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Tattered 100-year-old postcard found in English home could have been sent to wartime evacuee in Nairn

The postcard dated May 20, 1918 was discovered beneath floorboards of an old Victorian town house in Carlisle.
The postcard dated May 20, 1918 was discovered beneath floorboards of an old Victorian town house in Carlisle.

A postcard sent from a dad to his daughter in Nairn during World War I has been discovered beneath the floorboards of a house in England.

Labourer Charlie Graham, of Carlisle, discovered the tattered piece of history during refurbishment works and is now on a quest to learn more about it.

The historic postcard, dated May 20, 1918, features images of a puppy and a kitten – with the latter holding up its paws in surrender.

A slogan states “Kamerad! Kamerad! I surrender!” which was a cry issued by German soldiers defeated in battle.

It is addressed to a Barbara Matthews in Nairn and appears to be from her father who was in France at the time.

It reads: “Thank you very much for your letter.

“I hope you are quite well again and able to enjoy yourself at Nairn. The weather is lovely and warm here. Daddy.”

The postcard dated May 20, 1918 was discovered beneath floorboards of an old Victorian town house in Carlisle.

The 22-year-old workman has conducted some research and the markings on the card indicate that the father was completing active service on the western front.

It remains a mystery whether the girl lived in Nairn at the time or had been evacuated to the Highlands from her home elsewhere.

Mr Graham said: “I have been doing a lot of my own research and a lot of people on Facebook have been telling me that potentially it was an evacuee.

“Doing my research, people were not really evacuated from here – it was more that they were sent here.

“It was one of the better places to be in England at the time. I wouldn’t have thought people would have gone on holiday, especially back then.”

The builder is now on a mission to find the family who it belongs to.

He said: “It’s incredibly special. I find history incredibly interesting.

“We were trying to get the dirt out from under the floorboards and I just scratched across it, and thought I better give this a read.

“We have found a lot of things in houses, mainly council records or newspapers under floorboards dating back to the 60s, 70s or 80s, but there hasn’t been too much since then.

“We did find a newspaper from the 1870s, that’s the oldest thing we have found but that was one of things that when you touched it, it just crumpled apart. There wasn’t a lot to salvage from that.

“My first reaction upon finding the postcard was ‘why’s this here?’

“If it was found in the area it was sent to, I would fully understand it, but you think how has it made it here?”

The listed building, which was formerly home to the local council’s offices, is currently being transformed into contemporary upmarket apartments at the heart of Carlisle.

Charlie Graham, the labourer who discovered the postcard, is now hoping to return the significant find to its rightful owners.

 

Mr Graham appealed for anyone with information to get in touch to help return it to its rightful home.

He added: “I just think it would be lovely to return it.

“My priority is to try and return it to any relatives but if I can’t find them, then I will donate it to a museum.

“If someone did it for me, I would be over the moon.

“If I was in their shoes, for instance a family member, and someone gave something to me that was from my ancestors I would be so appreciative.

“I’m incredibly keen to track anyone down to find out who’s it’s been and any advice or help would be greatly appreciated.”

Anyone with information can contact Mr Graham at charliegraham3@hotmail.co.uk.

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