Letters of Jean Hurpin - A French Soldier in the Trenches
From World War I Document Archive
These letters are correspondence from French Legion of Honor winner Jean Hurpin , who survived the war and died 06 Oct 1967 in Cressy, France. The letters of 1918 were to Theodore Streeter Nelson (born 28 Jun 1902 died 22 May 1943). At the time, Mr. Hurpin was a soldier in the army of France and Theodore Nelson was a fifteen-year old boy living in Winchester, New Hampshire (at the home of his father, Luman Ranger Nelson, a noted taxidermist and NH State Legislator). How the correspondence began is uncertain and we haven't been able to contact any members of the Hurpin family to determine if Nelson's letters to Mr. Hurpin were saved. Jean Hurpin was a famed beekeeper and noted apiary researcher. His books are still in demand. It was for his research into bees that he received the Legion of Honor award. The letters were found in a collection of papers that Theodore Streeter Nelson, Jr., son of the letters' recipient, had in his home at the time of his death in 2007.
Two dozen years later, Jean Hurpin's daughter, Mariette Hurpin, sent a letter to Nelson. It is possible that there was other correspondence between the Hurpin and Nelson families between the 1918 and the 1942 letters, but these four were the only letters found. Note that because the following letter was sent from Vichy France during World War II, the envelope indicates that it had been opened and read by "Examiner 5370" in case it might contain material of interest to the intelligence community.