Found in among rubbish: postcard sent home to Hitchin from the trenches

PUBLISHED: 09:56 29 July 2018

The postcard sent home to Hitchin from France in June 1918. Picture: Dave Keen

The postcard sent home to Hitchin from France in June 1918. Picture: Dave Keen

Archant

Can you help reunite this postcard, sent home to Hitchin from the Western Front 100 years ago, with relatives?

The postcard sent home to Hitchin from France in June 1918. Picture: Dave KeenThe postcard sent home to Hitchin from France in June 1918. Picture: Dave Keen

Harry Turner sent the card from ‘somewhere in France’ to his wife, living at 2 Kent Place in Union Road – now Oughton Head Way – on June 27, 1918.

It shows a picture of flowers in a vase, and bears the message: “My dear girlie girl – a PC once more. Hoping you will like there. With all love and the best of wishes from all. Yours, Harry, somewhere in France.”

The destination town is noted as “Hitchin, Herts, Blighty”.

Plasterer Dave Keen found the card in among rubbish around nine years ago while he was working in a cleared-out house in Pirton, near Hitchin.

“I just didn’t want it to get thrown in the bin,” said Dave.

“It actually stood out, in among the pile of rubbish and old leaflets.

“When all the war anniversaries came around, I decided to try to get it back to the family to whom it was sent.

“I don’t want to sell it to a collector or something like that. I’d love it to go back to the family.

“If we aren’t able to find anyone, I’d still like it to go to a good home – maybe the North Herts Museum, or Herts at War.

“It’s a little bit of history there, that could have been thrown away – and it would have been if I hadn’t found it.”

Dave enlisted his friend Keith Green in his efforts to track down relatives of the Turner family – but Keith’s extensive work has run into a dead end.

The Turners had a daughter and son, Dorothy and Harry, who were aged eight and nine at the time of the 1911 census and both went to the now-defunct St Mary’s National School in Hitchin.

Dorothy married a William Woodhall in 1920, but Keith has not found any descendants.

The younger Harry Turner was buried at Hitchin Cemetery, off St John’s Road, on June 19, 1974 – and on his grave is a plaque to Annie Mary Turner, who died in April 1962 at the age of 59. It does not seem to be attended to.

Keith said that, from records, it appears they may have lived in Freemans Close and perhaps Tilehouse Street.

He is also keen to see the card reunited with a relative, “however distant”, 100 years on from when it was written.

Anyone with information should call JP Asher on 01438 866083 or email jp.asher@archant.co.uk.

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