KITCHENER -- A letter written by a soldier serving in the Second World War and found behind the wall of a Guelph, Ont., home has been returned to the writer's family.

The note was written by Canadian William Billings, who was in his 20s when it was written in October of 1944. He sent it to his parents during the war.

"I wish the war was all over, it would be swell to all be together again," the letter read in part. "I don't think I will be home for Christmas this year, mother, but I hope I will be home for the next one."

CTV Kitchener spoke with his grandson, who said the family is shocked and thrilled about the discovery of a piece of their family history that they didn't even know existed.

"He's been gone for 20-plus years now. We all move on with our life and even though he's going to be in the back of our minds forever, this brings it right to the front," said Glendon Billings, William's grandson.

"This morning I had a text from my brother and he was tearing up telling me about it."

Billings said it's like an early Christmas present for his family.

"I'm trying to figure out why he put it behind a wall," Billings said. "It's shocking, it's a miracle."

Billings said he believes his grandfather was in Belgium when he wrote to his parents, Ellen and Charles, in Guelph. The letter brought back a lot of memories.

"Always saw the bright side of things, always looked on the positive side," he said.

The letter was returned to them after it was found behind a bathroom wall during a renovation.

"I pick it up and I start reading it and I was like, 'Wow, this is a really old armed forces letter from WWII,'" contractor Michal Zjawin said. "I saw the date and everything and I was like, 'That's pretty amazing.'"

How it ended up behind the wall remains a mystery.

"No idea," Billings said.

The family said it will protect the heartfelt note and find a way to preserve it.