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Mystery war message: "I hope your kilt will fit you well"

A mystery message has been found in the folds of a kilt, which dates back to the First World War.

As economic historian Dr Helen Paul was removing the packing stitches from the kilt, which has been passed down her family over many years, she discovered the note.

The World War One kilt
A specialist at the University of Southampton is impressed with the condition of the kilt, considering how old it is Credit: University of Southampton

The University of Southampton academic hopes to trace the descendants of the seamstress who left the note of the kilt which was destined for a soldier heading to the frontline. The note reads:

"I hope your kilt will fit you well & in it you will look a swell If married never mind If single drop a line Wish you bags of luck & a speedy return back to Blighty"

The world war one mystery message
The mystery message found in the kilt is in good condition Credit: University of Southampton

The kilt would have been made for a soldier sent to fight in the war, but some some unknown reason, it was never unpacked or worn.

Helen says, “This garment has been in our family for a number of decades, and until recently, we were completely unaware there was such an intriguing secret hidden in its folds. It was a real surprise when the note fell out.

“My father tried to trace any relatives of the note’s author a few years ago, but his efforts failed and I’m hoping to pick up where he left off.

“There are many unanswered questions. We don't know how many of these poems this lady sent. Was this a one off, or were there many more lost to the battlefield, or even still existing undiscovered? If there were more, did anyone ever answer her message and indeed did she ever meet and marry a soldier returning from the war?"

Surgeons "make new knee cartilage" to help arthritis

Surgeons have created a new knee operation which could prevent the development of arthritis.

The procedure, which is being trialled in Southampton, includes coating damaged cartilage with stem cells.

The video, courtesy of University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, talks through how the operation works with surgeon Mr Gorav Datta.


'Benefits Street' follow up causes row with residents

A community has clashed with television producers over a new documentary being made in their street.

Filming for 'Immigration Street' is already underway on Derby Road in the Northam area of Southampton. It's being made by the same people who produced the controversial documentary 'Benefits Street' filmed in Birmingham.

The documentary makers say Derby Road has been chosen because more than half of residents were born outside of the UK. But some people in the neighbourhood fear the programme will cause tension and negativity. Richard Slee reports.

Immigration Street filming 'isn't entertainment'

Controversies are growing for residents in Southampton over a new documentary series following the multicultural community in Derby Road.

The makers of Channel 4's controversial 'Benefits Street' show are filming a follow-up called "Immigration Street".

However, many residents are against the project as they are worried their area will be portrayed in a negative light

We spoke to councillor Satvir Kaur, Cabinet Member for Communities at Southampton City Council.

South's athletes limber up for Commonwealth Games

As the Commonwealth Games begin today, many athletes competing are based in the Meridian region.

The Games will take place in Glasgow until the 3rd August.

Dani King from Southampton will take part in the cycling Credit: PA
Adam Gemili from Dartford will run the 100m Credit: PA
Chris Mears from Reading hopes to do well in the diving competition Credit: PA


Heart patients to use pioneering pacemakers

Heart patients in Southampton are the first in the world to use a new mobile station to assess their pacemakers without visiting hospital.

The high-tech programme, which is currently based at Bitterne Park Medical Centre, allows people fitted with the devices to have instant check-ups at times that suit them.

The device is designed to provide care closer to home, cut waiting times as well as freeing up staff to treat patients in hospital.

Pacemakers are small electronic devices implanted in the chest to help regulate patients’ heartbeats.

The University Hospital Southampton NHS Trust have 2000 patients on the CareLink system Credit: PA Wire

The monitoring allows experts to examine any changes in heart rhythm and intervene before patients become unwell.

The mobile station means patients do not need to attend fixed appointments – they head straight to the box, take a seat, follow the on-screen instructions and hold a monitor to their pacemaker for a few minutes.

Staff can then access the data remotely through a secure server using a monitoring system known as CareLink and download it for review.

The pilot study has enabled a number of patients local to the surgery the opportunity to visit whenever they want and head home immediately after their assessment.

“Once the team has evaluated their results, patients are sent a letter to inform them transmission was successful and when their next download is scheduled for.

“If we spot any problems with the data and want to investigate further, we contact patients at home to inform them of the outcome and what they need to do next – and this can all happen without a trip to hospital.”

– Hollie Cottrell, a cardiac physiologist at Southampton General.

Southampton study explains history behind foraging

Research from Southampton University has found that animals have used the same technique to search for food for 50 million years.

The findings could explain why so many modern animals use the technique and suggest the pattern could be older than originally thought.

Researchers analysed fossilised sea urchin trails from northern Spain and found the tracks reflect a search pattern still used by a lot of creatures today.

This is the first example of extinct animals using such a strategy.

Creatures including sharks, honeybees, albatrosses and penguins all search for food according to a mathematical pattern of movement called a Lévy walk – a random search strategy made up of many small steps combined with a few longer steps.

How best to search for food in complex landscapes is a common problem facing all mobile creatures.

“Finding food in a timely fashion can be a matter of life or death for animals – choose the wrong direction to move in often enough and it could be curtains. But moving in a random search pattern called a Lévy walk is mathematically the best way to find isolated food.”

– David Sims, Professor of Marine Ecology at the University of Southampton

Singer & actress Clare Grogan appears at 'Let's Rock'

Clare Grogan on stage at 'Let's Rock' event in Southampton Credit: Kim Hewitt

The singer and actress Clare Grogan has appeared st Southampton Common for the 'Let's Rock' music concert. The entertainer used to be with the band 'Altered Images', and featured in the 1980s film 'Gregory's Girl'. According to our source, all acts have gone down to rousing screams and cheers.

Crowds at 'Let's Rock' event
Thousands of people have spent the day listening to music at Southampton Common
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