.I am taken back to my childhood (?age 5-6) your grandma (Beryl) was a 2nd
mother to me. She (GOD rest Her) undertook getting me to school (on my pony!)
and generally supervised my "AYAH" (Indian nurse maid) to do all the things
children are in need of; such as, how to tie-shoe(Boot)laces. I wore ETON
COLLARS to school + Sunday school. I presume you know what these broad-high
collars are like + we children disliked them often hid them on the very top
shelf of the wardrobe. So please try to capture my rapture of yesteryear; which,
to say the least, was a veritable FAIRY-TALE + A Shangri La, put together. That
sort of boyhood may never be found in this very different age. We NEVER
considered Beryl as half-sister [NEVER]. Beryl was my angel guardian. Ofeonese(?),
we, eight of us, were a very loving, quarrel-free, family, with every comfort
imaginable, in that day of the "British-Raj". Alas now gone for ever. Our garden
gave mangoes, pomegranites, custard apples, mulberries, citrus fruits, Almond
tree, Berries of exotic kind + guavas. Needless-to-say, I climbed trees + ate
the fruit in the branches! We all had pets; dogs, cats, ponies, donkeys, Doves,
pigeons + more! Even had a rail-track at the back used when "The NEST" (our
Home) was in building. My mum (nee Mary Louise FALLON) was always known as
"Birdie" Hence "THE NEST" We had various carriages + large horses. (No cars) -
No telephone-No Electric(or gas)lights. And YET! And yet, I can write about it
as SHANGRI LA! NOT romancing, all true. So this first letter in reply to your
delightful + welcome letter is to tell you I am now 100 years + 7 months old + a
devoted relative! God willing I will send you some corrections of the "FAMILY
TREE' + an enclosure of a newspaper cutting on my Birthday 8.8.04 1904 - 04 My
dear wife (Mary nee Hopkins) always known as "Bobbie" went to glory unexpectedly
on 13th No 1987. The bottom fell out of my world, so my daughter-in-law, Gill
(my son Michael's wife) brought the family (Jennie-Andrew) + stayed with me at
GNAT'S RAG! For 6 months to teach me how to fend for myself. Bobbie had "spoiled
me" so I needed to learn how to live. Bobbie + I visited America + stayed with
friends (Ex patients) in New York + visited many places down the East coast
1965? I now live alone + know how to housekeep with the help of a Home-HELP +
Two LUNCHEON CLUBS.
.You asked about your Grandma's wedding reception. It was held at a palatial residence known as "SHARPUR WADDY". Some hundred guests, full military Band, enormous cake in 4 decreasing sizes and a Silver Horse Shoe on Top. I was only about 8 at the time and have vivid memories of the very grand affair after a church wedding. Beryl was married after Flossie, her younger sister. I had Typhoid when Flossie was married and I was not expected to live. No treatment was known at that time, except for a strict diet of soups?? I recall my first solid food was hot buttered Toast! And Bovril!
Beryl's first child was born at the "NEST" our home in Siafabad Hyderabad (Deccan) my Dad conducted the delivery. I can remember my two brothers Arthur and Bill carried Beryl in a folded blanket down the stairs to a bed in my Mum's rooms. It was about 1am.
Beryl and Edwin (her husband) were posted to Durmabad and I spent school holidays with them there and loved every bit of it too. Of course the dwelling was "Basic" and each day was like a country picnic. Edwin would take me on his inspection of the railway lines for miles each side of Durmabad. His transport was a primitive "Trolly" pushed by coolies who (believe me) actually Ran Bare Foot on the railway line, probably 4 inches in width. Edwin introduced me to Buck shooting. Villagers would ask him to cull the destructive Black Bucks who decimated the crops.
.Joyce is my brother Bill's daughter. And incidentally "Bill" was William Herbert John.
Your dear Mum Flossie is named after my sister Beryl's own sister Flossie (Hudson).
I enclose a sketch and trial sketches on the "Trolley" known as LADECE. A very light trolley which could be carried off the rails to allow approaching trains to pass. I enjoyed my school holidays with Beryl and Edwin at Durhamabad. And often went with him on his inspection "of the permanent way".