Wartime love letters straight to the heart

Harry and Dorothy Hughes with daughters Gillian, Vivien and Barbara
Harry and Dorothy Hughes with daughters Gillian, Vivien and Barbara

A 70-year-old love letter between a couple has been returned to their family.

A nationwide appeal was launched this week when Leigh Asda cashier Stacie Adamson found the 1945-dated missive in the town’s Asda store lost property box.

Stacie Adamson, Harry Hughes and the letter from Dorothy found at Leigh Asda's lost property office

Stacie Adamson, Harry Hughes and the letter from Dorothy found at Leigh Asda's lost property office

Harry Hughes received the letter from his sweetheart Dorothy, while based with the RAF in Ceylon, now Sri Lanka.

Addressed to LAC H Hughes, 13 MSU (Torps), Royal Air Force, Ceylon Air Forces, it was one of hundreds he would receive through the Second World War.

Sadly the pair are no longer with us, but one of their three daughters - based down in Nottingham - spotted the appeal and has now come forward to claim it.

Retired headteacher Barbara White, 63, from West Bridgford, said her two sisters Gillian and Vivien both live in Greater Manchester and it must have been one of them who mislaid it.

She told the Nottingham Post: “I couldn’t believe it when I spotted dad’s name and then read the story, it was an emotional moment.

“We think one of my sisters must have taken a letter with her shopping and dropped it accidentally. All of us carry mementos of mum and dad. It’s great it’s been saved.”

Harry met Dorothy on her 16th birthday before signing up in 1940 - but only married her after the war in case he made her a widow in the meantime.

Harry worked in insurance and rarely talked about his service. Dorothy only died last year aged 93 as a grandmother-of-three, while Harry passed away aged 90 in 2011.

When Stacie found the letter she googled Harry to find extraordinary footage from Calling Blighty, a scheme which allowed servicemen to send messages to their loved ones from abroad. The video led her to the North West Film Archive at Manchester Metropolitan University and their A Message Home project.