Remarkable letter written by a war hero 79 years ago is given to his grandson after railway workers found it hidden inside a bridge
- Rory Ellis was handed the letter after railway workers found it inside a bridge
- His grandfather wrote the note in 1940 while repairing a bridge in Melbourne
- The letter was hopeful the turmoil of the war would be over by the time it’s found
A letter written by a war hero has remarkably found its way into the hands of his grandson 79 years later after rail workers found it concealed in a bridge.
Rory Ellis’ grandfather Colin Ellis, who served as a light horseman in World War I and fought in the Battle of the Somme, wrote the letter with his friend in February, 1940, while doing repair work on the South Yarra bridge in Melbourne.
Almost a century later in 2010 two workers stumbled across the message after hammering into the bridge, managing to track down Mr Ellis’ grandson seven years later.
The letter (pictured) was written by Colin Ellis and Joe Eagles during February, 1940
‘They were jack-hammering away on the bridge and all of a sudden some glass shards came flying out of the bridge, and revealed a little bottle that was in there,’ Mr Ellis told 3AW.
Mr Ellis said that the workers who found the letter shared a mutual friend with him, and they eventually were able to track each other down.
‘It’s quite incredible how it found me. Bizarrely, two fellas working on the bridge had a mutual friend who spoke of this letter to a friend of mine.’
Mr Ellis, a musician from Melbourne, said the letter written in the midst of war and turmoil held great meaning for him.
Rory Ellis, (pictured), the grandson of Colin, said the letter written in the midst of the war still held a lot of meaning for him
‘The thing that I gathered the most from it is that it’s so pertinent to today. It goes through history. It’s incredible!’ he said.
Mr Ellis and Mr Eagles wrote in the note that they hoped the struggles of the war would be over by the time the letter was found.
‘We close this letter with the hope that the workers are enlightened when this is found and that there is peace on earth and good will to man,’ the letter said.
War hero’s incredible letter is found 79 years later
Feb 8th 1940
This bottle was placed here on the above date, by Joe Eagles and Colin Ellis ‘Plasterers’ who have been repairing the cement work of this bridge since November 1939.
The gauge of material used has been two parts of sand to one of cement. The work was supervised by Mr Williams of the Prahran Council. We both have appreciated his cooperation, and his conditions of employment. The world war is on at present brought about by the capitalist section of the world to maintain a rotten system.
We hope when this bottle is found that the workers of the world will be getting a much more equal share in natures gifts, and the wealth they produce for the class that prioritise them and thieves. Even to the extent of murdering each other. To protect wealth they do not share in. The capitalists call it war, not murder.
We close this letter with the hope that the workers are enlightened when this is found and that there is peace on earth and good will to man.
Written by Colin Ellis and Joe Eagles