Who's the lady in the locket?: Piece of WW I history contains clue to mysterious love story

A locket that's been in the Reid family for 100 years holds a mystery and a love story.

Pat Thompson reached out to CBC for its 1916 project to commemorate WW I, Beaumont-Hamel

A locket containing the photo of a mystery woman was discovered by the Reid family who want to know her connection to Sgt. Charles Reid. (Submitted by Pat Thompson)

A locket that's been in the Reid family for 100 years holds a mystery and the makings of a love story.

On one side of the rose gold piece of jewellery is a photo of Sgt. Charles Reid of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment. On the other, a photo of a mystery girl, who could be from Oban, Scotland — the address on the box the necklace was kept in.

The Newfoundland family can only believe she was Reid's sweetheart.

Sgt. Charles Reid died in the Battle of Beaumont Hamel. After his death, his family found the locket among his possessions. (Submitted by Pat Thompson)

Reid was only 30 when he was killed in the bloody Battle of Beaumont-Hamel in 1916. His brother, who fought alongside him in the battle, died seven weeks later in England.

When Reid's personal effects were sent home to his family in Newfoundland, they discovered the locket, which eventually was handed down to his great-grandnephew, Ralph Reid.

"We don't know who she may be," Ralph Reid said of the mystery woman in the locket.

"I was looking at it and was wondering what kind of gold it was, if anybody had any knowledge of where it came from or what value it would be."

Ralph Reid holds a rose gold locket containing a photo of Sgt. Charles Reid and a mystery woman, a locket sold in Oban, Scotland. (Ariana Kelland/CBC)

So off Ralph Reid went to Diamond Design in St. John's, with the locket in its tiny box.

"It immediately struck me and being a big fan of history I immediately started to quiz Ralph a little bit about the locket," Pat Thompson, owner of Diamond Design, told CBC's On The Go.

"It became immediately apparent to me that there was a great mystery attached to this."

The locket is made of rose gold and was packaged in a box from a jeweller located in Oban, Scotland. (Submitted by Pat Thompson)

Reid and Thompson's minds have been wandering — was Charles Reid waiting to present the locket to this mystery girl but was killed before getting the chance?

Or was it a gift from her to Reid?

"She probably sat in Oban, Scotland, or up in that area and never, ever knew what happened to her Charlie," said Thompson.

"A very sad story, but very wonderful."

Reid and Thompson have contacted the jewellery store in Oban, which is still in operation today, but there are no records from 1916. 

Reid and Thompson are looking to get to the bottom of the mystery and are hoping someone with information will come forward.

Do you recognize the woman in the locket? Send an email to

With files from On The Go