A baggage name plate that appears to have been dropped by a British marine during the first world war a century ago has recently been found at the bottom of Victoria Harbour, and may enrich the story behind Hong Kong's most famous military ship - HMS Tamar. A copper label bearing the characters and numbers "PLY 11217 E. Goodman", measuring 24cm long, 7.9cm high and 2mm thick, was found along with the shipwreck discovered by workers dredging the harbour seabed near the old Wan Chai Pier for a reclamation project in March. The name plate has provided the strongest evidence yet suggesting the wreck is the remains of the historic ship - once an icon of Britain's naval power in Asia but later scuttled by the Royal Navy as the empire could no longer protect her far-flung colony against Japanese invasion in 1941. The Civil Engineering and Development Department announced on March 27 that workers found a large metal object believed to be a shipwreck during reclamation for the construction of the Central-Wan Chai Bypass and the Exhibition Station of the MTR's Sha Tin-Central line. The discovery of the name tag was not revealed. Investigation by marine historian Dr Stephen Davies, former director of the Hong Kong Maritime Museum and now an academic at the University of Hong Kong, ascertained the brass plate had belonged to a marine called Edgar Charles Goodman (1885-1959). National archives of the United Kingdom and information collected from a local history group in Bleadon, the English village where Goodman was from, helped the researcher unwind the story of the man who left the small artefact behind in Victoria Harbour a century ago. [The name plate] on its own immediately raised the probabilities STEPHEN DAVIES, HISTORIAN Enlisted in the Royal Marine Light Infantry in Bristol, southwest England, he had briefly stayed on HMS Tamar in Hong Kong in 1914, the year when the first world war broke out. That same year he was sent to the coast of Shandong province in eastern China, then under German control, on another warship, HMS Triumph. There he took part in the capture of a German merchant ship and was awarded prize money. Materials collected by Davies suggest Goodman was possibly transshipping when he boarded HMS Tamar, although the exact period of his stay have yet to be determined. "It was a find that on its own immediately raised the probabilities [that the wreck was remains of HMS Tamar] into the ninetieth percentile," Davies said of the significance of the name plate that led to his conclusion on the identity of the shipwreck. The letters PLY indicate Goodman was a member of the marine's Plymouth Division, and the number 11217 is his service number that enabled the historian to find his service records. According to archives found by the historian, Goodman was born in 1885 in the village of Bleadon, near the seaside town of Weston-super-Mare where his death was registered in 1959. Since his enlistment at the age of 16, he had travelled to China, the Middle East and South Africa. His military career ended in his retirement in 1922, when he was 37. Goodman was an exemplary serviceman, records show. He was awarded four good-conduct stripes throughout his 21 years of service, the maximum possible he could earn. A corporal when he was in Hong Kong, he was later promoted to lance sergeant in 1916. He was a survivor of HMS Triumph when the ship was sunk by a torpedo from a German submarine off Gaba Tepe, the present day Turkey, in 1915, an incident that killed 55 of his colleagues. During his outpost job on the Atlantic island of St Helena, he met islander Elizabeth Maria Flagg, who was 15 years younger than him. They got married in 1920, when he was 35 and she 26. They had two sons, Henry and Herbert, who have both since died. His daughter-in-law Joan, widow of Herbert, now lives near Bleadon.