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Relic watch - Positive ID made

Article about: Well done Steve,its a credit to you,and this Forum, setting a wonderfull example. Kind Regards Mike

  1. #1

    Default Relic watch - Positive ID made

    Hi all

    Well, I can hardly contain my excitement.

    I have just spent 20 minutes on the telephone to the brother of the owner of the watch I found last friday, Edward Jelks.

    Edward has confirmed that Oliver Jelks was indeed in the USAAF and based in England between 1942 and 1945. He ended the war with the rank of Captain and was a pilot. However, due to a problem with his inner ear he remained grounded for most of the war. Edward himself served in the US navy in the South Pacific.

    What is especially spooky is that Edward is a professor in archaeology !!!

    Oliver Jelks died in the early 90's and left only his third wife behind on this earth. He never had any children. Unfortunately this third wife is suffering from dementia, god bless her, and Edward has explained that she is in no condition to even realise what the relic is, let alone who it belonged to.

    So, the watch will be returned to Edward Jelks. Edward has also told me he plans to have the watch mounted in a frame with a suitable history displayed in the frame as well, detailing who the watch belonged to and how it came to be returned to the family almost 70 years after being lost.

    The icing on the cake is that Edward has got photographs of Oliver in his uniform and will be sending them to me in the next couple of days. What would really finish me off is if you can see the watch on Oliver's wrist in the picture !!! That would put the cherry on the icing

    This is how I found Oliver Jelks.

    I suppose I was a touch lucky with this find as the surname is so unusual. A search of the internet quickly returned a site run by a member of the Jelks family in the USA. He is trying to complete the Jelks family tree and is tracing all the Jelks's in the USA. I e-mailed him and he confirmed he knew of one Oliver R Jelks Jnr who was a lieutenant in the US army in WW2. I thought that was a dead end until Ade pointed out that the Army WERE the airforce back in WW2, (thanks Ade ), United States Army Air Force (stupid of me I know but sometimes little things slip ones mind !!)

    I then searched the US national archives (NARA) (put that in google and you'll find it easily), as their archive is open for public viewing, free, with no registration required. I quickly tracked down an archive with over 8 million entries entitled 'USA Enlistment records 1938 - 1946'. A search of Jelks returned just 15 results, only one of which was 'Oliver', and that was Oliver R Jelks Jnr. It stated he was born in Georgia (this tied in with information I already had), and served in the Air Corps. BINGO !

    In the mean time, another member of the Jelks family e-mailed me to say that she had the address and phone number of who she believed to be Oliver Jelks brother, Edward Jelks. As I read that, another e-mail turned up also confirming this information.

    What are you going to do ????? You just HAVE TO RING HIM ! So I did.

    And that's where the story has got to at the minute.

    The watch, lost 68 years ago by his brother, returned to the family.

    I am so thrilled.

    Steve T
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Relic watch - Positive ID made   Relic watch - Positive ID made  

  2. #2

    Default Re: Relic watch - Positive ID made


    Cheers, Ade.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Relic watch - Positive ID made

    Steve. That is a fantastic story, and hat's off to a true gentleman. Not many would have even contemplated giving it back. You're a star mate. And so personal too. But I know exactly how you feel, I felt the same when I found G.Nugent.

    Well done mate

  4. #4

    Default Re: Relic watch - Positive ID made

    Very nice Steve...........i am glad to see that you succeeded in finding the is an amazing story to see these old relics reunited with members of the family........a fine job and it is just yet another reflection of the good members of this forum

  5. #5

    Default Re: Relic watch - Positive ID made

    Great work Steve
    The gates of hell were opened and we accepted the invitation to enter" 26/880 Lance Sgt, Edward Dyke. 26th Bn Northumberland Fusiliers , ( 3rd Tyneside Irish )

    1st July 1916

    Thought shall be the harder , heart the keener,
    Courage the greater as our strength faileth.
    Here lies our leader ,in the dust of his greatness.
    Who leaves him now , be damned forever.
    We who are old now shall not leave this Battle,
    But lie at his feet , in the dust with our leader

    House Carles at the Battle of Hastings

  6. #6

    Default Re: Relic watch - Positive ID made

    Hi Steve T.Have just read your post.Fascinating story and congratulations on finding the family to return the watch.I would love to do the same thing.Im not shure that Coca Cola/Budweiser would like me to return the amount of there tops im finding at the moment though !.Well done and all the best.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Relic watch - Positive ID made

    Many thanks guys.

    I am so chuffed I can't think what else to write !

    Steve T

  8. #8

    Default Re: Relic watch - Positive ID made

    Awesome work Steve, you and anyone else who have done something like this, wether its recovering the remains of forgotten soldiers or taking the time to research and track down the owner of something or his/her family has my upmost respect Really are a credit to the hobby and what its about



  9. #9

    Default Re: Relic watch - Positive ID made

    What a result! Well done Steve . Thanks for the NARA link. That's given me hope and more inspiration for my quest. Brilliant result mate!!!


  10. #10

    Default Re: Relic watch - Positive ID made

    Great story Steve , i feel the excitement in your posting , awesome mate , cheers Raymond

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