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Message #21692

Board Name: England Genealogy
Aurel Sercu Ieper, Belgium Nov 24, 2000
I am spokesman of the Diggers, a team of amateur-archaeologists who have been active for the past years on a W.W. I battlefield at Boezinge, near Ieper (Ieper), Belgium.

Some days ago we found shreds of a canvas (tent or raincoat). Yesterday night (it was after midnight) I finally found the time to examine it, a job which took a lot of patience and 2 hours. And to my amazement I found that the owner had written his name and service number in it. Twice even : once in capitals, once in normal handwriting.
His name : E. COLEMAN
His service number : 1142 (though a fragment of the canvas being lost, a figure may have preceded the first 1)

Elsewhere on the piece of canvas I read : C LF
C may stand for Company. The part before the C unfortunately was torn off ; the number of the Company?). LF probably stands for Lancashire Fusiliers. (Remains and insignia of Lancashire Fusiliers were found on the site in the past months, but also Rifle Brigade, Somerset Light Infantry, East Lancashire and York & Lancashire).

It has always been my sincere wish to hand found items to relatives of the soldier. Up to now I was successful only once (the relatives of George Herbert Parker, Barnsley, who even sent me (last September) his war medal for our exhibition).

Of course I will go to great lengths to try to contact the relatives of the owner of the canvas. My first preliminary research today taught me that, fortunately for him, the British Tommy survived the war. Unfortunately for us, if I may say so, this means that we cannot find his identity. I only have access to a list of soldiers who died or who were missing.
E. COLEMAN, number ...(?)1142 is not on the list.
Now my question : Who can tell me the way to find more about his identity (where and when he was born, the place where he lived, enlisted, his wife (?)). Does anybody have an address of an institution that can help me ? (Somebody told me of an institution in London, but they ask 20, I was told, even if their attempts are unsuccessful.)

And of course, if anybody remembers that his granddad or greatgranddad was an E. Coleman who fought near Ypres (Ieper) ... But that would be too wonderful.

Thanks to anybody who might answer.
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