Love letters between teen WW1 soldier & woman 13 years his senior discovered

  30 January 2016    Read: 1335
Love letters between teen WW1 soldier & woman 13 years his senior discovered
A stash of secret love letters between a teenage First World War soldier and a woman 13 years his senior have been uncovered by workmen at an old pub.
Around 100 romantic notes were discovered during renovation works in the roof at the Five Arrows Hotel, near the gates of stately home Waddesdon Manor in Buckinghamshire.

The letters are believed to have been sent between Eliza Turnham, the landlord`s daughter, and Jack Wilson Cox, who was deployed to France in 1915.

Waddesdon Estate archivist Catherine Taylor described the letters, which were found behind a chimney, as `romantic` and `intriguing`.

She said: `We think that Eliza must have hidden the letters away, and they are one of the most significant recent finds here at Waddesdon.

`Jack was 17 in July 1914 and seems to have lied about his age to enlist early. He later transferred to the Royal Engineers as a signaller and Motor Dispatch Rider.

`Eliza was 13 years older than Jack and in some of the letters it seems like writing between an older sister and a younger brother.

`But in others he talks about `perhaps stealing a kiss` and they are very romantic; it`s really intriguing.`

Despite the age difference, Ms Taylor said they show two people with a very close relationship who have obviously known each other a long time.

She said: `Elsie was the eldest of five children and her three younger brothers also fought in the First World War and were friends of Jack`s.

`Despite being thirteen years older than Jack they appear to have had a very close relationship and active correspondence while he was away.`

The touching notes are full of news about Waddesdon friends and colleagues, memories of going on trips with Eliza and her family, and news from the Front.


My dear girl,

Well my dear i have ever so much to tell you, don`t know really how to start.

The other day i was just going to be relieved on the phone, when Tom came dashing in.

He looked so hot and tired poor old boy, he had a bit of a job to find me.

He stayed about three hours we had a good old chat together.

He had to back by 6pm as they had a big dinner and he wanted to be there.

He told me whereabouts he was so I obtained a pass yesterday for all day and went and found Tom.

My own dear Eliza,

Many, many thanks for your loving letter written in town.I received a packet of cigarettes from Waddesdon at the same time.

Your letter from London dated 6th 6.15pm arrived 12 noon 9th not so bad from town.

Ihope you remembered me to Annie. There is one thing, Stan will not come out here again.

I wrote to all the boys yesterday. My new number has come through at last (495785) that is the first line on the envelope.

The rest remains good, I am sorry to hear about Cyril, I hope poor old Eve will hear from him before long. I hope you enjoyed yourself at the theatre.

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