Postcard Sent By A Navy Officer In South America Finally Reaches Recipient 30 Years Later

After three long decades, a postcard sent by a Royal Navy officer from South America has finally found its way to the person it was meant to reach.

Neil Crocker sent the card during a stop-off in Chile back in 1991 while on his way back from the Falkland Islands on the HMS Cumberland.

The card was meant for the parents of his then-girlfriend, Claudia, to “make a good impression” before asking for her hand in marriage.

Sadly, it never arrived and instead went missing for 30 years.

Neil Crocker. Image: Neil Crocker/BNPS

However, the card eventually reached 89-year-old Brian Watkins – the father-in-law – at his house in Dorset, England.

Stunned by the incredible delivery, he gave it to Neil, 57, who was also left with no words by its appearance after such a long time.

The card is postmarked to London in 1991 and was returned to the UK soon after it was posted.

Neil and his wife, Claudia. Image: Neil Crocker/BNPS

Neil said:

“I’d been in Chile with the Royal Navy back in 1991 – we stopped there for a defence sale on our way back from the Falklands.

I vaguely remember sending the postcard but didn’t think anything of it until recently when it was delivered to my father-in-law 30 years later.

He was very confused when it was posted through the door and he gave it to us. I hadn’t put the date on it so the postman was none the wiser.

When I saw it again I was completely shocked – I thought it was a wind-up.”

Image: Neil Crocker/BNPS

Neil’s card read:

“The weather is very nice and the food and drink is very cheap. It is very much like Spain.”

Image: Neil Crocker/BNPS

The card also has stamps costing 22p as well as pin holes, which Neil believes meant someone pinned it to a board. 

He went on to say:

“I know it got to London pretty quickly but after that is a complete mystery.

It looks like it could have been pinned to a board somewhere but it isn’t a very remarkable postcard so I have no idea why someone would want to keep it.

I’m glad it finally got delivered. It triggered a lot of happy memories of my time in Chile – I’ve framed it and put it on my wall.”

Neil and Claudia back in 1988. Image: Neil Crocker/BNPS

A spokesperson for Royal Mail said:

“It is difficult to speculate what may have happened to this item of mail, but it is likely that it was put back into the postal system by someone recently, rather than it being lost or stuck somewhere.

Royal Mail regularly checks all its delivery offices and clears its processing machines daily.

Once an item is in the postal system then it will be delivered to the address on the card.”

What are your thoughts on this touching story? Let us know by joining the conversation in the comments and please share this article if you’ve enjoyed the read. 

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