A letter from the King of England to Jens Kittlesrud, of Barnesville, Minn., has been tucked away for more than 100 years.A letter from the King of England to Jens Kittlesrud, of Barnesville, Minn., has been tucked away for more than 100 years. 

Fargo woman finds 100-year-old letter to her great-uncle from the King of England 

By Tracy Briggs
via the Dickinson Press newspaper (ND) web site 

FARGO — When 20-year-old Jens Olaf Kittlesrud arrived in England with a few thousand other American troops to fight in World War I, he was handed a letter from the King of England.

Heady stuff for the son of a Norwegian immigrant from Barnesville, Minn.

The letter on ivory stationery topped with the red crest of Windsor Castle was written in script:

“Soldiers of the United States, the people of the British Isles welcome you on your way to take your stand beside the armies of many nations now fighting in the Old World the great battle for human freedom. The Allies will gain new heart and spirit in your company. I wish that I could shake the hand of each one of you and bid you Godspeed on your mission.”

It was signed by King George V and dated April 1918.

Basically, the king was giving an enthusiastic shoutout and thank you to the Americans joining the fight.

The letter had apparently been tucked away for years when Jens Kittlesrud's great-niece, Betty Hoff, found it among her parents' possessions. She was curious about the story behind the letter and wondered if other soldiers had received it.

There were few clues, except that the letter was folded in an envelope and addressed to Miss Lillie I. Hoff, 814 3rd St. N., in Fargo. (There was no ZIP code on the envelope. They wouldn't be around until 1963.)

“He sent it to his future wife with a note on the back that he had arrived there safely,” Hoff said.

Read the entire article on the Dickinson Press web site

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