Lost war letters found by Brentwood man

BROTHERS are to be reunited with poignant letters from their family’s history, thanks to a letter printed in last week’s Recorder.

Brian Wyatt, 70, from Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex, whose family were from Brentwood, had appealed for information, fearing he may have left it too late to find anyone who could help because the only older member of the family was his brother John, 75.

The letter asked if anyone knew details of his uncle, Dennis Peacock, who he believed had died on duty in Normandy during World War Two, as well as any living relatives.

Reader Michael Philpot, 61, of Chequers Road, Brentwood, contacted the Recorder last week to tell us that for more than a decade he had been looking after letters sent from the front line to Dennis Peacock’s wife.

They include the one written by Pte Peacock’s company informing her that he had been killed in action by the fragment of a mortar shell.

The letter says that Mr Peacock “was particularly unlucky because the man with him in the trench was not even scratched”.

Mr Philpot had been a neighbour of Mr Peacock’s widow and her second husband, Geoff Alcock, for around 30 years in Trescoe Gardens, Collier Row.

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He said: “I was reading your paper and noticed the names Alice Sawyer and Dennis Peacock and realised that I had those letters in the shed.”

He also believes that he may know where one of Mr Wyatt’s cousins moved to when she left Collier Row.