Cherished wartime photos and sympathy letter from the King in handbag found and handed in to police

The sympathy letter from King George VI and one of the photos in the bag. EMN-181210-095418001
The sympathy letter from King George VI and one of the photos in the bag. EMN-181210-095418001

Police are hoping to reunite a handbag containing wartime photographs and a letter of sympathy from King George VI with its owner.

Sleaford Police have posted on their Facebook page: “We’ve had this maroon handbag handed into us and we think it could have been lost in the Walcot/Osbournby area.

Two more of teh images - one in civilian clothes, the other in desert uniform, found in the handbag. EMN-181210-095428001

Two more of teh images - one in civilian clothes, the other in desert uniform, found in the handbag. EMN-181210-095428001

“It contains photographs which could have sentimental value.”

The bag contains a letter on headed notepaper from Buckingham Palace signed George R.I. standing for Rex Imperator - likely to be King George VI who was on the throne during the Second World War.

The letter states: “The Queen and I offer you our heartfelt sympathy in your great sorrow.

“We pray that your country’s gratitude for a life so nobly given in its service may bring you some measure of consolation.”

Do you recognise the maroon handbag handed in to police that may have been lost in the Walcot or Osbournby area? EMN-181210-095407001

Do you recognise the maroon handbag handed in to police that may have been lost in the Walcot or Osbournby area? EMN-181210-095407001

This was a fairly common letter sent out to bereaved families who had lost loved ones in action during the Second World War.

One black and white picture shows a man in soldier’s uniform bearing the stripes of a sergeant.

Another picture is of a man in a civilian pin-stripe suit and another is of a man in desert uniform in shorts sat on a rock, possibly somewhere in the Middle East or Egypt where the British Army was battling Rommel.

Such paperwork is often passed down through generations of families and it has been suggested that the items being all together may suggest that they could have been on their way to be offered for inclusion in an exhibition being held at Osbournby Parish Church in commemoration of the centenary of the First World War.

The exhibition is being staged from October 7 until November 11

Clerk to the parish council Libby King said: “I believe the police have been talking to the people involved in putting on the exhibition in case they know whose it is.

“Various people have been putting it together including Judith Thompson who used to run the heritage centre in the old chapel before it was sold to become a house.

“The exhibition has lots of information about what Osbournby people did during the war, with photos, memorablia and details of when children used to collect eggs each day to feed the soldiers for the war effort.”

If anyone know anything about the owner of teh handbag or pictures, they should call Lincolnshire Police on 101.