Teenager reunites Australian airman's dog tag with his family

A teenager from Askham-in-Furness, near Ulverston, has reunited an identity tag from an Australian airman with his family.

Warrant Officer William Earnest Wills is believed to have trained up the fell Black Combe while based at Haverigg during the Second World War.

When Max Hazlehurst walked the fell, after his holiday to Cornwall was cancelled, he found the airman's dog tag and has now been able to send it to his family in Australia.

Max sent the dog tags back to the family in Australia. Credit: ITV News

Max said: "I was just looking around for something like a bug or lizard, something like that and then I saw about a centimeter of it under a rock and then I lifted the rock up and then I saw the chain. I thought it was a dog collar but then I saw the tag.

"When we got home, my Mum put it on Facebook thinking someone had just lost it and then my Step Uncle sent us a link saying who he was, where he was from, stuff like that, and then it just blew up on Facebook."

An Australian historian heard Max's story and found his daughters. The youngest was just three years old when her father died, so this connection to him is special.

Speaking to ITV Border Sharon Whiteford said: "My first reaction was, 'oh this is a scam, don't get yourself so emotional about it,' then we realized that in fact it was very real and then the excitement; the emotion; the joy; the tears.

"It's just an absolutely fabulous, really heart-warming experience for us because you know we lost him such a long time ago that this brings him back to us and it's really special."

Officer William Earnest Wills. Credit: Family photo

Mr Wills died at the age of 43 while working in the mining industry in his home country.

Max has now posted his historic find to the other side of the world. A good deed and a real life history lesson that's made him quite famous this week.

He said: "It's definitely been a bit of a different experience, I wasn't expecting it when I found it. It's just to find out that it was something, it's pretty remarkable."