Long lost pendant could be key to story of wartime romance

Metal detectorist John Bradbury with the WWI sweetheart locket which is his latest find
Metal detectorist John Bradbury with the WWI sweetheart locket which is his latest find

A metal detecting enthusiast’s latest find could tell a story of lost love and romance from World War One.

John Bradbury discovered a silver pendant known as a “sweetheart locket” in a field close to his home in Brierfield.

A close up view of the WWI sweetheart locket found by John Bradbury

A close up view of the WWI sweetheart locket found by John Bradbury

The wreath shaped pendant, stamped with an enamelled anchor and the Royal Navy, would have been bought by a sailor when he went away to fight in the war.

There is a loop on the pendant for where the other part of the item, that would have been kept by the sailor’s girlfriend, was attached. As there is no name or anything else on the item to indicate who it belonged to, the story of the romance will remain a mystery.

He said: “It looks like the locket would be worn as a medal on a lapel.”

A metal detectorist for almost 30 years John has found hundreds of items in that time both across the UK and abroad.

His last find was a ring that was centuries old which he unearthed in Boroughbridge, North Yorkshire.

The posey ring, which dated back to the Tudor era, was engraved with the words “Constant I Will Until I Die.”

John struck silver on the same day, picking up a hammered coin dating back to 1575 which had the outline of the head of Elizabeth 1 on one side.

With a keen interest in history John believes that metal detectorists have a great contribution to make in charting and area’s heritage and past.

He said: “To do this you need to have knowledge of the area so you know where to look for things.

“It is the discovery of the items and not the value of them that is the exciting part.”

John is now preparing to catalogue all his finds in a book and also on film.

He is also appealing for any farmers or landowners who would give permission for him to search their land as they could be in line for a pay out from any items found that would be donated to local museums.

If any landowners would like John to search their land for historical items to offer to museums, please contact him on 07867936372. Payouts are potentially available.