Letter sent by British WWII soldier delivered after being lost 76 years

British Lance Corporal John Wheldon-Williams, who was serving in Italy, wrote the letter to Pat Moore in 1944.

Letters (photo credit: PIXABAY)
Letters
(photo credit: PIXABAY)
A thank-you letter, written to a young girl who knitted supplies for troops fighting in World War II by a soldier who received mittens she made, was delivered to her family after being lost for 76 years.
British Lance Corporal John Wheldon-Williams, who was serving in Italy, wrote the letter to Pat Moore in 1944. In it, he tells Moore about himself and his family and tells her she is "performing a great service," and that her contributions to the war effort are greater than she may think.

By the time the letter arrived at Moore's home, she had moved and did not receive it. Moore died at the age of 36, never having received the letter and never knowing how much her actions meant to Wheldon-Williams.
The letter was found in a book and British used book retailer, World of Books Group, launched a campaign to find the rightful owner of the letter and deliver it. Amateur historian Dave Thacker saw the campaign and was able to find Moore’s only surviving child, Lynn Cook.
“I’m delighted to be reunited with a piece of family history I knew nothing about. It’s incredibly moving to know how much my Mum’s contribution to the war effort meant on a personal level," said Cook on receiving the letter.
"I have early memories of watching my mother knit at home – it’s something she always enjoyed. And I remember her telling me stories of her writing to pen pals during the war. I suspect she snuck a little note in with the package in the hope a soldier would eventually reply. She would have been overjoyed with this, and I’ll treasure it forever.”
Thacker and Cook then worked together to learn more about Wheldon-Williams and his family. The soldier survived the war and returned to London where he lived until his death in 1970.