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Soldier's lost letter makes it home 80 years later
TORONTO -- Nearly eight decades after it was written, a British soldier's letter to his family finally arrived home.
Harry Cole was a British soldier who fought in the Second World War. In 1940, Cole was shot and killed during the retreat to Dunkirk.
Three days before he died, Cole wrote a letter to his mother. While it never reached her, his brother Clemmie was able to read it after it was recently uncovered.
“My mother, she'd have loved that letter. She really would. This one would have been so special,” Clemmie Cole told CTV News.
Cole was in Belgium when he was on his way to meet with other British forces as they were retreating. He was eventually killed by a German sniper.
After the war, letters from many soldiers, including Cole’s, were lost for years. However, Cole’s letter ended up in the attic of a German officer, and it eventually made its way to the British military Suffolk Regiment Association.
Suffolk archivist Heidi Hughes was the researcher that recognized the name on a village war memorial and was able to connect the dots.
“That was really incredible to find that connection. But yes, we’d love any family members to be able to reunite them with their letters. It would be incredible,” she said.
Cole wrote in his letter that it had been a long time since he wrote to his mother and he assured that he would make it through the war.
“Well mother please don't worry about me, I shall get through it okay,” Clemmie read from his brother’s letter.
Harry’s final words in the letter read: “So, until next time, cheerio. Love to all, Harry,”