Father's wartime water bottle a piece of history returned to family

A CUNNING plan was hatched as part of Tony Robinson’s Tour of Duty program to unite an Orange woman with a piece of her family’s history on Sunday. 

A quick Google search triggered a chain of events which resulted in Mrs Derrick taking possession of her father’s wartime water bottle. 

“For no apparent reason, I Googled my father’s name and found him on Medals Gone Missing,” she said.

Mrs Derrick said she had her father’s medals,  so she thought it was odd his name was registered with the non-for-profit organisation, which aimed to reunite families with missing medals, so she contacted administrator Gary Traynor. 

“We hadn’t been able to connect until Sunday ... he said Tour of Duty was interested in it [her story] and asked if I’d like to meet in Bathurst,” she said. 

The 10-part program, which will air on Foxtel, was part-filmed in Bathurst over the weekend.

STORY: TONY HEADS TO BATHURST ON TOUR OF DUTY

Host Tony Robinson was on hand to return the historic item to Mrs Derrick. 

“It was interesting to meet someone of his experience,” she said. 

Mrs Derrick’s father Lindsay Harden fought in World War II in 2/4th light anti-aircraft regiment in Tobruck, El Alamein and New Guinea and was the last owner, from a long list, of the water bottle. 

“The army was known for re-using things,” she said. 

Mr Harden’s  name was written on the shoulder strap of the bottle along with others, some from World War I.

He died in 1987.

Mrs Derrick said it was fantastic to have the bottle, because in some respects it said more about her father’s time in the war than his medals. 

“It is such an intimate thing to have, he drank from it and carried it with him everywhere,” she said.  

“It was very special ... I was very excited.”

nicole.kuter@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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