Amateur archaeologist makes historical footy find in Beverley

A husband and wife duo have discovered a piece of history dating back to the first World War right here in the Avon Valley, and they’re hoping to reunite it with its rightful family.

Marc and Lisa Russo are amateur archaeologists.

The couple spend their weekends in the Avon Valley with their metal detectors uncovering hidden gems. 

On Saturday, September 8 Mrs Russo found a medallion with the initials ‘RB’ on it buried below the dirt along the Avon River in Beverley. 

On the reverse it was inscribed ‘St Aubyn’s Football Club. Premiers 1909. R. Davey’.

Mrs Russo said she felt as though her heart had stopped when she made the discovery.

“It’s amazing when we find things with the name on the back,” she said.

“The historical aspect of it really fascinates me.

“Having living history in your hand got me really hooked.

“We did some research that night and we found all the records.

“We were able to find out a lot of information about the gentleman.”

The item itself is a medallion hung from the chain of a fob pocket watch. 

Mrs Russo said football medallions were popular during that era. 

The owner was Raymond Frank Davey who was born in Beverley. 

In 1916 at the age of 25 Mr Davey was enlisted in the 28th Battalion. 

He embarked Fremantle on board HMAT A28 Miltiades on August, 7 1916 and returned to Australia in September 1917 after serving on the Western Front.

Mrs Russo said the joy of her hobby comes from reuniting families with the found items. 

“You can’t put a price on some of these things,” She said.

“The idea of being able to retrieve sometime that has such an incredible story attached to it back to the family themselves is amazing.

“That’s what it’s all about for me; it’s about preserving history and reuniting it with families where we can.” 

Through online records the couple traced Mr Davey to Albany where he moved after his involvement in the first World War.

He had a son, who passed away during the second World War, and a daughter who moved to South Australia. 

With help from the Albany Historical Society the couple hope to gain some more information and track down some relatives of Mr Davey. 

If no one is found the item will be donated to the Dead Finish Museum in Beverley.