A letter home penned by a World War I soldier has been found by an Ormskirk businessman while he was clearing out a relative’s home.
Andrew Keith of School Lane, Haskayne, found the letter, dated 1916, in the back of a book during the clear out last week.
The letter is addressed to “My dear sister” and is signed off by “Loving brother Ronald”. In the letter Ronald asks after those at home and promises to keep a look-out for another family member – Charlie, who will also soon be heading over to the trenches in France.
Ronald also explains he is using his last piece of paper to pen the missive to his sister and that as a result she might not hear from him for a while.
The letter ends with him sending his love to his sister, wife and children.
Despite researching his family history Andrew is yet to find out who Ronald was partly due to the size of the family.
Andrew said: “It is very touching to read but as yet we’ve not been able to find out which family member it belonged to. My grandad was one of 13 children and the family has always been quite large but I would like to find out who Ronald was.
“It really brought it home to me how hard it must have been for everyone during the war.
“My grandad, James Keith, was in the war too, he was gassed with mustard gas in the trenches but he did return home with a few medals.”
Andrew has pictures of his grandfather, his medals and various other items of memorabilia and decided it would be good to display the collection, along with the letter, in his shop window, for the 100 year commemoration of the start of WW1.
Andrew said: “The display seems to have had quite an effect on people that have seen it in the window. We had some cyclists stop by and one woman was so inspired that she wrote a poem entitled “Last letter home” which really impressed me.
“I really wanted to raise some awareness about the 100 year anniversary and thought this would be a really good way to bring the First World War home to people.
“I’ve used the national archives to do some research on my grandad and it’s been fascinating, I’d really encourage people to look into it too.”
Have you got a war hero in your family? Get in touch with Sophie via firstname.lastname@example.org to tell her your story.