WRITTEN in the midst of World War Two and found tucked in the pages of a Charlotte Bronte novel, this long-forgotten letter has sparked an investigation.

Staff at a newly-opened lifestyle shop called Lost and Found in Richmond have found themselves trying to solve the wartime riddle that has Kendal connections.

While stocking shelves at the shop, Sarah Wilson came across the two-page letter.

Tucked inside a copy of Charlotte Bronte’s Villette, the letter is addressed to a Miss R Chamley, or possibly Chamby, living at 2 Airethwaite, Kendal. It is postmarked November 1, 1943.

In it the writer, a soldier who signs himself Bob and who gives his address as Old Bull Cottages, Crank, St Helens, is replying to a letter he had received from his old friend Ruth. Unfortunately there is no mention of Bob’s surname.

The letter is short and chatty and Bob talks about his time in the Army, going to the cinema in a nearby village, flirting with girls – and moans about the weather.

However beyond that there is little clue as to who he was or what his relationship to Ruth was.

“It was lovely to find the letter from Bob,” said Sarah. “Hearing about him flirting, dancing and going to the pictures was great fun and we only hope that the remaining war years were good to Bob too. If we could find out any more about Bob or Ruth it would be wonderful.”


The shop is now contacting both the addresses mentioned in the letter in a bid to find out more and is also appealing for any information anyone may have.

Contact lostandfound@thestation.co.uk