Manchester

Mystery of lost World War Two love note solved

Dorothy and Harry wedding and the lost letter Image copyright Barbara White
Image caption Dorothy sent the letter in 1945 to her sweetheart, leading aircraftman "Harry" Hughes who was in Ceylon - now Sri Lanka.

The mystery of a lost love letter from a woman to her World War Two sweetheart has been solved after the couple's daughter came forward to claim it.

The 1945-letter from Dorothy to aircraftman Harry Hughes in Ceylon - now Sri Lanka - was found in the lost property box at Asda's store in Leigh, Greater Manchester.

Barbara White said she is "so grateful" to be reunited with the letter.

The wartime sweethearts married in 1946 and "made each other happy", she said.

Ms White, who is 63 and now lives in Nottingham, said she was surprised to spot her father's name in an online appeal to find the letter's owners.

Image copyright Barbara White
Image caption Harry wanted to to wait until after the war to marry Dorothy as he "felt very strongly that he didn't want to leave her a widow"
Image copyright Barbara White

She said: "I think one of my sisters might have had it in a library book and dropped it accidentally - she keeps it on her as it means a lot.

"Mum wrote nearly every day so we have several hundred letters between me and my sisters. They're wonderful."

Dorothy first met Harry at her 16th birthday party in Moston in 1938 but when war broke out and Harry signed up in 1940, he was adamant they should not marry for fear of making her a widow.

Image copyright Barbara White
Image caption Dorothy wrote nearly every day to Harry during the war and sent newspaper clippings
Image copyright Barbara White
Image caption Dorothy and Harry were married for 65 years

Reunited after the war ended, they married on 1 June 1946 and moved to Blackley.

They had three children together - Barbara, Vivien and Gillian - and "enjoyed each other's company" for 65 years, Ms White said.

Harry passed away aged 90 in 2011 while Dorothy died last year aged 93.

Ms White said: "When dad came home he had a huge canvas RAF kit bag - all it had in it was underwear and these letters.

"The way dad kept the letters in the heat of Ceylon, very carefully to preserve them and brought them all the way back" shows "how much they meant to him", Ms White said.

Ms White said she wants to thank checkout operator Stacey Adamson who found the note and started the appeal to trace the couple.

Image copyright Asda
Image caption Barbara White has been reunited with the letter and met Stacey Adamson, who found it
Image copyright Asda
Image caption Dorothy wrote of life in Manchester and how she and Harry would get married after the war.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites