Page last updated at 14:27 GMT, Saturday, 3 May 2008 15:27 UK

Western Front letters to be sold

Thomas Wright's belongings
The auctioneers said it was difficult to value such unique items

A unique collection of medals and letters between a World War One soldier and his mother are to be auctioned.

Emma Wright wrote to Thomas while he served in France and items include the last letter she wrote before getting news of his death in December 1917.

Also part of the sale are a picture of Mr Wright in uniform and a plaque recording his death.

The collection is being sold by Mr Wright's niece Vera Coles, who said her mother never got over the death.

Ms Coles, who is now 86, added: "Her other brother Bill, who is mentioned in one of the letters, used to say that Tom was sat under the table one day when Bill fired a gun by mistake.

"It just missed Tom but Bill always said he wished he'd shot him in the foot instead, then he wouldn't have had to go to war."

Auctioneer Clinton Slingsby said: "This is a tragic story and awful to think that Thomas was already dead when Emma wrote that final letter to him. She must have had a terrible Christmas that year.

"These items were obviously well looked after by the family, having survived over 90 years, and we are delighted to be able to offer them for sale at our next auction."

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