This tiny locket of St. Rita — patron of impossible cases — was saved by my grandmother Zillah T. Boles in a small envelope, with a note as to its origins on one side. My mother kept it as a memory all of her days, and now that she has gone, it is with me.
The locket came from a pen pal my mother had in Scotland when she was about 16-17. I don’t know when she and Jean Littlejohn started corresponding or for how long. When I asked my mother about it a number of years back, she said her memories had faded.
The note says:
“This locket was picked up in the street at Dunkirk as the British were retreating to the shore for evacuation by the uncle of Betty’s [my mother’s] pen-pal in Scotland, Jean Littlejohn. His small boat was hit but he miraculously escaped and swam to the transport and got back to Scotland, on a fortnight furlough. He went back to England and to Africa and was reported missing at last word from Jean.”
I’ve no idea what to do with this envelope (and its contents) other than to post the information here so it can go back out into the universe. If living relatives of the deceased Uncle ever somehow get in touch with me, I will be glad to return the locket to them. At this point, it would be impossible to find the original owner. Perhaps, when I have time, I will take a look at family trees on Ancestry to see if I can crack the case. Meanwhile… off into the universe you go, little locket.