A letter written in February 1916 arrived at a flat in south London more than 100 years later. Now he is being examined.
Posted in February 1916, a letter took over 100 years to finally reach its intended address on Hamlet Road in south London – much to the amazement of current residents. “We realized the year was 16, so we thought it was 2016,” Finlay Glen told CNN. “Then we realized the stamp featured a king and not a queen, so we figured it couldn’t be 2016.”
Finley told CNN that the letter arrived at the property a few years ago, but only recently did he take it to the local historical society for further investigation. “It’s been in my drawer for a while,” Finlay said. “My girlfriend and I keep talking about it and showing it to friends.”
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Sent in World War I
The envelope bears a 1 pence stamp bearing the head of King George V. The letter was dispatched in the midst of the First World War – over a decade before the birth of Queen Elizabeth II. “When we realized he was very old, we thought he said it was okay to open the letter,” said the 27-year-old. Under the Postal Services Act 2000, it is an offense to open a letter that is not addressed to you. Glen doesn’t see it so strictly in this case: “If I committed a crime, all I can do is apologize.”
Glen Finlay with the historic relic. glen finlay
The content of the letter
After determining that the letter might be of historical interest, Finlay gave it to the Norwood Review, a local magazine. “As a local historian, I was both surprised and delighted that the details of the letter were leaked to me,” said Stephen Oxford, the paper’s editor. The letter was addressed to “my dear Katie”, who was the wife of local tycoon Oswald Marsh, who once lived on Hamlet Road. Most of the letter is difficult to read, but there are sections that describe how someone is doing poorly. Inside the letter is the address of a hotel that once housed a sanatorium and hospital. The letter is signed by a certain Christabel, believed to be the mother of Oswald Marsh. So she must have written to her daughter-in-law.
Norwood Review is currently preparing a full report on the letter.
However, how the letter ended up in Finlay’s apartment remains a mystery. “Incidents like this are very rare and we are not sure what happened in this case,” a Royal Mail spokesman told CNN. “We are aware that the story of this letter is of interest to people, but we have no further information as to what may have happened.”
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