UK tourist Rob Brown and his partner found this memorial bracelet on Mooloolaba Beach.
UK tourist Rob Brown and his partner found this memorial bracelet on Mooloolaba Beach.

More than 56,000 join in online search for memento owner

A MEMENTO honouring a fallen digger has been discovered in the sands of Mooloolaba Beach.

A social media campaign is under way to find the owner of the memorial bracelet which pays tribute to Corporal Richard "Akka" Atkinson, who was killed in the Tangi Valley region of Afghanistan's Oruzgan Province on February 2, 2011.

He was leading his combat engineer section as a search commander at the time.

He was 22.

The bracelet was found by United Kingdom tourist Rob Brown and his partner on Tuesday morning.

Mr Brown posted details and an image of the bracelet later that afternoon.

By lunchtime yesterday, more than 5000 people had shared the information in the hope of finding its owner.

By 3pm, the "shares" had doubled to 10,000.

On Thursday morning, it had been shared more than 50,000 times.

"I know how much these bracelets mean to those who wear them and would love to reunite it with its owner," Mr Brown said.

"I have friends who have been wearing similar bracelets for years for those who have fallen.

"They never want to take them off. It's something quite close to them."

Mr Brown boarded a plane bound for home in the UK yesterday afternoon, taking the bracelet with him for safe keeping.

He said he would make sure the bracelet found its way back to the rightful owner.

"I'd personally like to return it," he said.

Corporal Atkinson was born in Hobart in 1988.

Corporal Richard 'Akka' Atkinson.
Corporal Richard 'Akka' Atkinson.

He joined the Army in 2007 and, in the same year, successfully completed his recruit and combat engineer basic training before being posted to the 1st Combat Engineer Regiment, based in Darwin.

The Daily notified the Department of Defence media team yesterday.

The Department said it would attempt to locate the family of Corporal Atkinson.

Does the bracelet belong to you? Call the newsroom on 5430 8058



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