Postcard from World War One soldier finds its way home to Sheffield family

A World War One postcard from a Sheffield solider has found its way back to his family over a hundred years after his death thanks to an appeal from Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice.

Thursday, 31st October 2019, 11:20 am
Updated Thursday, 21st November 2019, 4:23 pm
The soldiers’ great niece Kate Bayburt with the postcard
The soldiers’ great niece Kate Bayburt with the postcard

The postcard, which was kindly donated to one of Bluebell Wood’s hospice shops by a volunteer, was sent to a Mrs E O'Brien of Main Road, Handsworth in Sheffield – but signed only by ‘Tom’.

It was believed the postcard was sent from the soldier while he was fighting on the frontline in Belgium between 1914 and 1918.

The charity shared the postcard on social media with the hope of tracking down a relative, and had a fantastic response from members of the public.

The postcard

The charity posted: “The message on the front (according to Google translate) reads – ‘We fight well, in Belgium, in France. Our success keeps hope’.

“We'd really love to return the postcard, which is signed by ‘Tom’, to a relative in the run-up to Remembrance Day.

“After some help from a follower on our Bluebell Wood Children's Hospice Shops page, we’ve discovered the intended recipient was a Mrs Elizabeth O’Brien of Main Road, Handsworth.”

After her husband saw the story in the Sheffield Telegraph, the soldier’s great niece, Kate Bayburt, contacted Bluebell Wood.

Mrs Bayburt, who was taken aback by the discovery, gratefully collected the postcard ahead of Remembrance Day.

The mystery solider was a Thomas Henry Temprell, from Sheffield, who sadly died in 1916 at just 19-years-old.

He is buried in the Salonika Military Cemetery in Greece.

Madeleine Oldale, Head of Communications at Bluebell Wood, said: “When we discovered the postcard we felt it was only right to try and reunite it with a member of Thomas’ family so we were delighted when Kate came forward.

“We’d like to thank everyone who shared our appeal and kindly researched the postcard for us; thanks to your help it’s back with his family who will no doubt treasure it for years to come.”

Bluebell Wood cares for children and young adults whose lives are sadly just too short, both in their own homes and at its hospice in North Anston.

They believe that every family deserves to make magical memories with their child, whether they have years, months, weeks or days together.

Bluebell Wood is a home from home for families facing the toughest of times, with a comfy lounge and beautiful gardens. Every day, the hospice needs to raise £11,000 to keep its doors open.