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Correspondence of Angus Leybourne and Connie Kirkup, Apr-Dec 1915 (13 pages: 167 KB) 

Correspondence of Angus Leybourne and Connie Kirkup, Jan-Nov 1916 (32 pages: 275 KB) 

Yours to a Cinder - the correspondence of an 8th Battalion Durham Light Infantry prisoner of war

The letters of Angus Leybourne and Connie Kirkup, 1915-1917

Discover the story of a very British romance between two young people from County Durham during the First World War. The Leybourne family has very generously loaned Angus and Connie’s original letters to the Durham at War project so that they can be shared by a wider audience.

Angus Leybourne, from Gateshead, was an officer of the 8th Battalion Durham Light Infantry, who was wounded and taken prisoner at Ypres in April 1915. He was one of the first British prisoners of war to be transferred from Germany to internment in Switzerland at the end of May 1916.

Connie Kirkup was a family friend who wrote to him throughout his captivity. Angus proposed to her by letter from Switzerland in September 1916 and she was eventually able to travel out to visit him in January 1917. Connie was the matron of the hospital hut at Birtley Munition Works in 1916.

The story ended happily, for the couple were married in October 1918.

Several volunteers have helped to transcribe these letters and all have enjoyed following Angus and Connie’s story. One of our project volunteers has also been inspired to write a series of blog posts for us, starting on Valentine’s Day this year:

Durham at War blog – A Very British Romance

Volunteers are still working on the letters written in 1917.

Where to find this: Private collection

Contributed by The Leybourne family | Durham County Record Office | Paul B | Liz B | Norma C | Margaret E | Sarah F | Jackie L | Una M | Kenneth M | Marie-Therese P |

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