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Quesnel resident learns of Plymouth Blitz through long-forgotten family letter

Plymouth was one of the most heavily bombed British cities during World War Two
Honey Affleck discovered this letter among her father’s papers last year detailing the horrors of the Plymouth Blitz. (Photo submitted)

I found this letter among my Dad’s papers in 2021. I never even knew there was such a thing as the Plymouth Blitz. Upon reading the letter I realized that this was a letter written to my Great Aunt Mary and Great Uncle Walter in 1941. Aunt Mary must have passed the letter on to her sister, my grandmother.

Mary and Walter Spear moved to Russell, Man. around 1901, so 40 years had passed, and they still kept in contact with friends and relatives in England.

Upon finding this letter, I did a bit of research regarding the Blitz. I then contacted the Museum in Plymouth, England. The Museum, called The Box, had just undergone a five-year renovation and was putting the museum back in order. At this time, they were also setting up a display commemorating the 80th Anniversary of the Plymouth Blitz. The curator was absolutely delighted that I had an original artifact from that time. After consulting the accessioning Committee of the Museum, they made the decision to accept the original letter.

After making copies for myself, and the grandson of Aunt Mary and Uncle Walter, I mailed them off to the Museum. They assured me that they had received it and that it was now on display commemorating that dreadful time in history.

I am hoping that you and your readers would find this bit of history interesting. It just proves that what we’ve been reading in the history books is true!

-Honey Affleck

(Editor’s Note: Plymouth was one of the most heavily bombed British cities during World War Two, the City of Plymouth notes on its website. The first bombs fell on the city on July 6, 1940, with the heaviest period of bombing occurring in March and April 1941. More than 1,100 civilians died.)

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