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Wimborne sisters given World War II goggles that may have belonged to their dad
A REMARKABLE World War II tale has taken a new twist.
Two years ago the Daily Echo reported how Wimborne sisters Barbara Wheeler, 75, and Doreen Moxham, 70, discovered more about how their dad, Private William Kimber – known as Frank – was killed in the conflict.
It came about after Hazel Clarke, from Canford Heath , and her American pen-friend Jo Shipley put an appeal in the newspaper to trace the sisters, whose father was a prisoner of war on the same German transport train as Jo’s uncle when it came under attack by American planes in France during the latter days of World War Two.
Frank was killed in the attack, while Jo’s uncle, John Wonning, survived.
The women met up in 2010, finally shedding light on what happened to Frank.
Jo, 57, from Kentucky, continued to research the tale in Langeais, France, and it was publicised in a magazine there.
To her surprise, a woman who was a Red Cross volunteer at the scene of the tragedy in 1944 came forward with some motorcycle goggles she recovered that day and had kept for 65 years.
She told Jo she wanted them to go to someone they would mean something to and, after identifying that they were British rather than American, she returned to Wimborne to give them to Doreen and Barbara.
Frank was a motorcycle courier, so there is a chance they belonged to him, although Jo cannot be certain.
Barbara said: “I can see them on his face because I remember him being on a motorbike and he would put them on his forehead.
“It gave me a cold shiver all over to see them.”
Doreen, who never knew her father, added: “I didn’t know my dad and a lump came right up in my throat, I wanted to cry.”
Villagers still commemorate the tragedy annually.