Police track down family of First World War soldier after finding letter to his 'only friend'

Police track down family of First World War soldier after finding letter to his 'only friend'

Police posted an image of the letter and information on Twitter

Monday, February 19, 2018

Police in France used Twitter to find the family of a First World War soldier, who wrote a letter to his "only friend" two weeks before he died.

The family was located after the police wrote about the letter online and it was shared on social media, according to The Local. Before this they had been struggling to identify anyone linked to the soldier.

It was written on May 27 1915 to Jean Audiffen by 24-year-old Jean Soulagnes, but was only recently rediscovered when officers were searching a property after it was burgled in Marseille.

In the letter Soulagnes had a request for his friend, saying he knew his “heart” so wouldn’t “hesitate to ask you this favour.

"You will not refuse the painful service, in case of a serious event, of letting my family and my fiancée know that before dying, having given my life to the country, my soul thinks only of them and sends them my final goodbye."

Two weeks after writing the letter he was killed in Hebuterne, northern France.

A spokesperson for the Bouches-du-Rhone public security department told BFM TV: "We still have to do more checks, but the family part of the case has been solved."

Arnaud Louis said there had been "exceptional mobilisation" on social media and some amateur genealogists also looked into the descendants of the soldier.

Despite the discovery, the search is continuing as police are still attempting to find Audiffen's family.