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Appeal to find descendents of owner of mystery First World War bullet

A grandfather is appealing for help in finding the descendents of the owner of a mystery bullet he has traced around the world to Maidenhead.

David Murray, 67, bought the cartridge, along with several other ‘odds and sods’ from the First World War in Belgium several years ago.

However, it was only recently while preparing to move house he realised the trinket held a secret – a business card rolled up inside, bearing the name Gunner E.A. Kermode and marked Headquarters Staff of the NZFA, the New Zealand Field Artillery. Now he hopes the cartridge can be reunited with Gunner Kermode’s family.

“My ex sister-in-law lived in Bruges and I started going to Belgium in the Seventies,” said the retired firefighter, from Alkrington, in Greater Manchester.

“Every year in Ypres they stop all the traffic and firemen play The Last Post and when I saw this it sparked an interest in the First World War.

“I wasn’t a big collector but I was in a shop and I found this box and there was a bullet in it.

“I knew it was a dead bullet and there was no powder in it, and it’s moved around the coun-try with me ever since.

“I suspect it was quite thick paper so I think it was a business card and with the wonders of the internet I put the name and number into Google and it came up with an address in New Zealand.”

After contacting the New Zealand Herald newspaper, Gunner Kermode, whose full name was Edward Arthur Kermode, was traced to an address in Wellington, where he married in 1929 before moving to Southern Rhodesia, then South Africa. He died in Maidenhead in 1968.

He had two children, Mary and Timothy, who were both listed on the electoral roll for Maidenhead in 2007.

Asked why he thought it was important to try and track down the family, Mr Murray said: “I could say we’re just trying to get rid of some junk before we move, but a bullet takes up very little room.

“My own father fought in the last war and his medals have been knocking around for years and a few months ago I thought I should get them framed and that put me in the mindset.

“I know if someone had the same kind of thing for my dad I would want to do the same, and as I get older I think more about this.”

Call the Advertiser newsroom on 01628 680680 if you can help.

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