Uncovering the past

After my Nan passed away my mother and her sister came across this photograph of her taken when she was about 20. When they removed it from its frame they not only found an inscription on the back but a letter concealed behind it. The inscription read ‘To Gordon, with all the best of luck, from Lila xxxx 1/10/41’.

The letter was from Gordon, who it seems was a soldier in the Second World War, sent in 1941 it reads:


Returned with utmost regret little lady but it would soon be but a scrap of paper if I kept it here and it is too good darling to suffer that fate. This little photo has travelled Syria Palestine with me (I am now back in Palestine – arrived yesterday expect soon to be going places – if it’s where I think it is I’ll be there before this arrives – then I may need a little one said for me-or something).

PPPS/ etc. Gee! I don’t like parting with this.

Neither of them had any idea who Gordon was or how my Nan formed contact with him but they suspect she, as many women had during WWII, knitted socks for the soldiers and included a little note for whoever received it. Perhaps Gordon received her socks. I can’t believe she kept his letter with the returned image all those years! This is what I love about nostalgia. There is no history more fascinating than that of your own family. My Nan passed away about 17 years ago and everyday I think of at least one question I wish I could ask her. Who was Gordon? What ever happened to him? How did she meet my Pop? What was my mother like as a teenager? Is she proud of me? If you are fortunate enough to still have your grandparents treasure that relationship. Ask them questions. Listen to the answers. Write them down. Take photos. Laugh. Often. They are part of the fabric that make up who you are – the good and the bad. We always think we have forever but sometimes forever isn’t long enough.


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