The 75-year-old wartime words which touched the heart of a Sunderland girl

A Wearside woman has clung on to an emotional wartime message for 75 years – and now she’d love to trace the two little girls who wrote it.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 07 June, 2019, 08:00

Delphine Dixon, 85, has never parted with the autograph book that her dad Roger gave her in 1944.

It contains the beautifully written words of two Dutch children who were full of thanks to the liberating British Army. (Holland had been under Nazi occupation from May 1940).

Delphine Dixon with her autograph book her father sent her during the Second World War

Those little girls were Corry and Mia Manders from Eindhoven and they wrote: “Please give our thanks to our little friends in England whose daddy’s made our liberation possible.”

That book travelled with Delphine’s dad Roger Dixon during his days with the Royal Army Service Corps. He saw action including on D-Day at Normandy.

But when he got home, he passed the autograph book to Delphine and she has treasured it ever since.

Delphine has travelled extensively and lived for 52 years in South Africa. Just four years ago, she returned to her homeland and now lives back in her birthplace of Hetton.

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Delphine Dixon with her autograph book her father sent her during the Second World War.

But no matter where she has been, the book has stayed by her side and Delphine has one last wish. She would love to know whether Corrie and Mia are still alive and if anyone knows of them.

“I was about 10 years old at the time and they would have been about my age,” said Delphine who added: “I have never shown this autograph book to anyone before but I think it should be appreciated.”

Delphine was little more than a toddler when war started, and her dad talked little of the horrors he saw. But Delphine said: “It was terrible how many of them never made it home. It must have been a terrible time.”

Her father’s memories included that of soldiers at Normandy who landed in the water and had to struggle with the weight of their own backpacks as well as the oncoming enemy fire.

Can anyone help with Delphine’s bid to trace Corry and Mia? We would love to help her in her search.

Email chris.cordner@jpimedia.co.uk if you can.