On July 5th, 1945, a young British woman named Dorothy penned a letter to her sweetheart, Harry Hughes, a Royal Air Force pilot posted overseas in India. She told him about her day—she had voted in the General Election with her father, who, she said, was “rather proud on the occasion of having a daughter old enough to vote.” She wrote of her hopes for the future—marriage, and a happy life together.

In 2016, someone—Dorothy? Harry? A younger Hughes?—mistakenly dropped the letter in an Asda Supercentre in Greater Manchester, England. Cashier Stacie Adamson was going through the store’s Lost and Found when she spotted it, tucked among the junk mail and coupon packets. “I was going through all the letters, which we shred,” she told the Manchester Evening News. “I saw it was from the war and saved it from being shredded.”

A still from Harry's "Calling Blighty" segment. Harry is on the far right.
A still from Harry’s “Calling Blighty” segment. Harry is on the far right. North West Film Archives

Touched by the letter’s message, Adamson has dedicated herself to finding its owner. So far, her search has turned up a video clip from Calling Blighty, a series of films shot in India and Southeast Asia for the benefit of folks back home. In the segment, Harry, smiling alongside a couple of his comrades, greets his parents and Dorothy. “I’m fine, there’s nothing to worry about,” he reassures them, before joking about sending some sunshine home to rainy Britain.

Adamson’s next move, of course, is Facebook. An Asda post about the search has already garnered thousands of shares, along with helpful suggestions from invested readers: try to get on local TV! Post a copy of the letter near the cash registers!

“If the owner does turn up and claim it please let us romantics know,” the top comment on the post pleads. The medium may change, but the message stays the same—we all just want the comfort of a response.