The mystery of the “grateful Luxembourgan”
A British woman is appealing for help in tracing a “grateful Luxembourgan”, who wrote a mysterious letter to her late aunt while he was a refugee in the UK in 1945.
Heather Sinclair's curiosity was piqued when, following the death of her Aunt, Joyce, in August this year, she discovered a handwritten letter in English and photograph in a small envelope pasted into a book in her aunt's home.
“We found it intriguing because the man is a mystery. She never spoke about him,” said Heather of her aunt, who never married.
The author of the letter, dated May 1945, is known only as “Vic”. He writes of his gratitude to the UK for hosting him as a refugee and explains that he will leave the country by the end of the month to return “on business” in July or August.
He wrote: “This country has been so good and patient with us refugees and I am sorry to leave it although it means returning to my own home. Maybe the Sunday Express will publish a letter from me in their next issue. It will be signed 'A grateful Luxembourgan'. If you see it you know who wrote it and you will know by what I am telling you now that when I wrote that article you were very much in my mind."
Mrs Sinclair has done her best to piece together her aunt's story to find out how the two met. Joyce lived in Brixham, Devon, but it is thought she may have worked as a children's nanny, perhaps in Sandhurst, as the letter refers to her “return to Sandhurst”.
She has also tried to trace the Sunday Express letter referred to but with no luck.
Her last step is to appeal to people in Luxembourg to find out if they can locate “Vic” or, if it is too late, perhaps to find information about him and maybe any letters he received from Joyce.
“It's purely for sentimental reasons. She (Joyce) may be really angry we're doing this. but I checked with my uncle, her brother, and he couldn't see any reason not to,” said Mrs Sinclair, adding: “She was loved dearly because she was such a lovely lady and we wanted to know if anyone knew this man who had meant a lot to her and she had clearly meant a lot to him.”
If you know the man in this picture or think you can help shed light on who Vic was, please email firstname.lastname@example.org