A CYCLIST has found a postcard, written by a Fremantle WWI digger who’d died from battle wounds, stuck on a fence on Graham Farmer Freeway.
Milton Mavrick had been on his weekly leisure ride to the city when the black-and-white postcard blown against a fence caught his eye near East Parade.
The North Perth man initially rode past, but something about that bit of card made him turn back.
“I was blown away with what I found,” the 61-year-old says.
“It’s not the first time I’ve found something. I’ve found a wallet and a $5 note there before. I have one rule, mainly for safety: don’t stop unless it’s worth more than $2 or more. I pass so many $1 coins.”
Instead of handing the postcard to police, which he usually does with valuable items, Mr Mavrick decided to play Sherlock Holmes.
The postcard—written by Lance Sergeant James “Jim” Turner in 1916 and addressed to his father, Walter, who had lived on Alexander St, Fremantle—has an image of cars and pedestrians on the Paris’ Avenue du Bois de Boulogne, which is now called Avenue Foch.
Part of Turner’s message reads: “We are out of the trenches and we have been ‘on the wallaby’ somewhere in Paris for the last few days.”
He then goes on to talk about the weather and a meal he had just eaten for dinner.
Mr Mavrick misread Turner’s surname and unsuccessfully searched for “Twrner” in the phone book and online for potential descendants. He handed it in to Fremantle council and the postcard is being kept at the Fremantle History Centre until the owner comes forward.
Turner, a 28th Battalion soldier in the Australian Imperial Force, was one of “849 Fremantle servicemen and women” who died in the war. On June 10, 1918, the digger was severely injured during a battle in Morlancourt, a regional district about 140km north of Paris. He was buried in Querrieu British Cemetery, France, in plot B36.
Turner’s name will be honoured on a plaque unveiling at the Fremantle ANZAC Day service at Monument Hill War Memorial, at 5.50am April 25.
If anyone recognises the postcard, call the council on 9432 9999.
by EMMIE DOWLING