Gympie man receives a pleasant surprise.
Gympie man receives a pleasant surprise.

Long lost letters returned to sender’s son - 75 years later

LONG lost letters have been returned to the Gympie relative of their author, nearly 80 years after they were written.

Warwick writer and military historian Deborah Wheeler tracked down the son of former Warwick resident Harold William Mathison.

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Harold's son Bill now lives in Gympie and was stunned to receive a telephone call from Ms Wheeler detailing some long lost and forgotten family history.

Recently Ms Wheeler came into possession of three letters written by Harold during his time spent in the army during World War II.

 

Deborah Wheeler, writer and military historian, returned the long lost letters of Harold William Mathison, to his only son, Bill, who now lives in Gympie.
Deborah Wheeler, writer and military historian, returned the long lost letters of Harold William Mathison, to his only son, Bill, who now lives in Gympie.

 

The letters were addressed to his sweetheart, Elsia Matkows, who also resided in Warwick.

Ms Wheeler said: "It gives me a great feeling of accomplishment to be the bearer of good news and in this instance pass on these precious letters to the family.

"Nothing is more rewarding than being able to fill in missing pieces of someone's family history, especially when dealing with members of our Defence Force both past and present."

Bill Mathison, who was named after his father and goes by his middle name, received the letters via registered mail on Friday May 9.

"I was shocked and surprised," Mr Mathison said.

 

Letters on writing desk
Letters on writing desk

 

"I was a bit surprised at how they got misplaced for so long, but they are in excellent condition."

Mr Mathison has lived in Gympie for 30 years and said the letters were from his father to his mother Elsia.

He said after the war the couple married, left Warwick and moved to Toowoomba and had three children: Bill's two older sisters and himself.

"My dad was an ex-serviceman. He would have been 105 this September," he said.

 

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