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Detectorist aims to reunite WW1 soldier’s memento with family

Stephen Brown, a detectorist for 40 years, found this coin back in 2015 while on a detecting rally in Sculthorpe, near Fakenham in Norfolk. He thought little of it until a few months ago when he finally got round to having the coin professionally cleaned. This revealed an inscription relating to a First World War soldier. Stephen would like to reunite the coin with the owner’s family.


The reverse of the coin has a Lion and Sun, or Shir-o-khorshid. This is one of the better-known emblems of Iran and was an element on the flag until the revolution in 1979. It first appeared in 12th century coinage.

1/4 Rial coin dated AH 1315

There have been many coins from Iran that have this symbol within a crowned wreath such as this 1/4 Rial.

The obverse would normally show the value of the coin but in Stephen’s find this has been worn smooth and inscribed.


Around the edge the inscription reads: 8390 SMITH * NORFOLK REGT. In the centre in three line is 1914, BAGHDAD, 1917.

Private C Smith

With the help of a friend, Stephen managed to trace 8390 SMITH of the Norfolk Regiment thanks to an award for bravery. The award notes that Private Smith was injured and Stephen has managed to obtain a hospital record for him.

The thinking is that Private Smith either made this himself or had someone make him this memento of time in Baghdad while he was there and then he lost it when he returned home, probably somewhere near where he lived. Stephen say “Perhaps there are people reading this who have done a family tree from over the years and think there might be a connection. Smith is a common name but hopefully someone has a link – it will be very interesting to find out

If you can help Stephen, leave a comment, contact me or email Stephen at

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