Loraine Fergusson, a well-known author from Didcot, Oxfordshire just released the 300 letter correspondence between her parents during World War II on her newest blog “With Love from Graz.”
For about ten years, Fergusson had been interviewing her mother about her experiences in the war for a historical novel she was planning on writing. One day, she asked her mother if she could read the love letters between her and her father, and her mother’s response was that she would be too embarrassed if her daughter read them now. She was to wait until she was gone to read or publish the letters.
So, four years after her mother passed, finally she brought herself to read the love letters between her parents, two soulmates who fell in love through the ravages of war.
The couple first met in a hospital in Austria that they were both stationed in. Brian Thomas, a 34 year old surgeon, fell in love with Katie Walker, a 23 year old nurse from Graz, near the end of World War II in 1946. One of their favorite stories to tell was that Thomas needed to find a surgical instrument, and while Walker was helping him look, she accidentally opened a closet full of condoms. She slammed the door closed quickly, and the two burst out laughing. That was one of the many memories they shared when they first fell in love.
Thomas was in the midst of a divorce, when he met Walker, and once it was finalized, the couple was inseparable for the next four months of the war. They would take pictures together of their daily life with each other, and couldn’t be happier. When the war ended and the two went their separate ways, Thomas to London and Walker to Graz, Austria, they continued their love affair through letters and pictures of their lives without each other for eight more months, until they were finally reunited and married.
The letters entailed small aspects of their daily lives, and of course how much they loved and missed each other. They even had a curious and adorable nickname for each other: “Boofus.”One surprising aspect of the letters was how passionate they would get during the correspondence. It was hardly socially acceptable, especially between a man in the middle of a divorce and a younger woman. But, the letters were how the two fell even deeper in love as they made plans to spend the rest of their lives with each other.
Thomas passed at 72 from a heart attack, and Walker died in 2009 at the age of 86. They had 35 years together, and Fergusson today likes to think that her parents are together now. True love that was so eloquently and passionately expressed within these letters cannot die so easily.