Mystery of 1944 picture in street solved

IPSWICH: Rosalind Waters couldn’t believe her eyes when she opened her Evening Star – and spotted a picture of her late husband.

The photograph was printed after a Star reader had found it lying in Ipswich’s Dorchester Road and contacted the newsroom for help in reuniting it with its owner.

The snap of the British soldier in Greece was dated January 16, 1944, but did not feature the name of the young man pictured.

But today, the story behind the photograph can be revealed after the riddle was resolved.

Pensioner Mrs Waters said she was left in a state of shock when she turned the page to find a picture of her late husband, Philip.


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She believes the image had been dropped in the street by her husband’s cousin, who had been visiting a friend in Dorchester Road.

The 80-year-old of Adelaide Road, said: “Philip’s cousin had come over from the Isle of Wight. He was visiting and he must have just dropped it accidentally.”

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She said the picture had been taken on Philip’s 22nd birthday.

“He was called up for service and got his papers on his 18th birthday, so he served for about four years,” she said.

“Philip had been serving in the Royal Engineers during the Second World War and he served in Greece.

“This photo and another I have of him would have been taken on his 22nd birthday.

“He was still in Greece when Victory in Europe was declared.”

Mrs Waters believes the picture bears the wrong year, as the British troops did not arrive in Greece until late 1944.

“I have a very similar picture which is dated January 1, 1945 and I think that they were actually taken on the same day,” she added.

On returning to England after the war, Philip, a father-of-four, grandfather-of-ten and great-grandfather-of-six, returned to work as a plasterer and was in high demand due to the number of buildings which required maintenance work.

Rosalind and Philip met in 1949, when a mutual friend invited them both to her beach hut in Waldringfield.

“The next thing I knew, we were marrying a few years later at St Mary-Le-Tower Church in 1952,” said Mrs Waters.

“We then moved into our home in Adelaide Road in 1954 where we lived ever since.”

Philip died in 1988 but Mrs Waters said that she would always remember the “lovely times” they shared.

Mrs Waters, who worked as a nurse in Anglesea Road Nursing Home, added: “I really could not believe it when I came across his picture in the paper.

“It definitely came as a bit of a shock.”

- Have you recently come across a piece of history in the town’s streets? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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