A French woman who found a bag belonging to a wartime US soldier in her attic is now trying to track his family down online.
Maréva Georges, 28, and her partner Jonathan, 34, were renovating their newly-bought home in Étretat, Normandy (Seine-Maritime) and began work on the roof.
When emptying the loft of old objects, they found a large khaki bag with someone’s name and number on the side: Thomas Madden Foltz, 33103687.
There were also dates inside, which suggested the bag was from World War Two.
Ms Georges told The Connexion: “We discovered the bag among a 40 to 50cm-layer of dust, among potato sacks, blankets, and clothes that fell to the ground after my husband smashed through a wall.
"At first, I did not notice it was a G.I bag.
“[But] I saw the scriptures and name on it and understood it must have been a soldier’s bag. I love everything about World War Two. There is a strong duty of remembrance. So I started looking for his personal story, helped by his ID number.”
Speaking about the house the couple had bought, she said: “We knew that whoever bought the house in the 60s was an older person. I expected to find old objects. I did find old vinaigrette recipes, and tombstones in the backyard. But I did not expect something from the army.”
Ms Georges was immediately determined to find the family and send the bag back to them. In a TikTok video she posted, she said: “If I was the granddaughter of this man, it would be important for me to find it.”
The TikTok video has so far been viewed 150,000 times.
@villamiah_renovation Réponse à @User_Sandrine C'est dingue d'avoir pu reunir toute ses infos et cest en grande partie grâce a vous qui avez chercher avec moi alors merci ♥️ plus qu'a retrouver un de ses enfants avec ses coordonnées pour pouvoir les contacter ☺️ #teamreno #decouverte #renovation #history #ww2history #ww2 #ww2veteran #maison #urbex #renovationproject #secondeguerremondiale #genealogy #genealogie ♬ Tennessee_Imperial Orchestra - Imperial Orchestra
She also posted her campaign to find the family on Facebook, in a group about genealogy. This led her to be in contact with someone who was able to find relevant historical documents to help her search.
So far, with the help of around 10 people, she has discovered that the soldier was born on April 25, 1919, in Allegheny, Pennsylvania, and married in 1943. He served in the army from 1941 to 1946, and died in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 1971. He was also the father of three children named William, Margaret, and Kathleen.
She has also found that the soldier landed in Le Havre and was transferred to a camp in Fécamp on March 15, 1945. He then went to Berlin from March 26 to April 29.
Ms Georges is now trying to reach the family - or even meet them - to return the bag and learn more about Mr Foltz. Today, the couple are launching an appeal to find these descendants of the American veteran, who can contact them via Instagram or TikTok.