By Carla Speer
A First World War coin is certainly a lucky penny for one local man, writes Carla Speer.
But Ian Wales is searching for a good offer for a 1916 penny (pictured right) gifted to him by his late father. who received it from a Bobby, soldier during the First World War.
Ian says the coin was a lucky penny throughout the entire war. The solider who was part of the Ulster Divison, claimed its luck, when he was injured in the trenches, but he still managed to hold on to his lucky penny.
Ian says; “Bobby was the only remaining man left with all his friends who were killed during the war. He believes that his penny, which he carried with him throughout the entire battle brought him a lot of luck.”
The Ballymoney man recounts his memories of the coin during his childhood. When Ian was 10 years old, he used to play in his father’s bedroom. He vividly recalls his father’s collection of items used from the war. His father never let Ian wear an old pair of boots used by the soldier during
World War One. He says his father used to shout, “Ian do not go near those boots, there is soil on them from the Somme.”
Ian used to pretend he was a soldier by wearing a tin hat, and listen to his father’s stories about his friend who was a soldier during the war.
When offered a penny for his thoughts, he told the Times: “Well, this coin was slightly burnt by a shell in the trenches, which adds a rather poignant message to its history.”
This lucky penny certainly has two sides its coin.
On the other side of this coin, Ian Wales’ pet parrot Magoo seemed very happy at the passing on of the penny. When asked if he agreed with the sale, he churped; “Yes, my dear.”
Ian also has a stamped 1939 silver spoon that he said was; “also used by soliders during the war at feeding time.” Mr. Wales says he has a “huge interest in war souvenirs, and would like to see the coin go to a good home.”
In for a penny out for an offer, he has received many enquiries for the coin. Some offers reached as high as £450 from willing buyers from Limerick, Tipperary and London. However, Ian is keen to keep the lucky penny in Northern Ireland.
Alternatively he would like to see it go to a musuem. If anyone is interested in purchasing the penny they should contact Ian Wales within the next fortnight.