Find has links to Upham

00:11, Nov 08 2010
FIND: Rongotea man Trevor Richards found an extra treasure when he bought a book about Charles Upham for $2.

When Rongotea man Trevor Richards bought a book for $2 about war hero Charles Upham, he didn't expect to find an extra treasure hidden among the pages.

He hopes someone will come forward to claim a 1945 postcard penned by Captain Upham's then wife-to-be, Molly McTamney, shortly before their wedding.

Mr Richards nearly threw out the postcard buried in the middle of the book, Mark of the Lion, until he realised who sent it.

The postcard, sent by the future Mrs Upham from Paris to a Wellington woman, was dated June 5, 1945 – two weeks before she married Upham, the only person to receive two Victoria Crosses for extraordinary bravery in World War II.

Mr Richards said he bought the book with others from a second-hand book sale in Waikanae.

"I've never found anything quite that interesting in a book before," he said.


The photo on the postcard was of Notre Dame and it was addressed to Mrs WWatson, at "Franconia", The Terrace, Wellington. Mr Richards hoped family of Mrs Watson or the Uphams would claim the postcard. "This has value for somebody. If I can get it back in the hands of that person, I'll be happy about that," he said.

Captain Upham and his wife married seven years after they became engaged.

Mark of the Lion outlined how Miss McTamney, a dietitian at Christchurch Hospital, and Captain Upham met at the races one Saturday in 1935.

"They danced together that evening; and next day Charles was waiting as she came off duty," the book said. "He had an armful of red roses for her."

They married at Hampshire, England.

Mr Richards, a military and aviation history buff, said the postcard was written nearly a year after Paris was liberated by the Allies and a month after the Germans surrendered the war.

Captain Upham was awarded his first VC for exceptional gallantry at Crete in 1941 and was awarded the Bar to the VC for his actions during a disastrous attack on Ruweisat Ridge in 1942.

Mr Richards said he didn't want to profit from the postcard.

POSTCARD FROM PARIS You will remember this view – both of you! This is the most beautiful city in the world, but prices are terrific! Handkerchiefs 30 shillings! London this week and then up the aisle. Am in a whirl. Best love to you both, Molly.

Manawatu Standard