12/03/2015
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

Blair Castle launches appeal to reunite wartime evacuee penpals

749c9e69-4093-477d-b547-4e3d78bdf714
Blair Castle has issued an appeal to members of the public to help to reunite two childhood penpals, following the recent discovery of a wartime letter at the castle.

The short letter, which has been in hiding since 1945 behind a radiator in the Castle’s grand ballroom, was discovered during recent winter conservation work at the castle. It is believed to be correspondence between two young evacuees who had been sent to the safety of the countryside until the end of the war.

Now the team at Blair Castle are appealing to the public to see if they can track down the two young friends, who may now be in their eighties, to reunite them with the lost note sent all those years ago in 1945 as well as a collection of keepsakes including dominos, cigarette cards and an unusual golf game involving a dice.

The almost perfectly preserved letter, featuring the unmistakably innocent scribblings of a young child, was written by Archie who was writing to his friend, or possibly a relative, called Bill who was staying at Blair Castle. The letter begins by asking after Bill, then comments on how quiet it is without him and goes on to tell him of another friend, Jackie who is 'going away for good'.

The heading on the letter indicates Archie was staying at Boturich Castle in Balloch, Dunbartonshire and, going by the location of the letter, Bill was a resident at Blair Castle. The Castle team are keen to hear from any members of the public that may be able to shed some light on Archie and Bill to piece the story together.

A 'frightening time'

Stuart Letford, marketing & communications Officer at Blair Castle, said: 'It is incredible to think that Archie’s letter to Bill has been lying hidden for such a long, long time in one of the castle’s thirty rooms and it would be fascinating to hear more about their story and their memories of being evacuated during the war. Who were Bill and Archie? Where were they from? Do they even still know each other? Are they both still alive? It must have been a frightening time for them during the war, but we hope Bill enjoyed his time exploring Blair Castle and the surrounding area during his stay.

'If this letter sparks a memory for anyone, we would love to hear from them. Blair Castle is steeped in over 700 years of history and this remarkable little find is another story to add to a chapter in the castle’s long and rich history.'

The castle’s archive team also found a photograph of the 8th Duke of Atholl with the evacuees who stayed in the area during World War Two. Is Bill in this picture from seventy years ago?

If you can help, contact Blair Castle on tel: 01796 481411 or e-mail.

Blair Castle, Blair Atholl, Pitlochry, Perthshire PH18 5TL; tel: 01796 481207; website.

Back to "Scotland and World War Two" Category

12/03/2015 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

Scottish industrialist Thomas Blake Glover died - On this day in Scottish history

Scottish industrialist Thomas Blake Glover died on 13 December 1911, at the age of 73.


Anne of Denmark - mother of King Charles I - was born - On this day in history

Anne of Denmark, mother of King Charles I, was born on 12 December 1574.


Local Landscape Heroes heritage trail opens at Roman Bathhouse, Strathclyde Country Park

North Lanarkshire Provost, Jean Jones, has opened a new Local Landscape Heroes heritage trail which explores ...


Did Mary Queen of Scots play a role in Lord Darnley’s murder?

Was Mary Queen of Scots guilty of involvement in the murder of her second husband, Henry Lord Darnley? Robert ...


Other Articles

A meal that changed the course of history? Make the mussel brose Bonnie Prince Charlie ate on the eve of Culloden

Recreate the food that Bonnie Prince Charlie enjoyed at his final dinner before the Battle of Culloden, with ...


Scottish architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh died - On this day in history

Scottish architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh died on 10 December 1928.


Malcolm IV King of Scots died - On this day in Scottish history

Malcolm IV, King of Scotland, died at Jedburgh on 9 December 1165.


Mary Queen of Scots was born - On this day in Scottish history

Mary Queen of Scots was born at Linlithgow Palace on 8 December 1542.