A mystery as to how the name and details of a solider killed in the First World War came to be written on a banknote has been solved – and we can reveal that there are hundreds more out there with the names of Macclesfield soldiers on them.
John Hodgson’s name, regiment details and age was spotted on a £10 by a woman who withdrew it from a cash machine in Norwich.
Her research took her to the website Macclesfieldreflects.org.uk, which had details of Private Hodgson’s role in the Great War.
Now, after the story appeared in the Express, we can reveal that the person responsible for the mysterious tribute is Trevor Druce, from Macclesfield.
Trevor, 57, has spent the last seven months printing the names of all 667 Macclesfield soldiers who died during the war on £10 notes.
He took matters into his own hands when his appeal to the Bank of England for some kind of national monetary tribute failed. He said: “I wanted to pay tribute to those local lads who died for their country and decided to add their names to every £10 I came into contact with. It was a labour of love.”
Trevor spent the money in local shops and pubs, so was astounded to find out one had turned up in Norwich. He said: “When I saw the story in the Express my eyes lit up and my heart lifted. All I ever wanted was for someone to get curious and find out a little about the soldier’s name. That exact thing happened.”
Trevor says he was unaware that it is an offence to deface banknotes.
Trevor, of Fairview Road, said: “I didn’t know it was illegal at the start.
“I hope they see the reasons behind my actions and don’t prosecute.
“Plus, all the old £10 notes will be out of circulation soon anyway.”
Claire Creny, the 44-year-old florist who found the £10 note in Norwich, said she was ‘chuffed’ that her theory that the cryptic message is a tribute was spot on.
She said: “Trevor called me to reveal he was involved.
“It was a brilliant idea and a lovely thing to do to keep their memories alive.”Trevor was previously involved in the War Graves Project to restore badly deteriorated graves of Macclesfield soldiers.
His next project is called Aftermath 100, which focuses on what happened to soldiers when they returned from the war.