World War I US medic's family returns stolen French cross

A 17th-century silver cross taken by a US medic from a French church during World War I was returned by his granddaughter over the weekend, the town's mayor said on Monday.

Alfred Hayes, who served at a makeshift hospital at the church in Neuvilly-en-Argonne in eastern France, had taken the 30-centimetre (12-inch) cross with him when he left France in October 1918.

His granddaughter Patricia Carson came to France from Kansas and returned the cross on Sunday, the town's mayor Alain Jeannesson, said, adding that he was agreeably "surprised" by the gesture.

He said the cross was the sole object to have disappeared from the church during the war.