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RCAF Bracelet Mystery Solved

By Elinor Florence

Bracelet with initials ed feature

Four long years ago, reader Emily Tucker of North Battleford, Saskatchewan, asked me to find the owner of this Royal Canadian Air Force souvenir bracelet. After an exhaustive search, I located the owner's brother in Cambridge, Ontario!

The mystery surfaced way back in 2013 after Emily Tucker of North Battleford, Saskatchewan sent me photographs of a bracelet bearing the name "Barnes, J. M. J." She found the bracelet in her uncle Lige's effects long after he died, but she had no idea where it came from.

Emily knows little about Lige’s service overseas. She recalls seeing letters sent from him when he was in Europe, bearing lots of holes cut out by the censor..... So when she sorted through his things, Emily generously decided to return the bracelet to J. M. J. Barnes, or a family member. She asked for my help in finding the rightful owner.

Over the past four years, I have been using all my sleuthing skills to find the bracelet’s owner.... The bracelet bears the number W301958, the name “Barnes, J.M.J.” and the date: January 10, 1942. On the opposite side is the RCAF crest, shown here.... Because I had her service number, Veterans Affair Canada was able to tell me that her name was Jean Muriel Jane Barnes. It wouldn’t release any other information because I wasn’t a family member.

I didn’t know whether Jean was still living.... I posted about her on various websites and Facebook groups, hoping someone might recognize the name.... I was still hoping that someone might read my website and know something about the bracelet’s owner. But as the years passed, I began to lose heart.

Finally, in one last-ditch attempt, I wrote up a brief item and sent it to the Legion Magazine, where it was posted in The Lost Trails section. And who should read the item but Jean's youngest brother and only surviving sibling, 88-year-old Jack Barnes of Cambridge, Ontario!

To read the rest of the story and fine out who Jean Barnes was, please go to Elinor's blog at