Salvaged From 1941 Shipwreck, Letters Reveal Wartime Love and Sacrifice


In 2019, the Postal Museum, with the help of the BBC program “The One Show,” helped to reunite a recipient with a letter addressed to her from almost 80 years ago.

In a letter addressed to Phyllis Aldridge, Pvt. Will Walker, with the First Wiltshire Regiment in Allahabad, expressed his excitement at Ms. Aldridge’s acceptance of his marriage proposal, writing: “I wept for joy, I could not help it. If you could only know how happy it made me, darling, to know that you accepted me and that you will be mine forever.”

However, Ms. Aldridge — by then Ms. Ponting — never received the kind words from Private Walker.

It wasn’t until after the letter was featured on an episode of “The One Show” that Ms. Ponting was reunited with the letter, according to the museum.

After the 80th anniversary of the Gairsoppa’s sinking this month, Ms. Coppen said, the 700-plus letters showed the poignant power of connection and the value of the simple act of putting pen to paper.

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