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French Mystery


News: French Mystery

Wednesday, 10th March 2004
(PR 1161)

The people of Lancashire are being urged to help unravel a French mystery.

Lancashire County Council's Record Office staff are keen to trace relatives of a British soldier who was killed during the Second World War.

The Delmail family from Moreuil in northern France have written to the Record Office in an attempt to trace the soldier's relatives in time for this summer's 60th anniversary of their town's liberation.

The Lancashire soldier was among the troops forming part of the second army who advanced north-east from Caen towards Brussels and Arnheim during the summer of 1944.

He had became friends with the parents of the Delmail family in Moreuil, which is a small town near Amiens.

When Moreuil was liberated, the soldier left forwarding details with his French friends and they started to swap letters with his parents.

The soldier was killed a month later, but the French family remained in touch with his parents and continued to exchange letters and photos.

But the families lost touch following the war and the Delmails do not know the soldier's surname.

One of the photos of the soldier's parents had been taken by a Preston photographer, Phil Waine, who was based in Friargate in 1945.

If anyone recognises the parents or the soldier please contact Record Office staff

Jacquie Crosby, Assistant County Archivist at the Record Office, said:

"This was an unusual query for us, but we're pleased to help out and are hopeful that someone from Lancashire will recognise the people in the photos.

"It would be great knowing we'd helped to solve a 60-year mystery."

For further information please contact: Jane Bullock on 01772 533521



Photograph: Does anyone know the parents of the soldier?
Does anyone know the parents of the soldier?

Photograph: A picture of the soldier left with the French family during the Second World War.
A picture of the soldier left with the French family during the Second World War.

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