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Charity seeks help to find family of First World War love letter owner

Sue Ryder handout photo of part of a love letter addressed to Mary Fortune, that were found in a charity shop in Fulwell, Sunderland.

By Alistair Mason
A charity shop is calling on the public to help them reunite a collection of First World War love letters with the relatives of their recipient.

The letters, which were found in a donated sewing box at a Sue Ryder shop in Fulwell, Sunderland, are addressed to a Mrs Mary Fortune from her husband George in the Durham Light Infantry.

“The letters are an important part of history that brings home the sacrifices our soldiers made during World War I,” said shop supervisor Cathy Duncan.

“We would love to reunite the letters with one of Mary Fortune’s descendants – she could be someone’s great, great grandmother.”

The cache of letters also contains one from King George V confirming that George Fortune had been killed in action.

Efforts by staff to find descendants of the couple have so far been unsuccessful – the address to which the letters were sent no longer exists.

A section of one letter reads: “We had a little bit of excitement here the other night when there was an aeroplane which had some engine trouble and was forced to land in a corn field which was badly damaged by the people rushing over to see the aeroplane which landed quite safely.

“Best wishes to all at home.

“Love to you + baby I am your loving husband George xxxx”

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