Memory of a mate makes its way home

FIVE months after it was lost in Griffith a bracelet honouring a fallen soldier has made

its way back to its rightful owner.

When James Barden realised the treasured bracelet he had made up in memory of his

mate, Private Robert Poate, who was killed in action in Afghanistan in August last year, was

missing, he thought he’d never see it again.

Born and raised at Tabbita near Griffith, James and his brother, Jack, who were deployed to Afghanistan together in 2012 serving with the Royal Australian Infantry, were back in town to help celebrate their grandparents 80th birthday when the bracelet was misplaced.

“Most people would look at it and think it was just a bracelet, as it isn’t valuable, but it

does hold a lot of sentimental value,” Jack said.

“The bracelets we wear are engraved with ‘In loving memory of PTE Robert Poate KIA 29-

Aug-2012, forever loved Brothers By Choice’.

“My brother met him first when he joined and then I met him when I went to visit the barracks.

He was a larrikin and definitely said what he thought. He made his own beer and

called it Potential, he was hilarious.

“He was a close mate to us both and this bracelet is a reminder to us every day of his sacrifice for his brothers and for his country. I haven’t taken it off since I got mine. James was

pretty upset when he lost his. He’d given up hope and didn't think he’d ever see it again.”

Against all odds the bracelet did find its way home thanks to an unknown local who handed

it in to police.

“A big thank you to the person who handed it in and also a massive thank you to Constable

Marsh from the NSW Police Force for returning it to my brother, it was a long task to track

down the owner and he did it without complaint,” Jack said.


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