A HANDWRITTEN letter dating all the way back to the Second World War is looking for its owner.
On a cold winter’s day in 1944, a British soldier called ‘John’ put pen to paper and sent his thanks to a schoolgirl in High Wycombe.
The soldier, who was based in Italy at the time, wrote to ‘Miss Pat’ of Hatters Lane Senior School to say thank you for knitting mittens for the troops in the trenches.
The letter read:
“Dear Miss Pat,
“You will be surprised at receiving this letter from a soldier now serving ‘somewhere in Italy’.In the first place, let me explain the connection between you and I. It is a pair of mittens, which I gather you knitted some time ago.
“And now, may I say thank you.
“I can give you some information of myself. I am a married man, possess a charming wife and we have a little boy aged eight years. Our home is in London, and I yearn for the time when I shall return to our little home. What a glorious day it will be.
“The tremendous needs of modern war takes everyone – and you can well be proud of the part you played within this great war-machine with your weapons – a few knitting needles. It may seem of no great important to you, knitting comforts for ‘someone’ in the forces, but you are performing a great service, a service that breathes the spirit of England.
“Thank you, again Pat, and be assured we will return – a victorious army.
“I am, Miss Pat, yours gratefully.”
Now, 76 years on, the letter has been rediscovered by World of Books Group, tucked away inside a book being prepared for resale.
“Over 75 million used books come through our business each year, and we occasionally come across forgotten personal items tucked away inside them,” said Graham Bell, CEO of World of Books Group.
“But this find is particularly poignant.
“The letter undoubtedly holds great sentimental value and we’d love to reunite it with its owner or their family.”
In its search for the letter’s author, World of Books reached out to British Red Cross, who ran their own initiatives to get Britain knitting during the Second World War.
Now, they are teaming up to reunite the precious letter and its owner and celebrate the acts of kindness from home that comforted soldiers overseas.
“This letter is a lovely find and is a perfect first-hand example of how kindness can keep people connected during a crisis,” Mezebhin Adam, curator at British Red Cross added.
Anybody with any information that could help reunite the letter with its owner or their families, is asked to send an email to: email@example.com