The family of World War One digger Private Cyril McCarthy, who lost his dog tag in a French paddock, may soon be reunited with the memento.

Bernie McCarthy, the soldier's grandson who now lives in Sydney, was tracked down following .

Lost Medals Australia's Lieutenant Colonel Glyn Llanwarne OAM, received several hundred emails following publication of the story.

One email from a researcher with the Australian Surname Group stood out.

She did a little extra investigating and found Bernie McCarthy’s telephone number.

Initially skeptical of Lt Col Llanwarne's telephone call, the younger McCarthy is now thrilled to learn that a memento of his grandfather will soon be back in Australia.

"My grandfather was a character in every sense," Mr McCarthy said.

"He was his own person, a straight shooter and had a strong anti-establishment personality, which I believe was a legacy of his time spent in the army during WWI."

Unfortunately, Cyril's three sons, John, Leo and Daniel, have all died.

Leo passed away only last month.

Mr McCarthy says he had always been aware of the terrible hardship the diggers endured on the Western Front.

But it was not until learning of the discovery of his grandfather’s dog tag that it has become more poignant.

"I've always known about those poor buggers in those conditions but it (the dog tag) makes it more personal," he said.

"It is truly gratifying to see that there are good people around who still care and have respect for the efforts of all those who risked all in the service of their countries, even after almost 100 years having now passed.”

The young Frenchman who made the discovery, 18-year-old Valentin Henon, is keen to come to Australia to present the dog tag to Bernie in person.

 

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