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Last Updated: Thursday, 3 March, 2005, 11:19 GMT
Hero's medals spark big response
Head teacher Mrs Puw with the medals
Mrs Puw said the medals would inspire her pupils
A school has been inundated with calls about a World War I hero whose medals were discovered hidden away in a school desk.

Last month Ysgol Bro Ddyfi in Machynlleth appealed for help in piecing together Lance Corporal T O Davies' story.

He was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for rescuing wounded comrades from "no man's land" in 1916.

However, why his medals were stored at the school remains a mystery.

Head teacher Lis Puw said many people had shown interest in L/Cpl Davies' medals and three belonging to D Attwater, a RAF serviceman in World War II which were also found in a drawer.

Machynlleth historian David Wyn Davies has also discovered more details about L/Cpl's Davies' early life.

L/Cpl Davies would have been about 25 when he rescued his fellow soldiers
Historian David Wyn Davies

T O Davies was born in Penegoes (near Machynlleth) in either 1891 or 1892 and moved within a matter of months with his parents to Machynlleth.

"At the outbreak of war he joined a Canadian regiment, but it's unclear why," said Mr Wyn Davies.

"In 1915 he returned home sick, but it was illness rather than a war wound."

Mr Wyn Davies added that his information had come from newspapers, local documents and the census.

"L/Cpl Davies would have been about 25 when he rescued his fellow soldiers, but it's a mystery where he went after the war and how his medals found their way into the school," he added.

Mrs Puw found the medals when she cleared a set of drawers.

L/Cpl Davies' three honours were with an old local newspaper cutting.

A photograph of L/Cpl T O Davies taken from a newspaper cutting dating from the time
L/Cpl Davies rescued his wounded comrades from no man's land

The article describes how his battalion had been "practically wiped out" during a "massed attack" by German forces in Ypres, Belgium, on 3 June, 1916.

L/Cpl Davies left the trenches and "prowled around" in no man's land bringing in wounded men under fire from German artillery and machine guns, says the newspaper.

The story behind the two servicemen was slowly being pieced together, but it was still a mystery why D Attwater's medals were at the school.

"It appears as though D Attwater was tragically killed in action when he was 20. We still don't understand why his medals are at the school because his parents were from Cornwall," she said.

"Someone has contacted me from Gwent because D Attwater 's medals were in a box with a Raglan address."

It appears as though L/Cpl Davies and his parents originally lived at Bridge Street in Machynlleth, but he may have emigrated to Canada before the war.

People with information about either sets of medals are asked to contact Ysgol Bro Ddyfi on 01654 702012.


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