Charleville res­i­dent re­unites war relic with rel­a­tives

Western Times - - NEWS -

A CHANCE meet­ing led to a fam­ily be­ing re­united with an an­ces­tral war relic, just in time for An­zac Day com­mem­o­ra­tions.

Charleville World War II guide James Brown was at the head of the mis­sion, af­ter re­ceiv­ing the WWII dog tag from a trav­eller pass­ing through town.

“I hap­pened to have a gen­tle­man at­tend one of my tours and, when I was walk­ing home, he pulled up be­side me and of­fered me a lift,” Mr Brown said.

“We got talk­ing and I re­alised that he had a metal de­tec­tor, which is some­thing I do too.

“He then turned to me and said, ‘Well ac­tu­ally I have some WWII stuff right here in my car that I can give you if you want it’. And I said ‘yeah, that would be awe­some’.”

Among the find­ings was a WWII dog tag, also called an iden­tity disc, that be­longed to Sergeant Frank Stegmann – found in Tas­ma­nia.

Frank Stegmann was a cap­tain based in the mil­i­tary hos­pi­tal in Tas­ma­nia dur­ing the war.

Mr Brown con­ducted a six-month search to find the next of kin.

“I was un­sure if I would find them.

“I got in touch with a man named Michael Musumeci, who I con­tacted over Face­book.

“Michael is very in­volved in avi­a­tion and his­tory, and had an in­put into the de­sign of the B-17 bill­board at the Charleville air­port, so he was a great place to start.

“And, as luck would have it, he man­aged to put me in touch with Frank’s son, Peter, and I was able to organise the disc’s re­turn.

“Peter said the fam­ily had noth­ing from his fa­ther’s time in the war.

“He gave me his Tas­ma­nian ad­dress, and I framed and sent him the disc this week.”

The Mur­weh An­zac Day cer­e­mony and dawn ser­vices, in­clud­ing event pho­tos, will fea­ture in the next edi­tion of the Western Times.

RELIC: Frank Stegmann’s framed dog tag.

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