ONE of Dorset's leading animal welfare charities is looking to trace the owner of a historic Second World War document.

Volunteers at the Margaret Green Animal Rescue charity shop in Winton, Bournemouth, believe the Soldiers Service and Pay Book was unwittingly dropped off by someone connected to the family of David George Robert Houseman, which is the name on the document.

Margaret Green commercial manager Jenni Wilkinson said: "We don't think anyone would have meant to donate it, so have hung onto it hoping they might come back in. But they may not even have realised that it was in the things they gave away.

"We are hoping to track down the Houseman family so we can return it to them."

The pay book is dated 1939, the year the Second World War started. It shows that David Houseman, born in 1918, enlisted in Brighton. Unfortunately his home address from that time has been covered up.

Jenni said: "At Margaret Green we rescue and rehome more than 1,300 animals a year at our three centres in Dorset and Devon. With no government funding we rely heavily on donations with 100 per cent of everything raised going directly to the care and welfare of our animals.

"To help us fund our research for those perfect 'forever homes' we have started to open our retail charity shops."

One of Margaret Green's centres is situated at Church Knowle, near Corfe Castle.

During the Second World War soldiers were personally responsible for the safe custody of their pay books, and had to carry them on their person at all times.

Servicemen and women were permitted to keep their books after being discharged, and many of them became treasured family keepsakes.

If you have any information about the Soldiers Service and Pay Book contact Jenni Wilkinson, at Margaret Green Animal Rescue, via