Share this story Share on Facebook icon Share on Twitter icon Share on Pinterest icon Share on Google Plus icon Share on Linked In icon Share via Email icon

Dundee history - WWI postal workers’ time capsule opened

A time capsule, known at the time of its creation as the ‘Postal War Memorial Shrine’, created and sealed by Dundee postal workers in 1921 has been opened at a special ceremony, following the rediscovery of the fascinating story by an amateur family historian.

In October 1921, a casket contained within a cabinet was put on public display in Dundee; a plaque on the cabinet read: ‘To be opened on the 4th August 2014, by the Postmaster in the presence of the then Lord Provost’.

  The 'shrine' contained sealed letters, including a poignant letter written by telegraphist Annie K Lamont.

Listen to a reading of the letter and find out more about Annie.

The memorial shrine had been reported of in Post Office internal communications in the 1960s and 1980s, but the story was rediscovered by Janice Kennedy while she was researching her family tree, and the casket was found in a storeroom in a Dundee sorting office.

The discovery allowed the casket to be opened as intended, on 4 August in the Dundee City Chambers.

Postal War Memorial Shrine, Dundee 1921The contents of the casket included a large number of newspaper clippings, sealed letters to the present-day Lord Provost and postmaster, an edition of the Dundee Courier, the Scottish Amateur Swimming Association Handbook 1921 and a copy of that year’s Post Office magazine.

Matthew Jarron, Curator of Museum Services, University of Dundee, told History Scotland:

'Right from the start we knew it was something special. I’m not aware of anywhere else commemorating the war in this way.

'It’s an extraordinary idea that people should be so forward thinking as to send us a message this far into the future. It’s being referred to as a "time capsule" and we’re used to the idea of them now but that wasn’t a term used at the time because the concept was so novel.'

  Read much more about the WWI 'Postal War Memorial Shrine' in the October 2014 issue of Scottish Memories magazine.

Order a print edition or download now using the buttons below…


Back to "Local History" Category

21/08/2014 Share this story   Share on Facebook icon Share on Twitter icon Share on Pinterest icon Share on Google Plus icon Share on Linked In icon Share via Email icon

Recent Updates

New Highland Games Centre in Braemar to be completed by September 2018

Work is continuing on a new Highland Games Centre at the site of the Braemar Gathering, which will chart the ...

Free lunchtime lectures - Friends of Dundee City Archives

Enjoy a free history lecture on the first Thursday of the month, at Dundee City Archives. ...

What tartan can I wear?

Find out which tartan you can wear and discover which tartan is linked to your family name or the region ...

Moray student awarded scholarship for ground-breaking archaeology research

A Moray student is to undertake new research into the fate of farms which were set up on marginal land after ...

Other Articles

Two Scottish visitor attractions pass 2 million visitors landmark

Two of Scotland's most popular visitor attractions each welcomed more than 2 millions visitors during 2017, ...

The Tempest Database - exploring five centuries of extreme weather in Scotland

A new website which allows users to browse five centuries of weather data for Scotland and the rest of the UK ...

When is Tartan Day?

Find out when Tartan Day is, and how this special day is celebrated in Scotland, the original home of tartan, ...

Artefacts recovered from the Castle Midden and Back Walk in Stirling - Scottish archaeology news

A range of artefacts recovered from two sites on the edge of the medieval burgh and castle at Stirling sheds ...