During World War I, 26-year-old British soldier Thomas Hughes wanted to write a few words to his wife before traveling to France on the war front, so he wrote her a brief note and threw it into a bottle at sea.
Hughes was killed two days later. The bottle, however, was found in March 1999 on the River Thames by a fisherman, Steve Gowan. Steve tried to find Thomas Hughes’ wife, Elizabeth, but she had died in 1979. However, after investigations, he managed to find his daughter, Emily Crowhurst, who was only two years old when she lost her father (in 1999 she was already 86).
The letter reads:
“Dear Wife, I am writing this note on this boat and dropping it into the sea just to see if it will reach you. If it does, sign this envelope on the right hand bottom corner where it says receipt. Put the date and hour of receipt and your name where it says signature and look after it well. Sweet, for the present. Your Hubby.”
The covering note says: “Sir or madam, youth or maid, Would you kindly forward the enclosed letter and earn the blessing of a poor British soldier on his way to the front this ninth day of September, 1914. Signed Private T. Hughes, Second Durham Light Infantry. Third Army Corp Expeditionary Force.”