By JAMES BROWN
Glasgow Daily Times
Last week I wrote about a man from England searching for a World War II veteran from Austin, Ky. Peter Clemens of Torrington, North Devon, England, sent an e-mail recently searching for Arvel Wyatt, a man who served in the U.S. Army during WWII and was stationed briefly in England prior to the invasion of Normandy.
Peter was 6 at the time and his parents became friends with the young G.I. The soldiers would help around the farm and Peter’s mother would provide them with food.
As it turns out, the son of Arvel Wyatt, Robert, is alive and lives in southern Barren County. The elder Wyatt died in 1990 and is buried locally. Ben Rogers sent an e-mail showing his name is on the Veterans Wall in Beulah Nunn Park.
Robert called Monday to tell me I was speaking with the son of the man I was looking for. He was excited to know there was someone who knew his father when he was in the Army.
“He never really talked about that,” Robert said. He also said there were photos of his father from his time in the Army that were found after Arvel’s death.
I told Robert I was expecting letters from Peter, one of which would be from Robert’s grandfather to Peter’s father, thanking him for his kindness to Arvel while he was in England.
The letter came Friday and I called Robert to let him know. We are to meet Monday so that I can see the photos and he can get a copy of the letter and contact information for Peter.
I read him the letter:
“May 3rd 1944. Austin, Ky.
Dear Mr. J.W. Clemens,
I will answer your kind letter, just real glad to hear from you and to know that you know our son, I hear from him every week he is in France, I told him about getting a letter from you all and told him you said to write you, this old war is awful I will be so glad when it ends, yes Arvel told me about the hillbilly band, he sure did like it, he told me about going to a farmers but never told me where it was, he said he met a lot of good people over there in England.
I hope he gets back alright, yes Arvel has a girl friend over there, her name is Evlyne Pearch, we very often hear from her, she writes my daughter, I hope you hear from Arvel and hope it won't be long till he will be at home, we had a letter from him Friday, he was well and said it was pretty place, he sure does want to come home, I hope how soon he can come, I hope you hear from him, I will send you his address so you can write him, I know he would be glad to get a letter from his friend.
We are having dry weather down here, I hope it will rain soon, well, as I have written all the news, I will say goodbye for the time, hope you hear from Arvel soon.
Mr. and Mrs. R.F. Wyatt
Will write again.”
James Brown is editor of the Glasgow Daily Times. He can be contacted by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org