Economic historian Dr Helen Paul, of the University of Southampton, found a hand-written message when she was removing the packing stitches from a kilt that has been passed down in her family for decades. The message reads: “I hope your kilt will fit you well, & in it you will look a swell. If married never mind. If single drop a line. Wish you bags of luck, & a speedy return back to Blighty.” Underneath was the name of Helen Govan, of 49 Ardgowan Street in Glasgow.
Dr. Paul reports, “This garment has been in our family for a number of decades, and until recently, we were completely unaware there was such an intriguing secret hidden in its folds. It was a real surprise when the note fell out.
“My father tried to trace any relatives of the note’s author a few years ago, but his efforts failed and I’m hoping to pick up where he left off.”
“It would be fantastic to trace who this lady was and learn more about her history, as well as the social history of the women who made and packed the kilts, which ultimately went to clothe the soldiers fighting in the trenches.”
Are you descended from Helen Govan, of 49 Ardgowan Street in Glasgow? Or do have any ideas of how to find descendants? If so, Dr Helen Paul would like to hear from you.
You can read more in an article by Keith Perry in The Telegraph at http://goo.gl/NgB3bP.
My thanks to newsletter reader John Rees for telling me about this story.