French couple in finding WWI letters to English soldier hidden beneath their floorboards for 100 years


A French couple who exposed letters despatched to an English WW1 soldier have made touch along with his great-great-nephew after a social media attraction.

The letters to lance corporal William Swift, who signed up underage at 16 in 1914, have been hidden for greater than 100 years, when staff renovating the couple’s house discovered them beneath the floorboards.

The heartfelt messages from the fogeys of Liverpool-born Swift enquired how their son used to be doing and whether or not he had won their remaining parcel.

And after making the invention, Mathilde Bernardet, the landlord of the rental in Noeux-les Mines, did months of study, however the younger lance corporal’s circle of relatives proved elusive.

As a final lodge, with the assistance of International Struggle One memorial organisation, Memorial 14-18, she posted a plea on Fb.

Lance corporal William Swift's grave in Tilloy British Cemetery in northern France Pic: Memorial 14-18 Notre Dame de Lorette Facebook
Lance corporal William Swift’s grave in Tilloy British Cemetery in northern France %: Memorial 14-18 Notre Dame de Lorette Fb

Inside hours, that they had collected sufficient knowledge to be make touch along with his great-great-nephew.

The plan is now to organise a gathering – and go back the letters to Mr Swift’s descendants.

Then again, the historical discovery can have utterly disappeared within the garbage – as staff renovating the house, now not realising their importance, had to begin with put the paperwork within the bin.

Thankfully, an English instructor and his spouse who run a industry under the rental recovered them, along some ammunition and an oiler which used to be used to lubricate the guns.

After studying the letters, a reputation and cope with may well be recognized: SJ Swift in Liverpool. Those have been the initials of L/Cpl Swift’s mom, Sarah Jane Swift.

Then, with the assistance of a volunteer genealogist and the entire Fb guidelines, touch used to be made with Mr Swift’s great-nephew.

William Swift is buried in Tilloy British Cemetery in northern France.

It is believed he signed up for the Royal Lancaster Regiment through mendacity about his age. He died in 1917, elderly 19.


Leave a Comment