Brave soldier's love letters unearthed by great niece from Llwyneinion

Published date: 06 March 2014 |
Published by: Staff reporter
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LETTERS penned more than 100 years ago by a brave soldier who fell in the First World War have been unearthed by his great niece.

Sylvia Foulkes, 79, of Llwyneinion, made the remarkable find when she was clearing through items belonging to her late grandmother Dora Chaloner, of Ruabon.

She came across letters written by Dora’s brother, Thomas Vaughan, who served in the Army and was killed during the Great War.

As well as Thomas’ letters, Mrs Foulkes has found a number of photographs of Mr Vaughan.

Mrs Foulkes said: “Before discovering the letters I didn’t know a great deal about him.

“His name is on the cenotaph in Johnstown and the memorial in Ruabon but that was about it. Now I do have some insight.

“When I read the letters I felt I wish I had known him. He sounds lonely and wanted to have members of his family around him.”

The letters give the reader a unique view through a window of history, revealing what everyday life was like for an ordinary soldier stationed abroad more than 100 years ago.

Mr Vaughan served in the Royal Welch Fusiliers. In one of the uncovered letters – sent from India and dated August, 1913 – he explains to his sister, Mrs Chaloner, why he has not been in contact for some time.

In another letter to her – not dated but addressed in Malta – Thomas complains about a lack of reply from another sister, Polly.

He said: “I have written to Polly and she has not answered one of my letters. I don’t know what is the matter with them all. I am just about fed up with writing to them.”

Mrs Foulkes said she would gladly share the letters and pictures with any historian or history group who would be interested.

“There won’t be many people who have these sorts of letters, particularly as they were written so close to the start of World War One,” Mrs Foulkes added.

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