William Pace, Police Chief
41 South Main St.
Randolph, MA 02368
For Immediate Release
Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2016
Contact: John Guilfoil
Randolph Police Utilize Social Media to Return WWI Veteran’s Dog Tag to Family
RANDOLPH — Chief William Pace praises the work of Officer Kevin Aldred for his efforts utilizing social media to return a late World War I veteran’s lost dog tag to his family members.
At approximately 11 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 9, Officer Aldred was working a dispatch shift at the police department when a citizen entered the station to turn in a lost item he found while working on Oliver Street. The item appeared to be an older military style dog tag, inscribed with the following:
JOSEPH E. HUGHES
An initial investigation led Officer Aldred to believe the dog tag belonged to a World War I soldier, which was soon confirmed by Kara Fossey, the Executive Director of the Fort Devens Museum. After obtaining Joseph E. Hughes’ information from the museum, Officer Aldred reached out to the public over the department’s Facebook page, asking for help to find Hughes’ descendants.
The post received thousands of views, hundreds of shares, and multiple leads in just a few hours. Within 24 hours, the department was able to follow up on several leads and ultimately locate Hughes’ family. After Officer Aldred’s attempts to contact the family went unanswered, he sought assistance from the Walpole Police Department, as this is where Hughes’ grandson lived. Walpole Officer Steve Foley was familiar with the family and connected them with Officer Aldred. As a result, the dog tag issued to Joseph E. Hughes was returned to Joseph M. Hughes, the veteran’s eldest grandson, on Monday, Sept. 26.
“I commend Officer Aldred’s dedication and persistence to solving this mystery,” Chief Pace said. “He went above and beyond for this case. His leadership, combined with the collaboration of many community organizations and our social media audience, led to the best possible outcome.”