Detective gets war-time prize back to family
IT was just a simple pewter cup, lying with a pile of other items at a car boot sale.
David Merritt liked the look of it so he bought it.
That was 11 years ago and might have been the end of the story.
But something about that little cup was nagging at former detective Mr Merritt.
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There was a name on it of an American bomber pilot.
Eventually Mr Merritt could stand it no more and set out on a journey to find the cup's original owner.
It is a journey which will ultimately see the cup go on its own trip — across the Atlantic.
Mr Merritt, from Gowerton, originally hails from Cheltenham, and it was there, more than a decade ago, that he purchased the cup.
It was inscribed with the name of American bomber pilot George Dashley, who had been stationed at RAF Chelverston.
It has sat at Mr Merritt's home ever since, but his interest piqued and he finally began to do some research.
And with a nose for detection, honed from 25 years in the force, he managed to connect the name to Fort Bliss in Texas.
"I'm interested in antiques, and I was looking at this cup, and I thought, this belongs with that chap.
"There is a symbol on the cup of a clenched fist, and I managed to trace it to the American military base Fort Bliss.
"So I got in touch with them, to see if they could help.
"I was delighted when I received a letter this week."
The letter was from a woman called Vicki Dashley, a vet from El Paso, who identified herself as George Dashley's granddaughter.
"She said she was grateful that I had got in touch, and that she would very much like to see the cup, and offered to pay for its delivery.
"I will send it over to her, because it belongs to her family.
"I'm just glad it has ended up where it should."