A WALLET lost at Lambeth Palace 65 years ago has been returned
to its owner, after it was found during restoration work.
In 1950, Edward Parker, then a 24-year-old electrical
contractor, was repairing bomb damage from the Second World War
when his wallet slipped down the back of a medieval
He was upset by the loss, as it contained the only picture he
had of his father, and a photo taken the day he and his wife Connie
discovered that they were to become parents for the first time.
Last month, workers at the Palace found his wallet. The leather
was beginning to perish, but the pictures and other contents were
still intact. The story was picked up by a BBC Newsnight
reporter, James Clayton, who used documents in the wallet to trace
Mr Parker, now 89, to an Essex care home.
Mrs Parker, aged 90, remembered her husband's distress the day
he lost it. "I know he was upset. He came in and said: 'I lost my
"One of his mates said to him: 'What did you lose, Ed?' and he
said 'The money I don't worry about; it's the memories that I lost.
I had some photos of my mum.' The last time he saw a picture of his
dad was when he lost the wallet."
Still safe inside was the photograph taken of the couple,
arm-in-arm on the pier at Eastbourne, the day that Mrs Parker
announced that she was pregnant. "I was frightened to tell him,
because we didn't have any money," she recalled.
Also safe were several other family pictures, along with
invoices, receipts, old union cards, the results of a chest X-ray
from 1948, and a National Service card from 1944.