South West Searchers

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Successful Public Recoveries

31st march 2017

Jon day came to the rescue of a farmer who had lost his keys in a lambing shed

after 2 hours on his hands and knees with a hand held pinpointer he found the keys

his reward was a new permission from the grateful farmer...result

Update on lost keys
If you wanted the worst detecting scenario this was it .Metal shed with metal in floor and metal pens everywhere, the sheep had freshly laid newborns some of which were still steaming and hadn't stood as yet, mums were defensive and angry , and loads of juices all over the shop..nice.
Still love a challenge, and so it was! with the deus being of no use for the most of it so it was out with the pinpointer and just about down on hands and knees nearly for two hours
close to the end of the search with only a few pens to do and had to roll over a knackered sheep who wouldn't move and hey presto they were underneath her.
The lambs were a blast, playful.
The farmer was out when i found them and when he returned i managed the old straight faced " sorry mate couldn't find em" gag on him and he looked gutted, but his face changed when i tossed him the Keys, well worth it .
A very eventful day.

nigel holt and bill tweedie went to bill`s permission in ipplepen on 3rd april 2016

a wedding ring had been lost in the hay storage

the lady was well pleased by the successful recovery as it was her husbands wedding ring

Jon day went to the aid of a young lady who had lost her engagement ring in her garden

his successful recovery certainly put a smile back on her face

Sandy and James succesful recovery of lost ring

Sandy and james forster went to the aid of gemma glover who had lost a priceless / sentimental 

eternity ring left to her by her late grand mother

the dynamic duo quickly found and returned the lost ring to a very happy young lady

26th may 2015

We had an e-mail request from Ann Dickman who was desperate for help to remove galvanised nails that had been spread all over her field and courtyard when high winds ripped the roof off her barn.

she was concerned that her animals would be injured by these nails

eight of our club members spent all day on wednesday 28th november 2012 searching for and removing these nails from her property

Ann was delighted with our club for coming to her rescue



Nigel Holt (pictured above on the right with mike holland on the left) found a world war ii US servicemans dog tag whilst on on a club dig

and passed it onto myself mike holland

i felt it would be nice to have it returned to the person who lost it or his relatives

i posted the details onto the website and received a reply and a link to a US archive database

it was not the person who had lost it but by pure luck it was his older brother and from there i then posted the story onto a the xp finds

treasure detecting forum and a guy on that forum called greg contacted the family through the american version of

The nephew of what i now know to be Stephen J petruno replied and gave me his email address and i have contacted him by email

Stephen j petruno`s daughter linda has contacted me and on the 29th october i posted her fathers dog tags to her cousin pat petruno

who will take hi-res color photos of the dog tag and send them out to all family members,then post the dog tags to linda

The family are thrilled to hear about the recovery and the return of the dog tags and they will treasure them forever

well done to Nigel for finding the dog tag and to everyone else who made the return possible

below is one of the replies to the US forum that i think says it all about this recovery

I was very surprised to receive an email from Greg via about this dog tag and pointing me to this forum. This dog tag belonged to either my father, Michael J Petruno, my uncle John J Petruno, or my uncle Stephen (Pete) J Petruno. All 3 lived next door to each other on Bachman St in Hellertown, PA during the 40's. During the war, my father was stationed in Newfoundland and Bermuda, so I suspect this is not his. I'm not sure where my uncle Pete was stationed but I don't believe he went overseas. However, my uncle John turned into kind of a family war hero. He was a medic stationed in England just prior to D-Day. He was among the first wave to invade Utah Beach on D-Day. He spent almost a year on foot, fighting across France and Germany, eventually making it to within 60 miles of Berlin where he caught pnemonia. He was sent home and discharged as the war was quickly coming to an end in Europe. My uncle received a map from the Army showing his personal path across France and Germany. Uncle John passed away about 6 years ago. My aunt is still living though, and she would be absolutely thrilled to see this dog tag. My aunt, cousins, and I would be very interested in how and where it was found.


since this reply on the finds mall website i established through us army records that the dog tags actually belonged to Stephen j Pertruno

below is an email i received from her after i contacted her to say the dog tags were actually her fathers and not her uncle`s as first thought


Hi Mike,

I just posted on the forum a "great big Thank You" to you and the entire
group, the South West Searchers.

I am so excited to be corresponding with you, since you and Nigel found my dad's WWII dog tag.

What a wonderful thing to do for veterans and their families.

All the effort that goes into locating the families is very time-consuming. I can't thank you enough and everyone else
involved for making this huge effort to return something lost to their families.

From the United States of America, living in the state of Pennsylvania, I am very grateful that you are returning my dad's dog tag.

  I know my dad, Stephen Petruno, was a proud World War II Veteran, who defended and fought for the freedom of many people.

You have given us a gift that will not be forgotten.

My cousin, Pat Petruno, has been sharing this information with me, and I have seen the photo of the South West Searchers, and the photos of you and Nigel.

Very nice. Again, thank you. If I can be of any further help, please let me know.

Linda Dull, daughter of WWII veteran, Stephen J. Petruno, U. S. Army


Linda received the dog tag today. She’s afraid to touch it – she thinks it will dissolve.

Her plan is to frame it along with a picture of her dad and hang it on the wall for all the family and friends to see

 here is an update to this amazing story Andy sabisch read the story on the finds treasure forum and contacted me to ask if he could write a

story about the dog tag for the Lost Treasures magazine in USA and also wanted to include it on the XP Website as a success story

here is a link to the story on their website



chris osborne aka ossie went to the rescue of a young lady who had lost her friends highly sentimental ring,a gift from her mother in law

she was looking after the ring for her friend whilst they visited Polzeath beach when she lost it in the sand !!!

Chris took the day off work and went to search for the lost ring with great success and returned the ring to the very relieved young lady

Who in turn returned it to the owner who is seen here celebrating the return of the ring with her mother in law