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Can you help trace the story behind wartime love letter?

Just Regional
Feb 12, 2015 2 mins read

The Norfolk Record Office (NRO) is appealing for help in finding the author of a wartime love letter that has remained hidden for the best part of 50 years.

Discovered by a member of staff from the County Council’s record office, the letter was in a secret compartment of a sewing machine, recently purchased from a Norwich charity shop.

The letter, written by a soldier called Harry, is to Jess, his wife, and is dated 31 July 1946.

Other than that, there aren’t any other clues as to the identity of the couple or where they lived.

Gary Tuson, County Archivist, is hoping that Norfolk residents will be able to shed some light on this wartime love story.

He said: “This letter is symbolic of the times in which it was written and was discovered in Norfolk, which is why we’ve decided to include it in the Norfolk archive. There’s so much undiscovered local history in the county and, as this letter illustrates, you never know where you’ll come across it. It would be fascinating to find out more about Harry and Jess, whether the family lived in the county, and how the sewing machine ended up in a Norwich charity shop.”

In his letter, Harry writes about losing an eye since his last meeting with Ethel and describes the couple’s pain at their separation. He writes: “what changes in me you will find I don’t know, maybe the old husband you knew or maybe a better one”.

The NRO is the home of Norfolk’s archival heritage. Based at the Archive Centre in Norwich, it contains millions of documents that can be used by anyone to research their family history for free. Staff are on hand also offer advice and information.

For more information about Norfolk Record Office visit www.archives.norfolk.gov.uk, or call 01603 222599

Kären Gaffney showing letter found in base of sewing machine

Kären Gaffney showing letter found in base of sewing machine

Wartime love letter

Wartime love letter

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