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Postcard sent by Navy officer in 1991 while he was returning from Falklands arrives 30 years later

Postcard sent by Royal Navy officer from South America in 1991 while he was on his way back from the Falklands finally arrives 30 years later

  • Card was posted in Chile in 1991 while Neil Crocker was returning from Falklands
  • It did not arrive and disappeared for three decades before finally being delivered
  • Mr Crocker, now 57, says he remembers posting it but is perplexed by the delay


A postcard sent by a Royal Navy officer from South America has finally reached its recipient – 30 years later.

Neil Crocker posted the card during a stop-off in Chile in 1991 while returning from the Falkland Islands onboard HMS Cumberland.

He sent it to the parents of his future wife, Claudia, to ‘make a good impression’ before asking for her hand in marriage.

Unbeknown to him the postcard never arrived and instead went missing for three decades.

It was finally pushed through the door of father-in-law Brian Watkins who lives in Weymouth, Dorset.

This postcard which was sent by Royal Navy officer Neil Crocker from Chile in 1991 has finally been delivered to its intended recipients in Weymouth, Dorset after it disappeared for 30 years

Neil Crocker (pictured with his now-wife Claudia) says he sent the card to his future parents-in-law to make a good impression but has no idea what happened to it after it was posted in Chile

Neil Crocker (pictured with his now-wife Claudia) says he sent the card to his future parents-in-law to make a good impression but has no idea what happened to it after it was posted in Chile

The 89-year-old was perplexed by the delivery and gave it to Mr Crocker, 57, who was equally mystified by its emergence after all this time.

He 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.’

The card is postmarked to London in 1991 showing it was returned to the UK shortly after being posted.

Pictured: Neil and Claudia Crocker in 1988

Pictured: Neil Crocker

Pictured: Neil and Claudia Crocker in 1988 (left) and Mr Crocker today, now aged 57, (right)

The card which was sent by Neil has now been framed after it arrived in Dorset after 30 years

The card which was sent by Neil has now been framed after it arrived in Dorset after 30 years

He wrote on the postcard: ‘The weather is very nice and the food and drink is very cheap. It is very much like Spain’.

The card also has stamps worth 22p and pin holes, which Mr Crocker speculated could have meant someone pinned it to a board.

He continued: ‘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’.

A Royal Mail spokesperson 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’.

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