On December 3, a group of volunteers went on a treasure hunt to salvage historical artifacts near the northern city of Hadera.
But even Gan Erez, the owner of a metal-detector company, couldn't believe his eyes. "I froze," he told Ynet in an interview.
It was a dog tag belonging to a Scottish soldier named Lieutenant James Clark, an infantry commander who served in British Mandate Palestine in the 1940s. His battalion was stationed in the northern city of Atlit. Searches for the soldier's family have been ongoing since.
"[The volunteers] come with me to all kinds of historical and heritage sites all over Israel. We find all kinds of things, mainly from the British Mandate, and then we donate them to museums and archives," Erez said.
"Netanel Farhi, a friend of mine, found this incredible dog tag. It has so much information imprinted on it, including the soldier's ID number, name and the unit he served in, his military rank and even his religion. Clark's unit served nearby and he apparently lost his dog tag while strolling along the beach."
"It was very exciting," said Netanel Farhi, who found the prized artifact. "It was like a voyage through time. The biggest experience will be finding his family so I can return it to them. I've already approached dozens of Facebook groups that deal with WWII. There was also a huge story in a Scottish newspaper.
"I've also approached the Israeli embassy in Britain and the British embassy in Israel. The problem is that the name James Clark is very common. We need the British defense ministry to provide some info about him. Date of birth, date of death and the town he was from. When we get those details, it'll be much easier to track his family down.
"I won't give up until I find them," Farhi said. "I'm very resolute about this and I'll stick to the goal of seeing the smile on his family's faces."