York & North Yorkshire

Hunt begins for relatives of Ryedale 'love poem' book couple

Prayer book
Image caption The poem features the line: "I know deep down within, that I shall love you, darling, till I die"

A charity shop worker who found a prayer book containing a personalised wartime love poem is appealing for help to reunite it with the family.

The book belonged to a couple in Ryedale, North Yorkshire, and turned up nearly 300 miles away at a charity shop in West Sussex.

Shop worker Julie Angell‎ said she wanted to reunite it with the couple's living relatives.

She said an appeal on social media had sparked a lot of interest.

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The book was given to Nancy Harrison by her husband Jim while he was serving in North Africa in 1943.

A hand-written message reads: "With love to Nancy, in remembrance of our wedding day, 14th September 1938."

The book also contains a clipping of a love poem and other hand-written notes detailing key dates, such as the births of the couple's two children, and the marriages of other couples in the Ryedale community.

Image caption The book also includes other key dates from the couple's time together

Mrs Angell, who works at St Barnabas House, Henfield, said the book was donated to the shop on Good Friday.

She said it was while she was looking through it she noticed the notes and poem.

"I felt privileged to read it because it was so touching, and decided to share it with the Silversurfer community on Facebook," she said.

"It all went a bit bonkers."

She said the couple had two children, Dorothy, who was born in Ryedale, in November 1940, and Ronald, who was born in York, in January 1947.

It is thought Dorothy died in childhood, but it is not known what happened to Ronald.

Mrs Angell said she hoped the appeal could help reunite the book with members of the family.

She added that attempts were being made to contact a 95-year-old female cousin of Jim Harrison, who was traced through a family history website.