Finedon man finds First World War history while digging his garden

John with the trench art.

John with the trench art.

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A Finedon man who went digging in his garden was in for a shock - after coming across a piece of First World War history.

John Howe, 82, was doing a spot of gardening at his home when he struck a piece of trench art.

The trench art.

The trench art.

The artwork was made from lead out of shell cases used by soldiers in the trenches in the battle.

John says how it ended up in his garden is a mystery to him.

He said: “I dug about a foot into the soil and there it was.

“I thought it was just a piece of metal at first.

“I don’t know how it got there or how nobody has come across it before.

“With it being the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme last week, maybe I was meant to find it?”

The piece has no name or specific date engraved, but has 1914-1918 stamped on the back.

Mr Howe now plans to donate it to Wellingborough Museum, having already donated a piece of history some years ago.

He added: “I took it to the Finedon Historical Society and they said it was one of the finest examples of trench art they had seen.

“Wellingborough Museum said if they had it, it would be in a very secure cabinet.

“I donated a medal to them which my father was awarded after the Wellingborough disaster of 1938, so I think I’ll donate this to them as well.

“It’s only going to sit in a drawer at my home.”

Dan Hurn from Wellingborough Museum says the piece will be there for generations to come.

He said: “When I saw it I thought it was a really nice piece.

“It looks like it’s been made out of shrapnel and then stamped when it was brought home.

“It seems to me like it’s just been left in the garden by somebody.

“We are more than happy to have it on show and anything like this is always gratefully received.

“This will be there for generations to come.”