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27 August 2014
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WW2 - People's War

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About the contributor

Douglas Norman
User ID: U847110

My story happened one day in January 1942. At the time I was a lad of 11 years old living at Rose Cottage, Flixton, near Lowestoft with my family. On looking out of the window I saw snow laying on the ground and went out to play, but as i went to leave the house, just outside the back door was a dead blackbird. Nothing unusual in that, except that on closer inspection I found it had an aluminium ring on its leg. I can still remember it as it if were yesterday - the ring itselt was about an inch long and 3/16" wide when opened up and bore the words:
"SCHARNHORST GNEISENAU + PRINZ EUGEN, NEWFOUNDLAND 01234567890 GERMANIA".
I took the ring to the local police station at Oulton. The policemen at the time was PC Millar who said that if it was of any use to the war effort I would be informed after the war. This was about a week before these German battleships broke out of Brest Harbour and escaped to Germany through the English Channel. What I would like to know is if there is any record of blackbirds being used in this way during the war.
I only hope this account can be of some use to your research. If you can throw any light on this I would very much like to know.

Stories contributed by Douglas Norman

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