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Last Updated: Friday, 29 February 2008, 14:34 GMT
Lost WWII desert satchel returned
Photograph found in bag - Alec Ross on far left
Mr Ross (l) was a despatch rider in the Long Range Desert Group

An Egyptian tour guide who found a World War II soldier's bag which was lost in the desert for 60 years has returned it to the man's family.

Kahled Makram travelled 2,339 miles (3,765km) from Cairo to Burnley, Lancs, to return the leather satchel lost by 8th Army despatch rider Alec Ross.

He traced Mr Ross's family through a BBC website on WWII.

Mr Ross died three years ago but his sister, Irene Porter, received the bag which contained letters and photos.

Mrs Porter, 75, said she was eight when her brother lost the bag while serving with the Long Range Desert Group in Egypt.

Mr Ross, who settled in Whaddon, Buckinghamshire, after the war died three years ago at the age of 87.

Kahled Makram and Irene Porter
Mrs Porter has been reunited with her brother's items

Letters written by Mrs Porter's parents and older brother were among the personal items inside the bag.

"It's incredible, not just the condition of the items, but it brings Alec back to me," she told the BBC.

Mrs Porter said her brother was a member of a unit known as Popski's Private Army, one of a number operating behind enemy lines.

Mr Makram found the bag lying in the sand in the Sahara desert during an excursion in November 2007.

It is likely to go on display at a local museum later in the year.

Irene Porter receives Alex Ross's bag

WWII army bag is found in desert
30 Nov 07 |  Lancashire


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