Because the material says things like "found near Vimy" and it's obviously in "excavated" condition rather than "found in barn" condition.
Many men where knocked to spots by shelling, many others fell and were not recovered or pitched in shell-holes in the chaos. Missing often did mean just that.
I am not talking about material acquired from family, such as medals and letters but the actual kit carried by Tommy or Fritz when he was killed. The British had pressed fibre identity tags which
don't survive well in the soil so personal artefacts found on the skeleton are often the only means of identity.
From: C.H.McGovern [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: 07 July 2003 17:52
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: metal detectors selling on ebay
I do not understand why you think that such material - I assume you are
referring to dog tags etc. are obviously looted from bodies found on the
battlefield?! I would be most interested to know your source. In the first
instance many of bodies of the men who lost their lives in this particular war
were very sadly blown to bits - there was nothing left to loot, relatives only
being informed of the death when the dog tags were found.
The people who sell such items on ebay etc. are often dealers who have
acquired the items from the present families of the deceased who unfortunately
no longer have an interest in the items. I think it is great that these items
are sold on to collectors who are preserving these items for future
generations and they will not just go out with the rubbish as so many of these
things sadly do.
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