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French couple discover WWI letters to English soldier hidden underneath their floorboards for 100 years | UK Information

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A French couple who uncovered letters despatched to an English WW1 soldier have made contact together with his great-great-nephew after a social media attraction.

The letters to lance corporal William Swift, who signed up underage at 16 in 1914, had been hidden for greater than 100 years, when employees renovating the couple’s house discovered them underneath the floorboards.

The heartfelt messages from the dad and mom of Liverpool-born Swift enquired how their son was doing and whether or not he had acquired their final parcel.

And after making the invention, Mathilde Bernardet, the proprietor of the residence in Noeux-les Mines, did months of analysis, however the younger lance corporal’s household proved elusive.

As a final resort, with the assistance of World Conflict One memorial organisation, Memorial 14-18, she posted a plea on Fb.

Picture:
Lance corporal William Swift’s grave in Tilloy British Cemetery in northern France Pic: Memorial 14-18 Notre Dame de Lorette Fb
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Inside hours, they’d gathered sufficient data to be make contact together with his great-great-nephew.

The plan is now to organise a gathering – and return the letters to Mr Swift’s descendants.

Nonetheless, the historic discovery might have fully disappeared within the garbage – as employees renovating the house, not realising their significance, had initially put the paperwork within the bin.

Fortunately, an English trainer and his spouse who run a enterprise beneath the residence recovered them, alongside some ammunition and an oiler which was used to lubricate the weapons.

After studying the letters, a reputation and handle might be recognized: SJ Swift in Liverpool. These have been the initials of L/Cpl Swift’s mom, Sarah Jane Swift.

Then, with the assistance of a volunteer genealogist and all of the Fb pointers, contact was made with Mr Swift’s great-nephew.

William Swift is buried in Tilloy British Cemetery in northern France.

It is believed he signed up for the Royal Lancaster Regiment by mendacity about his age. He died in 1917, aged 19.



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