The Memorial Plaque was issued after the First World War and went to the next-of-kin of all British and Empire service personnel who had died as a result of the war.

The material used was bronze, and it became known as the "Dead Man’s Penny" because it was like a larger version of the penny coin that was in use at the time. 1,355,000 plaques were presented and were still being issued in the 1930’s.

The plaque is approximately 5 inches (120 mm) in diameter and the design was chosen from a selection of  designs submitted by the public. The design chosen was by Edward Carter Preston, a sculptor, and he received a prize of £250. His initials E.C.P. are visible in the bottom right hand corner of the plaque.

The inscription reads "He died for freedom and honour", but for the plaques issued to commemorate women it was quite rightly changed to "She died for freedom and honour."

Plaques were originally produced in Acton but production later moved to Woolwich Arsenal, and these can be identified the “WA” on the rear of the plaque.

There are a lot of fake Death Pennies on the market which goes to show that nothing is sacred.

The “Death Penny”

The “Death Penny” of Charles Henry George Johnson.

Private, Machine Gun Corps. Died 27th April 1918, aged 29.

Charles lived in Rye Park and left a wife and four young children.