Dundee is known as the City of Discovery for its incredible achievements but one travelling Taysider has made his own remarkable find of an iconic city symbol.
Paratrooper Harry Mitchell spoke of his shock after coming across a stall selling an official Dundee Coat of Arms plaque, while attending the recent Battle of Arnhem commemorations in the Netherlands .
He snapped up the shield for the modest sum of €5 from a market area near the drop zone of the Second World War battle on September 21.
As with all coats of arms made in Scotland, it was registered by the Lord Lyon King of Arms, and is marked as such on the rear.
It was made by MW Stephens Heraldic Woodcarver of Blairgowrie and is dated from 1997.
A version of the arms were in use by the royal burgh of Dundee as early as 1416 with the present incarnation first recorded in 1673.
It was re-granted to the city following local government upheavals in the latter part of the 20th century.
Harry was visiting the Netherlands with fellow members of the Tayside branch of the Parachute Regimental Association (PRA).
The 59-year-old, who is originally from Kirkton but now lives in Arbroath, was left puzzled after spotting the good-as-new plaque.
He said: “It was the first stall I went to and there it was sitting clearly on the table.
“I thought this has to be a joke. I asked the Dutch guy where on earth he’d got it from but he said he didn’t know.
“Being from the city, I know the coat of arms, of course and recognised it straight away.
“I thought €5 was pretty cheap. I’d probably have paid €50 for it to be honest.
“Some of the other guys joked that he probably lied and had a box full of them underneath the stall. He didn’t of course. It was totally bizarre.”
Operation Market Garden, the largest airborne assault in history, saw thousands of allied troops parachute, or land by glider, behind enemy lines in September 1944.
The ill-fated mission was designed to carve a route into northern Germany and bring an early end to the war.
The 75th anniversary was held at Arnhem Oosterbeek War Cemetery with attendees including Second World War veterans and their families.
Prince Charles, the Colonel-in-Chief of the Parachute Regiment, also attended.
Harry, whose twin brother David was also in the regiment and was on the trip to Arnhem, says he will now put the plaque on display in his home as a memento of the trip.
He added: “There were a lot of people in tears, it was very emotional.
“It was very heart-wrenching, it really was. I went to the 70th anniversary and hope to get to the 80th too. The plaque is a great memory.”
Anyone who has any information about the plaque and how it might have ended up in Arnhem can get in touch directly with The Courier.
The Tayside PRA group meets on the last Sunday of every month. If any former personnel wish to join, they can visit the group’s Facebook page.