King George V WWI letter found in discarded carrier bag

Century-old documents including a letter signed by King George V have been found in a carrier bag.

The documents tell the story of a Royal Navy lieutenant who was captured during WWI.

They also included newspapers, personal letters and postcards from the officer, John Pitt Cary, who was a prisoner of war in Turkey.

The items, which were found in Poole, Dorset, have been presented to the Imperial War Museums.

Research revealed Lt Cary had been loaned to the Royal Australian Navy and served on submarine AE2, which played a significant part in the Gallipoli landings of April 1915, but during operations, it was forced to surface and its crew was captured.

Letters and prisoner-of-war postcards tell the story of Lt Cary's imprisonment until his release in 1918.

The letter from the king, dated 15 April 1919, is personally addressed to Lt Cary and thanks those who served with the Australian naval force for their service during the war.

BCP environmental development officer Graham Crabb said the staff were "absolutely amazed" by the find.

He said: "The volunteers and staff are extremely proud to have been part of this discovery and we're all pleased that the Imperial War Museum is now housing this rare collection, enabling new research for historians and university students."

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