Rediscovering Heroes of The Past

This post is subscribed by ‘kezsuniverse’

Please note whilst the story is true, any names mentioned are fictitious (comment:

It was a summer Sunday afternoon and my mom was up in the attic of our new house, we hadn’t been there long so we were all still getting used to the place.

My mom had gone into the attic not expecting to find anything but to her surprise she found the cutest little picnic basket, it was wooden with a red material on in the interior.

If you were to know my mom you would realize that the sight of this picnic basket tickled her fancy, the moment she set eyes on it. She cried out excitedly, “Oh wow! This is absolutely beautiful”, Then, hastily, she grabbed hold of the basket and handed it down to my sister who was patiently waiting to see what the fuss, coming from the attic, was all about.

When I saw the picnic basket and opened it up I was so taken by the red interior but more so, with the contents inside. It wasn’t your usual sandwich with pickle and cheese on it, but rather something of much greater value.

It contained pictures and letters of someone’s past life. I lifted these old pictures and proceeded to blow the dust off of them. There on the bottom of one of the pictures of an airplane, it read “RAF No. …” I had never seen anything like this and had no idea what RAF was and after I had researched it, I found out that it meant Rhodesian Air Force.

The first person I thought of telling was my Zeyde (Yiddish name for Grandfather) because he had been a pilot himself and his father was a war time pilot in the South African Air Force.

Once I had found out more about the person, I rang my Zeyde up with much excitement and relayed the whole story to him. He encouraged me to investigate further and this really started to enthuse me.

It seemed that the pictures were mostly concerning the airplanes and flying career of a young pilot.

Each time I found out something new, I would be on the phone with my Zeyde adding more about this young pilot’s life. His past life was now becoming a part of my present life and I loved every bit of it.

As time went on and I had found out more about him I wanted to know where he was and where his family were; did they want these pictures or was it a time of hurt which they never wanted to relive? I hopped onto Google and typed in his name, ‘Welford Mathews’.  As I waited for the page to load with my fingers crossed I hoped that I would find the missing pieces.

I definitely wasn’t expecting to find what I found. Welford Mathews had passed away in South Africa. I immediately thought to myself that his family might want these pictures but I had no way of getting hold of them so this became my next mission; to find the family or someone close to them.

Through a lot of investigating and hard work I found someone close to Welford. This person said that he would love to see the pictures and then pass them on to the Welford’s family.

So we arranged to meet up and he couldn’t stop thanking me for what I had done.

This was probably one of the most rewarding things that I have accomplished.

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