Yorkshire schoolchildren discover mysterious suitcase belonging to war-time sailor while searching for Christmas decorations

A Yorkshire primary school is appealing for help to track down the family of a sailor after a mysterious suitcase dating back to the 20th Century was discovered.

The suitcase was found in the attic of the Year 6 classroom at Braeburn Primary and Nursery Academy and included a number of personal items belonging to a Mr Harry Wood, with some dating back to 1924.

Now, the year 6 class at Braeburn are searching for Mr Wood’s family to return his belongings.

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Adam Lodge, Year 6 teacher at Braeburn Primary and Nursery Academy, was looking in the attic for Christmas decorations when he made the discovery.

Harry Wood, pictured, was a leading seaman, as well as a 3rd class wireless telegraphist. (Credit: Braeburn Primary and Nursery Academy)

He said: “Last week, I was in the loft getting down Christmas trimmings when I saw an old looking suitcase. I brought the case down and in it were the most interesting items.”

“The suitcase belonged to a gentleman called Harry Wood. I know this because of the driving license and pictures.”

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“The children have been so intrigued and we have been attempting to find out more about Harry. In Year Six, we are searching through old records.”

The Year 6 class at Braeburn Primary School are appealing to the public for help in search of the family of a sailor after a mysterious suitcase dating back to the 20th Century was discovered. (Credit: Braeburn Primary and Nursery Academy)

“In upper Key Stage Two, we are studying WW2 as a topic and it came as a surprise to find this suitcase. There were a couple of workbooks in the case dated potentially to early 1990s, so I am wondering if it has been left in the loft since then”.

Within the suitcase, they discovered Harry Wood’s driving licence, dog tags, uniform, a cap, several naval cap ribbons (HMS Striker, HMS Sheffield (1956), HMS Mercury, HMS Costal Force), photographs (including on board HMS Sheffield 1952, in Bermuda), some old coins (half pennies, three pence and old pennies), a winter duffle coat, a tie pin, naval tie, HMS Sheffield Pin badge, a couple of pocket books (one religious and one potentially Chinese or Vietnamese), and a few haversacks.

They have discovered that Harry Wood was a leading seaman, as well as a 3rd class wireless telegraphist.

The class have reached out to the Imperial War Museum, and Scarborough Library in hopes of finding out more about the man. They also intend on reaching out to the Royal Navy.

If you are a member of Mr Wood’s family, or can help the class in their research, email Mr Lodge at [email protected].