Birmingham & Black Country

Plaque recovered in Wednesbury sparks nationwide search for owners

Plaque
Image caption Police want the plaque to be returned to its original location

West Midlands Police has enlisted the help of UK churches and museums to trace the owners of a memorial plaque it recovered earlier this month.

The 4ft (1.2m) by 2ft (0.6m) plaque was seized by officers at a property in Wednesbury.

The sign dates back to the 19th Century and is in memory of the Welch family.

A police spokesperson said a Cheltenham vicar was "trawling through churches and graveyards as there is a link to the Welch family... in that area".

PC Karn Sharma, from Sandwell Metal Theft Team, said: "Museum curators from as far afield as Scotland and Essex have also offered information to assist us, as have charities involved with the restoration and documentation of war memorials.

"We believe that it may have been stolen and it is possible that it has great sentimental value to the descendants of the soldiers it commemorates.

"It appears that it could well have come from the inside of a parish church or a community building."

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