A wartime postcard which was sent more than 77 years ago has finally arrived at its intended destination in Liverpool.
The letter was sent in 1943 by a man who had just completed his first week of training in the Royal Navy.
William Myler Caldwell, known as Bill, was a 20 year old Royal Navy recruit when he penned the postcard to his uncle, Fred, who had served in the Navy during the first world war.
Both sender and recipient of the postcard are now long dead, with Mr Caldwell having passed away in 1996, and his uncle, Fred Myler, died in 1959.
‘In blue at last’
The postcard was found on Friday (12 Feb) by a relative of Mr Caldwell who still lives at the property it was addressed to in Aigburth, Liverpool.
It is unclear where the postcard has been for the intervening 77 years and seven months since it was sent.
In the message, Mr Caldwell wrote: “Dear Uncle Fred, Well here I am in blue at last. I did not think it would be like this, you don’t get much time for yourself do you but I like it alright. I will write a letter to you all when I get half a chance so will you hold on a bit. I have 19 weeks here yet. Give my love to everyone. Love Bill.”
Mr Caldwelll wrote the postcard at the beginning of his military career, during which he would go on to be involved with the D-Day landings and the ground invasion of Nagasaki after the dropping of the atomic bomb.
‘The whole family is amazed’
Speaking to the Telegraph, Mr Caldwell’s daughter, Mrs Eales, said: “When I saw it I thought this is my dad talking, I can hear his voice. The whole family is just staggered, amazed.
“If this had arrived at the time his mum and dad would have been going mad that he chose to write to his uncle and not to them, we have all been joking about what Nanny’s reaction would have been if she had got that.
“But him and Fred were friends, and Fred had done his national service in the Navy so we think that he would have felt like he would understand.
“My dad wasn’t really a letter writer, which makes this all the more special. It is lovely to see his proper cursive handwriting.
“He had always wanted to join the Navy and apparently he tried to sign up when he was 15 or 16 but Nanny went berserk.
“This has been a chance to rediscover his history. As teenagers we would say: ‘Oh Dad, don’t tell us another story’, but now we are wishing we had listened more.”
A Royal Mail spokesperson said it is “difficult to speculate on what may have happened to this item of mail” although it was likely “put back into the postal system by someone recently, rather than being lost or stuck somewhere in the network”.