donations can also be given online by clicking here.

The campaign to bring the medals home is backed and supported by George Miles’s great grandson Andy Miles who lives and works in Chesterfield.

To give the group the time to raise the money, the sellers, who are in Canada, have withdrawn the medals from sale, and are holding them subject to the appeal.

A sale price has not yet been agreed, but it is hoped that an agreement can be reached subject to the fundraising.