The silver ID bracelet of a Canadian soldier, lost on the battlefields of the First World War, has been returned to the Erickson family after it was found in a box of junk in Vancouver.
Military historian Peter Czink was looking through a box of scrap silver set to be melted down, when he spotted the bracelet, which reads Lt. O. L. Erickson, C of E, 78th Batt. Canadians.
Czink discovered the bracelet belonged to decorated soldier Oscar Erickson, father of Vancouver's most prominent architect Arthur Erickson, who died in 2009.
"The mystery is how this got out of his family," said Czink, who has gifted the bracelet to the soldier's other son, Don Erickson. "I'm thrilled it's going to the right hands."
According to Erickson, his father almost didn't make it back from the First World War. The soldier lost both legs and wrote the girl he left behind — Myrtle Chatterson — a letter calling off their engagement.
"He said, 'We are engaged to be married but it's impossible for us to go through with this, I'm only half a man'," said Erickson.
"She wrote back and said, 'You promised me you would marry me and you're going to live up to it.'"
The soldier, who used a pair of metal legs due to his disability, returned from the battlefields, married Chatterson as promised and had two children, Arthur and Don.
Now almost a century later, Erickson was overwhelmed to have his father's bracelet returned.
"I can't tell you how much this means. Oh boy. My family will be absolutely thrilled."