New Zealand WW1 commemoration plaque found in rubbish

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Waste disposal contractors in New Zealand have recovered a World War I memorial plaque amid a pile of rubbish.

The plaque commemorates private Ernest Wright, of 3rd Battalion, the New Zealand Rifle Brigade, who was killed in France on 23 November 1916.

Rob Wilson, operations manager at Burwood Resource Recovery Park, said that more than 40 tonnes per hour were being processed and it was sheer luck the 12 centimetre-wide penny was spotted intact.

‘Its value is not in its metal. Its value is in what it means to someone,’ he said. ‘This could’ve come from a commercial building as someone might’ve had it on their desk at work or maybe a residential house. It’s just so hard to tell.’

He added he would like to reunite the penny with its owner – presumably a relative of private Wright, who was born in Christchurch on 1 July 1887. The soldier was survived by his wife and their two children, Ella Kathleen Wright, born on 3 April 1913 and Gladys Evelyn Wright, born on 27 January 1914.

He is buried at Rue-David Military Cemetery, Fleurbaix – about 5km from Armentières.

If anyone has information that could help reunite Wright’s descendants with this penny contact rachel.young@press.co.nz.

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One Response to New Zealand WW1 commemoration plaque found in rubbish

  1. TravelingMad says:

    Wow this is amazing that it was found before being destroyed. That’s very special. I hope it returns to the family.

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