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Message in bottle arrives after 85 years.

A FIRST World War soldier's message in a bottle to his family today reached its final destination - 85 years after he threw it into the English Channel from a troop carrier.

The note in a ginger beer bottle was written by Durham Light Infantry Private Thomas Hughes as he headed for the battlefields of France in 1914.

He died in action days later and after the war his widow Elizabeth and 10-year-old daughter Emily emigrated to New Zealand.

The bottle was dredged from the Thames Estuary by fisherman Steve Gowan in April and Emily, now 87, was traced to New Zealand.

Emily, now Mrs Crowhurst, has presented it to Durham Light Infantry Museum.

She said: ''When I first got the bottle it felt wonderful to have something that put me in touch with my father."

The letter read: ''Dear wife, I am writing this note on this boat and dropping it into the sea to see if it will reach you, ta ta sweet for the present, your hubby.''
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Sep 10, 1999
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