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Lifestyle & Human Interest

WWII Veteran's Postcard Delivered to Family 77 Years After It Was Written

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In 1943, Bill Caldwell was finally able to join the Royal Navy. It was a goal he’d been set on since his early teens, and he’d tried to join three years earlier but was refused.

To celebrate his accomplishment, he wrote a postcard to his Uncle Fred in Liverpool. According to the BBC, the postcard was stamped “Post early in the day,” but in a strange twist the card was not received until 77 years later.

“Well I am in blue at last,” the postcard reads. “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.

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“Give my love to everyone. Love, Bill.”

Caldwell has been gone for over two decades now, and the letter had never surfaced. But in February, it appeared at Uncle Fred’s address.

Uncle Fred has also been dead some time, but the house remains in possession of a relative, Jack Eloma, who was able to contact Caldwell’s children to let them know of the strange card he’d just received.

“On Friday night we were in our family WhatsApp group and my sister Jane forwarded a message from my cousin Dan,” one of Bill’s children, Elizabeth, said, according to the Leicestershire Mercury.

“She was just staggered by what she saw. Dan’s stepson still lives in the house we grew up in. He had received in the post that morning this card from my dad so there we were reading a message that my dad had written nearly 78 years ago. We were just thrilled.

“My dad died over 20 years ago in 1996 and he loved to tell stories but he didn’t write. My mum wrote letters and postcards but Dad never wrote.

“To get this little message from my dad felt like a really special thing for us all.”

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Another daughter, Joanna Creamer, said that the experience was “surreal.”

“It was the most surreal thing on a Friday night to suddenly read a postcard that Dad had written 77 years ago when he was training to be a sailor in the Navy,” she said, according to the BBC.

As to how it took so long to reach its destination, “likely it was put back into the postal system by someone recently, rather than being lost or stuck somewhere in the network,” according to a Royal Mail spokesperson.

“It’s a crazy story and it’s hard to believe,” Elizabeth admitted — but they have the proof in their father’s own handwriting, a little piece of history to remember him by.

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking