Pity about Finnerty. One hopes for descendents with juicy information.
I've told this tale before but it'll stand a retell. When I launched my original memorial website, the local newspaper did a very nice two page spread. The after publication the phone and a voice says "Hello, this is Fred Wrench...."
I was, uncharacteristically, speechless for a few moments till I realised that this wasnt a ghost.
He was a nephew of a much younger brother of Fred's. And he put me in touch with a much older cousin who had known Charlie's widow. "Any idea where his MM might be" says I. "She'd have flogged it if there was five bob in it", she replies. I learned more about the area where I now live in two meetings with this elderly lady then a local history book can tell.
She then wanted to give me a copy of the Manchester City Battalions Book of Honour. "Can't accept it" says I....not wanting a reputation for conning a blind old woman out of a fairly valuable book. She insisted. I kept refusing. She kept insisting. I said I would buy it then. She refused to take more than 10p - cos she knew it was going to good home. There are still genuine nice people in this world. It cheers me up every time I think of this story and more so when I tell it.