Postal Museum seeks bios of fallen wartime postal employees
By Molly Goad
The Postal Museum in London is inviting the public to share their family histories of the post office heroes who perished during World War I and World War II. The campaign was kicked off on May 8, 2020 — the 75th anniversary of V-E (Victory in Europe) Day.
During both wars the General Post Office in England was vital. More than 70,000 postal workers fought in each war, and 12,830 of those lives were lost.
In the mid-1950s postal employee James Trezies honored the fallen by researching their names and writing them on individual sheets of cream wove paper. The work was bound into two volumes (one for each war) and donated to the Postal Museum in 2015 by the Post Office Fellowship of Remembrance. These volumes are now available online.
Members of the public are invited to search for the names of loved ones and add details about their lives using an online form. Submissions will be reviewed by the museum team and added to the website.
“One of the stories we’ve uncovered is of Percy Walter Minns. Percy joined the post office as a postman in 1937, before this he had served in the Royal Navy and would re-join in 1939 to fight in the Second World War,” said Chris Taft, head of collections at the Postal Museum. “However, on Sept. 17, 1939 in the beginning weeks of the war, Percy died on the H.M.S. Courageous along with over 500 crew members when the ship was torpedoed by a German U-boat.”
“We’ve now added Percy’s story to the GPO War Heroes website, and we hope that others will follow and share their own stories of relatives, so these online memorial books become a valuable resource for family history researchers and the future generations alike,” Taft said.
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