It’s hard to keep track of your wallet during WWII.
Just ask British soldier, Kenneth Ashby who lost his wallet in the Netherlands in 1945
Who could have imagined that the wallet would have turned decades later?
Well for Kenneth’s son, Robin, the emotions were overwhelming when another man’s family, including his granddaughters, Jasmijn and Myrthe, traveled from their home in the Netherlands to personally hand deliver the wallet to him.
It’s been over 70 years and the leather wallet was still reasonably well preserved.
It had been missing since Ashby had been stationed in the south-eastern Netherlands town of Haelen.
The wallet was essentially a time capsule of family treasures.
Inside it, Robin Ashby found a number of his dad’s personal effects, including a bunch of old photographs.
The wallet meant more to Robin Ashby than anyone could have imagined.
It allowed him to reconnect and learn more about his late father, who died in 1968, when Robin was just a teenager.
It was the driver’s license inside the wallet that led the Van Hornes to Ashby.
The wallet had somehow made it into the hands of an elderly man who passed it on to a pensioned named Frits Van Horne over 25 years ago.
Through the help of his family, Van Horne began searching for clues that would lead to Kenneth Ashby’s descendants.
The first step was using the name on the license to trace him to a cemetery in Godalming, Surrey, where Ashby was interred.
With the help of a local newspaper, word eventually reached Robin Ashby of his father’s wallet.
This led to Robin phoning the Dutch family and inviting them to drive over to England to return the wallet in person.
Kenneth Ashby’s photographs, embroidered handkerchief, a rabbit’s foot, and a small Union flag are priceless to his son Robin and he is immensely grateful to the Van Hornes for allowing him to reconnect with his father, even if its only in memory.