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'DON'T WORRY'

Family of Brit soldier killed in WWII finally receive letter he wrote days before his death

THE family of a British soldier killed in World War Two have finally received a letter he wrote days before his death.

Private Harry Cole, 30, sent it to mum Rosa in 1940 during the retreat to Dunkirk, France — telling her: “Please don’t worry about me, I shall get through it OK.”

 Private Harry Cole, 30, was killed in World War II during the retreat to Dunkirk
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Private Harry Cole, 30, was killed in World War II during the retreat to DunkirkCredit: East Anglia News Service
 His family has just received a letter he sent three days before his death
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His family has just received a letter he sent three days before his deathCredit: Suffolk Regiment/Suffolk Archives/East Anglia News Service
 The soldier comforted his mother saying: 'I shall get through it OK'
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The soldier comforted his mother saying: 'I shall get through it OK'Credit: Suffolk Regiment/Suffolk Archives/East Anglia News Service

He was also optimistic that German troops would soon be “on the run” and “back in Germany in double quick time.” He was shot dead three days later.

His letter was among a batch of 50 found by a German officer who kept them in his attic until 1968, when he gave them to the British embassy.

Harry’s letter stayed in an archive for decades until a council research assistant from his village of Hasketon, Suffolk, ­recognised the name.

Two of Harry’s six brothers are still alive. One, 87-year-old Clemmie, still lives at the family’s old home. He said: “I was quite moved to read his words.”

He added: “When he was away fighting, my mother said she suddenly saw his face appear at her bedroom window one night. She told my father to look, but it had gone.

“She always thought that it was his spirit visiting the house on the day he was killed.”

Extracts from Pte Cole’s letter and six others sent by troops and lost at the same time are in an online exhibition, called With Love From Dunkirk, put on by Suffolk Archives and Suffolk Artlink in a project funded by the National Heritage Lottery Fund.

 Pte Cole’s brother Clemmie, 87, pictured, said: 'I was quite moved to read his words'
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Pte Cole’s brother Clemmie, 87, pictured, said: 'I was quite moved to read his words'Credit: East Anglia News Service
 Harry's mother Rosa believed 'his spirit visited the house on the day he was killed'
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Harry's mother Rosa believed 'his spirit visited the house on the day he was killed'Credit: East Anglia News Service
 The war memorial in Hasketon, Suffolk, on which the name of Private Harry Cole is engraved
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The war memorial in Hasketon, Suffolk, on which the name of Private Harry Cole is engravedCredit: East Anglia News Service
Footage of the Queen Mother, Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes-Lyon and King George VI visit bombed boroughs of London during World War 2
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