My darling Elsie - wartime letter to Gedney Dyke on eBay

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A wartime letter from a soldier to his wife back in Gedney Dyke is up for sale on the internet auction site eBay.

The Second Word War Army form active service envelope is annotated with the date 27/8/41 and was sent by Gnr Cozens A, 1570599, who was stationed at Kirkwall, in Orkney, during the conflict, back to his wife Elsie in South Holland.

The handwritten correspondence is being sold by a Leicestershire collector who hopes it might be reunited with its rightful owner, or a relation of the couple in question.

The letter has been listed with a Buy it Now price of £6, plus £1 postage, while the auction is due to end on March 26.

Peter Harvey, who served with the RAF for 22 years, originally bought the letter as part of a large lot of 700 wartime items at an auction held in Essex.

“With all these items it is always interesting to know the history and I am sure these parts of Lincolnshire had quite small populations at the time of Second Word War,” said Mr Harvey who has been collecting and dealing in postal history for around 30 years.

“The person who wrote the letter appears to have written home throughout the war, both when with the Royal Garrison Artillery in Orkney and also while based with anti-aircraft units on the Isle of Wight, serving in Essex, and then with the British Liberation Army,” he added.

The five-page letter, which starts ‘My Darling Elsie’, was sent from the garrison artillery unit stationed in Orkney throughout the conflict.

“Postal history collecting has always been popular with collectors but more and more these days people are interested in the social history aspects of letters and correspondence too,” said Mr Harvey.

“And the internet also means that collectors throughout the world are more engaged.”

News of the letter’s sale was also discussed on a Facebook page dedicated to Old Holbeach.

It can be viewed on eBay at