A STASH of invaluable war medals awarded to a Bury hero from the First World War have joined the collection of the town’s Fusilier Museum.

The medals belonged to a William Clegg who served on the Western Front and include his Distinguished Conduct Medal, 1914 Star (Mons Star), British War Medal and Victory Medal.

Their purchase was made possible thanks to a Heritage Lottery Fund Collecting Cultures grant awarded to the museum in 2014 to enable them to purchase First World War items.

However, little did the museum know but at the time it was actually locked in a bidding battle with William Clegg’s own relatives keen to have the medals back in the family.

After finding out the medals were now at the museum the family were invited to see them and made a special trip to the town.

Cheryl Hambridge, William Clegg’s granddaughter, said: “It was incredibly moving to visit The Fusilier Museum and wonderful to be reunited with our grandfather’s medals.

“This kind of thing doesn’t happen every day and we feel extremely proud that he has been honoured by his own brothers ­— The Fusiliers.”

William Clegg enlisted in the 2nd Battalion, The Lancashire Fusiliers, in Bury on October 3, 1908.

He joined his brother, John Clegg, who was already serving in the regiment and at the outbreak of the First World War they were both deployed to France ­— embarking on August 22, 1914.

It is believed the brothers were both awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for the same action at the start of 1916, and they were listed together in the London Gazette on March 11, 1916, for “Conspicuous gallantry in carrying messages across the open under heavy fire”.

William was injured during the assault on the village of Beaumont Hamel on the first day of the Battle of the Somme and was invalided out.

He later joined the Manchester Regiment until he was discharged in 1917.

Although William’s medals are accounted and have since gone on general display at the Fusilier Museum, it is now hoped that John’s medals can be found and brought together with his brother’s.

Ms Hambridge said it would be the icing on the cake of their visit if both brothers’ medals were reunited and pledged to work with the museum to make this a reality.

Sarah Stevenson, collections manager at The Fusilier Museum, added: “It was a great pleasure to welcome William Clegg’s family to the museum and to be able to reunite them with his medals after all these years.

“Like the family we would love to able to find his brother John’s medals and reunite them together after all these years.”

Anyone who knows of the whereabouts of John’s medals or his family members is asked to contact Ms Stevenson on 0161 763 8950 or sarah.stevenson@fusiliermuseum.com.