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I know I have mentioned before about the amount of time that I spend on this project, however now I have found yet another thing that needs doing and it will also taken hours and hours to complete. However it needs doing and the last few days has proven to work. I have been entering all the names and serial numbers back into FWR's website again, as some records have obviously been added since we first started and a couple of these had been saved by other people, enabling me to send them a message. So I made contact with everyone I could. Lots of my messages are out there waiting to be seen, however a few replied and have gave me addresses for the dog-tags to be sent to! Both the Richard's as mention on the last page and a new one that come through minutes ago 'Followell'. I often wander what people do when they get these random messages from me, I know I would scream in excitement. So another one to get in the post, fingers crossed that we can learn lots about his time in service and to see another one of these soldiers that served is always such a pleasure. The forgotten army is slowly gaining some faces to it. 
Some interesting statistics for you all about these dog-tags (correct of 14/06/2017) :-

The titles below include the total number of dog-tags, the locations under give how many are from specific locations/theatres if known. For example with of the British Empire, only 3 have known locations, the rest are either not recorded, or we haven't researched them yet.

Awarded the British Empire Medal x 8 
            N'AFRICA x 2 
            NW'EUROPE x 1

Commissioned to Officers x 13
Deserters x 5
            UK (Bovington) x 2
            Middle East x 3

Awarded the USA Bronze Star x 2
           NW'EUROPE x 2

Awarded Belgian Croix de Guerre with palm x 3
            NW'EUROPE x 3

Awarded Nederlands Bronze Cross x 1
            NW'EUROPE x 1

Awarded Nederlands Bronze Lion x 1
           NW'EUROPE x 1
Awarded Long Service Good Conduct x 2
                      
Mentioned in dispatches x 63
            BURMA x 4
            France DUNKIRK x 4
            ITALY x 25
            MIDDLE EAST x 1
            N'AFRICA x 2
            N'AFRICA/ITALY x 4
           NW'EUROPE x 21
           
Missing x 21
            France 1944 x 1
            France DUNKIRK x 2
            GREECE x 4
            ITALY x 5 
            N'AFRICA x 1
            NW'EUROPE x 2
            W'EUROPE x 1             
            WESTERN DESERT x 5

Military Medal Winners x 39
            BURMA x 5
            France x 1
            GREECE x 1           
            ITALY x 12
            MIDDLE EAST x 6
            N'AFRICA x 2
            NW'EUROPE x 12         
            WESTERN DESERT x 2
Prisoners of War x 107
            CYRENAICA x 8
            France x 3
            Germany x 2
            GREECE x 3           
            ITALY x 10
            MIDDLE EAST x 6
            N'AFRICA x 5
            N'AFRICA/ITALY x 4
            NW'EUROPE x 31
            SICILY x 2
            W'EUROPE x  11          
            WESTERN DESERT x 22
 
Wounded x 623
            BURMA x 30
            EGYPT 1940 x  1
            France DUNKIRK x 3 
            GREECE x  5
            INDIA x 3          
            ITALY x 141
            MIDDLE EAST x 6
            N'AFRICA x 32
            N'AFRICA/ITALY x 28
            NW'EUROPE x 216
            SICILY x 2
            SYRIA x 1
            UK x 2
            W'EUROPE x 109
            WESTERN DESERT x 44
 
Dog-tags that have been sent home x 27

 " " in the post x 1

 " " waiting to go in the post x 5

 " " awaiting addresses from the families x 14

 
After a long summer of playing with family and doing what most of you 'regular' folks do, we have started to get back to work on the forgotten Army. Two quick trips to dig more dog-tags have reveal some more interesting stories from World War 2. Not only plenty of wounded reports and POWs but another deserter who is an interesting case. Trooper G PARKER 7916866 deserted from Farnham Camp West (Eastern Command) really late in the war, on the 05/09/1945. What made him desert, we have no idea, or even if he was dragged back to camp my the MP's kicking and screaming, or if he wandered in and said "I'm back!" We do now that he was taken to military court martial and there the accused entered a plea of guilty to the charge of desertion. He was sentenced to 18 months hard labour, which seems insane as the war is almost over. From what we have learnt about these dog-tag serial numbers, I think he volunteered for the Army which makes this case a little more peculiar. 
Now although he got his initial punishment of 18 months hard labour there is a second report that was filed a month later. In this it simply reads the same charge of desertion and the same details, yet the punishment is 168 days detention. I believe he was retried and given a lighter sentence, possible as the war was all but over and the last thing the military wants is to be stuck guarding people, feeding people, finding things for them to do and prolonging the demob process with dead weight.  
 
Now aside from naughty PARKER, I have come across many many gallantry medal winners, some of the recommendation papers read like snippets from war stories. Others being so vague on details that they almost hardly seem worth of lunch, let alone being awarded a medal. 

One of the most striking for me has to be DRAPER DF 7955283,
He was awarded the Military Medal on the 15th June 1944 in Normandy, his mention in the London Gazette was on the 31st August 1944 as shown right.
The description of the actions which won his immediate award of the medal are spectacular. Putting his own life at risk when most peoples natural reactions would have been to get out and take cover.
Of course as well as finding some great snippets of history from these dog-tags we are still returning them. 
Since the last update we have returned (*denotes photograph at the bottom of the page)
BREWERTON J 6468150* Reconnaissance Corps back to his daughter in Yorkshire
FOLLOWELL RA 14355511 2nd Northamptonshire Yeomanry returned to his family in Aylesbury. Followell was a POW during the war and was held at Stalag 4b Muhlberg and was given the POW number 71018, his report states he was captured in Western Europe on the 04/08/1944.
MUSGROVE FWC 7889536 1st Northamptonshire Yeomanry was wounded on 20/07/1944, his tag his been sent out to his family in New Zealand!
POW WHC 322544 of the Wiltshire Yeomanry has been sent home to his son Barry in Wiltshire. Barry confirmed that his Dad was at Monte Cassino and served as a gunner on a Matilda tank. He fought through Africa and Italy and Katey is helping him to get his records from the archives at Bovington. So possibly more details on him later!
EDYVEAN-WALKER GR 19036917, is actually GP! Not the first mistake we have had on a dog-tag, with these never being issued, nobody would know any better.  This has been sent out to his wife and son in Tewkesbury.
DECECCO AL 14201735 - not much to say about him yet, except his tag is on the way home to his daughter Merilyn. Fingers crossed for more information later.
DUFFIELD NG 14726849 is a real pleasure to return, as Norman Duffield is still alive and so can finally after all these years be issued his dog-tag. He served during WW2 and post war. He served firstly with the infantry and then joined 2nd RTR where he worked with Churchill Tanks and Comets as well as various lorries. He was captured right near the end of the war and was liberated by the Russians. He then served as part of the occupation force in Germany.  
MACARI J 3186706 Kings Own Scottish Border - dog-tag is being sent out to the family, all the way out in Florida!
BERRIDGE PAK 14485640 was kept on the original cord when we found it. Lots of these cords were so tangled together that we had to cut them, just to be able to sort them out. Now, most people are really excited when we call to send the dog-tags to them, some get very confused at first "tags??? For Dogs???" but once Katey explains all about the project people are always excited. We have had a couple of people tell us all about the relation and then to say that they don't really want the dog-tags. The just are people who don't really own possessions and I don't have a problem with that. In one example of this the soldier served with the SAS in Africa. We had two tags to him, the family didn't want them, so I have one framed up and the other is in the post to Katey as we speak! We are more than happy to become custodians! However, withe BERRIDGE, Katey tracked the family down, and he is still alive. Fantastic, however upon phoning she was met with instant hostility and wasn't given the chance to explain anything at all. The line "were not interest, go away" is the one that I think of each time this name pops up. However, as this whole thing I think is just a misunderstanding and their fear of scam/prank/nuisance callers, I have posted it out to them anyway with a covering letter explaining everything. If they really don't want it, then they can throw it in the bin. We tried. 
 
JD Brewertonss dog-tag now displayed along side his medals and cap badge. JD shown right on his wedding day, still in uniform, this is just postwar, his demob suit wasn't ready in time!