Pond tag for children's history lessons

A DOG tag belonging to a GI who served in the Second World War could be kept in Ipswich to educate children about the area's history, it was revealed today.

A DOG tag belonging to a GI who served in the Second World War could be kept in Ipswich to educate children about the area's history, it was revealed today.

Edward H Cunningham's ID tag was found in silt at the bottom of the round pond in the town's Christchurch Park, sparking a transatlantic search for information about how it came to be there.

Researchers in England and New York State in the US have tracked relatives of the soldier from Westville in Franklin County to Massachusetts, where his nephew has been able to shed some light on who he was.

Despite them uncovering that his family lived in Malone, New York State, and that he died in 1974 from a heart attack after returning from his tour in England, how the dog tag came to be at the bottom of the pond is still a mystery.

Now Ipswich Borough Council wants to include the ID disc in a permanent display to be housed in a new education centre in Christchurch Park, which is expected to be completed in October.

If relatives of the war veteran, who died aged 62, agree to the ID tag staying in Ipswich it is expected to be housed alongside an array of historically important items found alongside it in the pond since it was drained. They range from a French coin dating from 1656 and an Ipswich Farthing from 1670.

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The display will be used to teach schoolchildren about the park's history.

Sam Pollard, Christchurch Park manager, said: “I'm hoping to have a glass cabinet with all the finds of the pond. I'd like to have the dog tag with the newspaper articles from the Star beneath it.

“You can have a 600-year-old token and you can say what it was and why it was used but a personal story like Edward Cunningham's about someone who fought in the Second World War evokes memories in people.”

N Have you made an unusual find? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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