- A 107-year-old letter posted during World War I finally arrived at a London address.
- The letter’s contents are shrouded in mystery, alluding to an unexplained social embarrassment.
- It includes the sentence: “I’m feeling quite ashamed of myself after saying what I did at the circle.”
A 107-year-old letter posted during World War I finally arrived at a London address, the homeowner has revealed.
Film director Finlay Glen said the historic delivery of the letter from 1916, which turned up on his doorstep in Crystal Palace, South East London, two years ago. It has now come to light after Glen involved his local historical society in trying to tell its backstory.
Glen told the BBC, “We were obviously pretty surprised and mystified as to how it could have been sat around for more than 100 years,” with Royal Mail saying they are not sure why there was such a monumental delay in delivering the letter.
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The contents of the letter are shrouded in mystery, with the first sentence being, “My dear Katie, will you lend me your aid – I’m feeling quite ashamed of myself after saying what I did at the circle.”
Readers are left wondering what dramatic events occurred in the “circle” that took place during World War I.
The writer, Christabel Mennell, daughter of a wealthy local tea merchant, said in the letter addressed to her friend Katie Marsh that her behavior was influenced by being “miserable here with a very heavy cold.”
Glen told the South London Press, “there was something weirdly moving about it, looking into these people’s lives. And that it was never delivered. I was shocked and curious about how it could have been sitting somewhere for 100 years.”
The letter Bearing a penny George V stamp and sent from Bath in England’s West Country, was believed to be lost and forgotten in a local sorting office that had been shuttered for more than a century. A recent redevelopment at the site allowed the letter to resurface, Stephen Oxford, the editor of The Norwood Review, a local history magazine, told The Guardian.
A spokesperson for Royal Mail told the South London Press, “incidents like this happen very occasionally, and we are uncertain what happened in this instance. We appreciate that people will be intrigued by the history of this letter from 1916, but we have no further information on what might have happened.”