Search on for British WW2 soldier’s family after ID tag found

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The search is on for any family of a British soldier from World War 2 — one Lieutenant James Clark — after his identity tag was found during a dig in Israel. The tag was found in a field near the city of Hadera, some 28 miles north of Tel Aviv, by metal detectorist Gan Erez, 51, and his group of amateur archaeologists last December 21. Mr Erez is appealing to members of the public to help identify the soldier’s family so that he can return the identification tag to them.

Alongside his name and rank, the identity tag was also engraved with Lieutenant James’ position — “Q.M.”, for quartermaster — his religion, and his regiment.

The soldier was a former Company Sergeant Major in the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders, identified on the tag with the initials A.&.S.H.

According to the Imperial War Museum, “Military identity tags, usually in metal or compressed fibre, are discs designed to be worn at all times and to record an individual’s identity. The British Army introduced them in 1907.

“They were produced within each unit, and stamped with key information, typically service number, surname and initials, regiment, and sometimes battalion and rank. Religion was also indicated.”

Mr Erez said: “Who will help me find Lieutenant James Clark?”

“I am asking for your help in finding a WW2-era Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders officer whose tag we recently found with a metal detector here in Israel.

“I believe it is our collective duty as human beings to find Lieutenant Clark’s family and give them back the tag we found.

“Imagine just how happy they would be to receive such an amazing memory of him.”

Another part of the inscription on the identity tag may help track down Lieutenant Clark’s living relatives, Mr Erez said.

He explained: “His military ID Number — #202637 — is clearly shown on the tag.

“It should not be too difficult for the right person to use it to find any kind of civilian ID numbers belonging to him, or the names of his relatives.

“From there, it should be much easier to find him or his family.”

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Mr Erez has already been in touch with the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders Museum, in Stirling, Scotland, who were able to help by providing a photograph of Lieutenant Clark.

He told Ynet: “Since I started my search efforts for him, I haven’t stopped trying and imagining what Lieutenant Clark looks like. Yesterday, it finally happened and they sent me a picture of him from the archives of his unit in the UK.”

However, the archaeologist said, particulars on his family have been difficult to come by — even after extensive trawling through social media sites looking for information.

Mr Erez added: “Now, I will continue to work with full force to locate his family and my soul will not rest until I find them.”

He concluded: “Please, whomever can help in finding Lieutenant James Clark’s family, please help me out. Let’s give his family a wonderful New Year’s present.”

Readers with information on Lieutenant Clark and his family can contact Mr Erez by email.

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