JOHN ARENDT                                MEMORIES                                Kyle Smith and Karen Smith show Charlie Bernhardt of Summerland a book they compiled, detailing Bernhardt’s time in the military in Europe during World War II.

JOHN ARENDT MEMORIES Kyle Smith and Karen Smith show Charlie Bernhardt of Summerland a book they compiled, detailing Bernhardt’s time in the military in Europe during World War II.

Bracelet returned to B.C. WWII veteran after 73 years

Summerland’s Charlie Bernhardt traded his silver bracelet for food during winter of 1944 to 1945

In the winter of 1944 to 1945, while he was stationed in the Netherlands, Charlie Bernhardt traded a silver bracelet for some eggs and milk.

He gave the bracelet to Bernadina Cornelia Wijers (now Smith,) in Hoog-Keepel. She was 11 at the time.

On Friday, her daughter and grandson traveled to Summerland to return the bracelet to Bernhardt, while she watched via Skype.

It was an emotional moment for Bernhardt, now 96, as he was presented with the bracelet.

“After 73 years, it’s back in these hands,” he said. “And to think you people kept it all this time.”

The family also gave Bernhardt a book they had compiled, detailing his time in Europe during World War II.

The bracelet had been given to Bernhardt by a woman named Daphne, who he met in London in 1944.

The Wijers family moved to the United States in 1948 and eventually moved to Oregon.

In the 1980s, Bernadina’s daughter Karen Smith and her husband found the silver bracelet and tried to find Bernhardt.

The bracelet was inscribed with K37476 Chuck Bernhart, a misspelling of Bernhardt’s last name.

During this summer, Bernadiina’s grandson Kyle Smith worked to find more information about the bracelet.

Using the services of a Canadian military website, he learned Bernhardt was living just 877 kilometres from the family.

Kyle Smith sent Bernhardt a letter and a picture of the bracelet, asking if it belonged to him.

Bernhardt said his time in the Netherlands during World War II gave him an appreciation for the people there.

“The Dutch people strike me as being different,” he said. “They believe in doing things well.”

He added that the return of the bracelet was another example of this character.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

JOHN ARENDT                                BRACELET RETURNED                                Charlie Bernhardt shows the bracelet which was returned to him after 73 years. In the winter of 1944 to 1945, while stationed in the Netherlands, he had traded the bracelet for food.

JOHN ARENDT BRACELET RETURNED Charlie Bernhardt shows the bracelet which was returned to him after 73 years. In the winter of 1944 to 1945, while stationed in the Netherlands, he had traded the bracelet for food.

Just Posted

Cases have gone up in Northern Health in the past week, as they have all over B.C. (K-J Millar/Black Press Media)
Northern Health reports new highest number of COVID-19 cases in one day

Nineteen cases were reported to Public Health last Tuesday (Nov. 17)

FILE – British Columbia provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry wears a face mask as she views the Murals of Gratitude exhibition in Vancouver, on Friday, July 3, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Masks now mandatory in all public indoor and retail spaces in B.C.

Many retailers and businesses had voiced their frustration with a lack of mask mandate before

(Photo courtesy of LNG Canada)
An aerial shot of Cedar Valley Lodge this past August, LNG Canada’s newest accommodation for workers. This is where several employees are isolating after a COVID-19 outbreak was declared Thursday.
COVID-19 outbreak at LNG Canada Project site

14 employees have tested positive for COVID-19 at this time

A man has been arrested after a Nov. 11 break and enter at the Sandspit Airport, Queen Charlotte RCMP said in a media release on. Nov 17. (Black Press Media files)
Man arrested after Nov. 11 break and enter at local airport

Queen Charlotte RCMP investigate recent spate of break and enters

The 4.1 magnitude earthquake detected on Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2020, is shown in pink. (Earthquakes Canada)
4.1 magnitude earthquake detected near Haida Gwaii

Event happened about 40 kilometres southwest of Village of Queen Charlotte

Numuch Keitlah, left, and Jake Thomas, centre, participate in a Coastal Nations search and rescue exercise off the coast of Vancouver Island in this undated handout photo. The recently operational Coastal Nations Coast Guard Auxiliary has more than 50 members from five Indigenous territories who are trained in marine search and rescue. They are on call day and night to respond to emergencies along some of B.C.’s most rugged and remote coastal areas. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Jordan Wilson *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Canada’s first Indigenous-led coast guard auxiliary patrols B.C.’s rugged coast

Auxiliary is part of the feds’ $1.5 billion plan to improve marine safety and protect the environment

An Oceana Canada audit of Canadian fish stocks reveals a growing number with critical populations, calling on Fisheries and Oceans Canada to enact existing commitments. (File photo)
B.C.’s declining fisheries the result of poor DFO management: audit

Oceana Canada calls for follow through on government commitments

Randy Bell. (File photo)
Former northern B.C. mayoral candidate arrested after allegedly refusing to wear mask

Randy Bell handcuffed and given a warning at Bulkley Valley Credit Union in Smithers

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

James Corden on the Late Late Show talking about BC Ferries on Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2020. (Screenshot)
‘You’ll see it when you see it’: BC Ferries mask graphic gains James Corden’s attention

Turns out, James Corden fans were just as quick as B.C. social media users to pick up on the dual imagery

Andrew Wilkinson addresses a BC Liberal Forestry Rally in Campbell River on Oct. 17, 2020.
Andrew Wilkinson quits as BC Liberal Leader, party to choose interim replacement

Wilkinson had previously said he would stay in his role till a new leader were to be selected

Most Read