WWI Dog Tags Found in Sefton Park in Liverpool

Thomas Evans holds the WW1 Canadian dog tag he found back in 1991 planting daffodil bulbs for the Field of Hope in Sefton Park. Photo by Colin Lane

A man in Liverpool has the hopes to reunite a soldier’s ID from the First World War to their descendants—almost a century after the tags were lost in the city. Thomas Evans was at the Field of Hope in Sefton Park planting daffodil bulbs when he discovered the Canadian dog tags over 20 years ago. Evans told the Liverpool Echo: “I was digging, and six inches down I came across this ID with a name on it.

“It also had the date, June, 1917.

“I wasn’t sure what to do with it, so I’ve held on to it ever since and I’d love to find out who it belonged to.” The name on the dog tags said they belonged to Mr. L. W. Cadman and it also had a Canadian Army service number inscribed on them. The Echo investigations into the tags have discovered they belonged to Leopold Wellington Cadman, a Canadian infantryman. He was born in Anderson Settlement, New Brunswick in May of 1880. Cadman was married to a woman named Mabel and he had three daughters: Alberta, Aubrey, and Vessa. He signed up to the military in Halifax, Nova Scotia on October 28, 1915 and he served with the 85th Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force—the Nova Scotia Highlanders.

Cadman was described as 5’7” tall with black hair and blue eyes. His chest measured 38 inches.  Though there is no evidence of a personal link between Cadman and Liverpool, the Nova Scotia Highlanders fought in the Northern part of France in the spring and summer of 1917. There is one record that suggests Private Cadman was wounded at Lens in the later part of June 1917 which could link him to the date on the ID that was uncovered in Sefton Park. This would mean that he may have been sent to a military hospital in the area for treatment or he spent some time in the area before he went back home to Canada.

Evans went on to say: “I would really like to know what happened to Private Cadman, and I’d love to be able to return this ID to a member of his family after holding on to it for all these years.”  Anyone with information about Leopold Cadman should email catherine.jones@liverpool.com or call 0151-472 2459.

Evette Champion

Evette Champion is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE