Historical treasure hunters find Scottish soldier's tag from World War II in Hadera

A team of volunteers interested in finding historical items and sending them back to museums uncovered tags for a Scottish soldier who served in British Mandate Palestine during WWII.

A man uses a metal detector on the beach. (photo credit: REUTERS/HENRY NICHOLLS)
A man uses a metal detector on the beach.
(photo credit: REUTERS/HENRY NICHOLLS)

A man in Hadera found a bracelet believed to belong to a Scottish soldier named Lieutenant James Clark, dating back nearly 80 years. Now, he is searching tirelessly to locate the soldier's family in the hopes of returning the artifact to its rightful owner.

In a Facebook post on December 21, 2022, Gan Erez of Hadera, Israel posted to share his findings from the day. Erez, whose profile photo suggests an interest in treasure hunting, posing with a beachside metal detector, shared the details of his findings in the hopes of piecing together one soldier's story.

The bracelet held important information such as name, rank, role, religion, and unit name.

More details about this mysterious soldier came to light as the investigation continued. Lieutenant Clark was stationed with his battalion in Atlit, Israel during World War II as a trinity officer and a Scottish company commander.

Treasure hunting with a mission

Erez is far more than just a treasure hunter - he owns and operates a metal detector company that set out on a mission to find historical items in a group search on December 3rd, 2022. "I could not believe my eyes," Erez said upon making his shocking discovery.

 ATLIT DETAINEE CAMP MUSEUM (credit: ANAT HERMONY/FLASH90) ATLIT DETAINEE CAMP MUSEUM (credit: ANAT HERMONY/FLASH90)

“Since I started my search efforts for him, I haven't stopped trying and imagining what Officer Clark looks like.”

Gan Erez

"I decided to turn the world and find a picture of the officer, and also to look for his relatives in the UK in order to return the bracelet to them, which will surely make them very happy," Erez wrote in his post. 

"Since I started my search efforts for him, I haven't stopped trying and imagining what Officer Clark looks like. Yesterday, it finally happened and they sent me a picture of him from the archives of his unit in the UK," he ecstatically shared in an interview with Ynet. "Now, I will continue to work with full force to locate his family and my soul will not rest until I find them."

Erez guides a group of volunteers from throughout the country that sets out to find historical items, typically from the British Mandate period, and collects them to be donated back to the source. "We find fascinating things and donate them to museums, visitor centers and archives," Erez stated.