THEY’RE battered and tarnished and tied onto strings but these timeworn Army dog tags hold the secrets of one man’s harrowing WWII story.
Now grandson Adrian Simmons is hoping to find out more after discovering the tags in a box of his grandfather’s belongings following his uncle’s death.
Adrian, aged 43, from Hillsborough, Sheffield, knows few details about his grandfather George Herbert Harding, who was captured as a PoW in 1943.
George, who was known as Bert, grew up in Woodhouse before joining the Duke of Wellington Regiment when WWII broke out.
He took part in Operation Torch, the Allied invasion of North Africa in 1942, before being captured by the Germans in Italy in 1943.
One tag is proof of his incarceration in the notorious Stalag IV B PoW camp, north of Brandenburg in Germany.
Adrian said: “Among his other medals, like the Africa Star and the Italy Star, there were these Prisoner of War dog tags.
“I have shown them to other veterans, but none of them had seen anything like them before, which makes me think they must be rare.”
The dog tags – Bert’s inscribed with the PoW number 279170 – were issued to Allied prisoners by the Germans in accordance with the Geneva Convention.
Adrian said: “He was captured in 1943 and was in camp Stalag IV B until it was liberated by the Russians in 1945.
“I just want to find out more about what happened to my grandfather during his time in the war, with his regiment and especially during his time in the PoW camp.
“I wondered if anyone else in Sheffield had a similar experience and could shed some light on the story behind them.”
Anyone able to help can call Chris on 07541 111502.