Family is amazed to find a World War II dog tag belonging to their grandfather that been lost for nearly 70 years hidden behind a mantelpiece
- The dog tag of WWII soldier Andrew McNeill was found behind a mantlepiece
- It was discovered at his former home in Canberra after it was lost for 70 years
- His family were amazed the tag survived decades and a prisoner-of-war camp
A family were amazed to find their grandfather’s World War II dog tag behind a mantlepiece after it was missing for 70 years.
The dog tag was discovered when a home in the Canberra suburb of Reid was undergoing renovations last year.
The tag was identified as belonging to Andrew McNeill, who was captured as a prisoner of war in Singapore in 1942.
His granddaughter Toni McNeill told the ABC: ‘It’s a piece of our grandad that he carried with him all the time when he was a prisoner of war – it’s a very special thing for us’.
A family were reunited with their grandfather’s World War II dog tag (pictured) that was found behind a mantlepiece in his former Canberra home after it was lost for 70 years
The McNeill family were reunited with their grandfather’s possession after a builder pulled off the fireplace mantlepiece at Mr McNeill’s former home.
The builder, co-incidentally named Robin McNeill, saw the dog tag fall to the ground and noticed it was branded with the number NX52255 and the name A McNeill.
He contacted the Australian War Memorial and began an eight-month-long search for the tag’s rightful owners.
Andrew McNeill (pictured) enlisted in 1940 and was captured as a prisoner-of-war in 1942
The McNeill family were overjoyed to receive their grandfather’s lost dog tag.
‘To be reunited with it after eight months of searching by those people is an extraordinary effort and we are very grateful,’ Ms McNeill said.
The family documented that Mr McNeill was part of the militia before enlisting in World War II in 1940 with the 2/20 Battalion.
He later served in the 22 HQ Brigade and was captured as a prisoner-of-war at the fall of Singapore in early 1942.
Mr McNeill’s family said they were amazed the dog tag had survived the conditions at the prisoner-of-war camp and several decades in the Canberra home.
His granddaughter noted the veteran was a kind man who did not often speak of his time in the war.
‘Given that he lived through horrors that we could not even begin to imagine, and came out the other end as such a good man, I think is the mark of extraordinary character,’ Ms McNeill said.
The family explained Mr McNeill moved into the Canberra home after returning to Australia and lived there for the remainder of his life.