Dear Mother from your ever loving son Reg October 1917…

As you already know I am always intrigued by the messages and addresses on the back of old postcards that I buy and sell and I have recently found a postcard of South Parade Pier in Southsea sent in October 1917.

Southsea postcard front 20 1 18

The postcard was sent to Mrs W F MOON at Hillside, Battle Road, Hailsham in Sussex and the message on the back reads:

Dear Mother

The doctor put catarrh on my medical card and I have to attend Sick Bay 3 times a day for medicine. He is going to examine my chest again on Monday. They treat me far better here than they did when I was at Barracks and do not regard me as a malingerer. I am eagerly waiting for the ‘ weekly budget’.

I remain

Your ever loving son


Southsea postcard reverse 20 1 18

Firstly I was curious to see if Reg had survived World War 1 and thankfully could find no record of his death on the Commonwealth War Graves website – however when I traced his family further it would appear that Reg was indeed his middle name!!

As the postcard was addressed to a Mrs W F MOON I started by looking for her and found that Edith Maud BEAVIS married Walter Finnis MOON on the 3rd May 1898 in Ventnor on the Isle of Wight.

The 1911 census record, as below, shows Walter MOON aged 41 born in Peckham London working as a Pastry Cook / Baker, Edith MOON aged 35 born in the Isle of Wight and three children Reginald aged 11, Constance aged 3 and Iris aged 2 living in a shop in Perrymount Road in Haywards Heath.

1911 Census MOON

Source Information: 1911 England Census Source Citation: Class: RG14; Piece: 5001; Schedule Number: 171

Reginald was born Arthur Reginald MOON on the 13th June 1899 in Ventnor on the Isle of Wight and I found UK Navy Service record for him dated 30th July 1917, when he would have been aged 18, as below, and just four months before his postcard home saying that he was sick;

Name: Arthur Reginald Moon
Gender: Male
Birth Date: 13 Jun 1899
Birth Place: Vetnor Isle of Wight
First Service Date: 30 Jul 1917
First Ship Served On: Victory I
Last Service Date: 28 Mar 1919
Last Ship Served On: Kingfisher
Service Number: J75020

MOON Naval WW1 record

Source Information: UK, Royal Navy Registers of Seamen’s Services, 1848-1939 Source Citation: The National Archives of the UK; Kew, Surrey, England; Royal Navy Registers of Seamen’s Services; Class: ADM 188; Piece: 797

As already mentioned I could thankfully find no death record for Reg during World War 1 and on further investigation I found his death and probate records, which show that he died on 19th July 1980 aged 81 and amazingly he was living at 55 Marine Parade in Leigh on Sea in Essex, which is about two miles down the road from where I live in Southend on Sea.

MOON Probate 1980

Source Information: England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1966, 1973-1995

Therefore this random postcard that I found at a fair in Clacton on Sea in Essex during the summer last year not only had links to World War 1, but also to my home town and Essex – I am now going to look for a relative to see if I can reunite this interesting postcard sent home from Reg in October 1917!!

Simon LAST

Posted in BEAVIS, Hailsham, MOON, One Name Study, Postcard, World War 1, WW1 postcard | Leave a comment

I Don’t Care I Kissed Her – Another Easton WW1 Postcard

As part of my Easton WW1 Red Cross Hospital research I am always on the lookout for old postcards that have been sent by the soldiers who were recovering in the Suffolk village away from the frontline trenches in France and Belgium.

I have recently fund this old postcard that seems to indicate a possible romance between a soldier and his nurse, as the front of the card says – I Don’t Care I Kissed Her.

However as the postcard must have been sent in an envelope I have no idea of the name of the young lady he was sending it too…

Easton front 17 1 18

The reverse of the postcard reads as follows:

Easton – Thursday evening

Dear Nurse,

Thanks so much for your letter. Yes I am better off than if I was in France, but I am fed up already and this is only my second day. I hope I shall see you on Saturday. I am in No. 1 ward, but am carried outside on the lawn by the tennis courts, bed and all, every day, so that is where I shall be if you should have time to look in, I shall be very pleased to see you.

Life is as usual here Nurse G Green was on duty last night & Tuesday night, Mrs Taylor again tonight.

Well, goodbye and be good,

Yours sincerely


Easton reverse 17 1 18

Again because the sender has only included his initials I have no idea who this soldier was and unfortunately there is no date either , so this possible romance will remain a complete mystery for evermore.

How different must it have been to suddenly arrive from the hell of the frontline WW1 trenches to be at a mansion in Suffolk being carried out onto the lawn to sit by the tennis courts!!

Easton postcard front 19 9 17

Simon Last

Posted in British Red Cross, Easton, Framlingham, Postcard, Suffolk, World War 1, WW1 postcard | Leave a comment

Edith Drummond HAY – ‘Aunt Tuck’ postcard connection!

As well as my interest in postcards sent during World War 1 I have always found the life of Queen Victoria fascinating and also like to collect items or postcards relevant to her life and reign.

I was therefore intrigued to recently find a postcard (as below) sent on 30th January 1901, just eight days after her death on the Isle of Wight, obviously in recognition of her life and a tribute to her.HAY postcard front 20 9 17

The postcard had been sent to Miss Edith Drummond HAY at Seggieden from E FORBES in St Leonards on Sea in Sussex:

HAY postcard back 20 9 17

I therefore decided to see if I could investigate Edith further and discover more about her life and though this discovered an amazing connection to her life during World War 1.

Edith Maud Drummond HAY was born on 28th February 1872 in Kinfauns in Perthshire Scotland the daughter of Henry Maurice Drummond and Charlotte Elizabeth Richardson HAY.

The 1891 census record shows the family living at Seggieden Mansion House in Perthshire and Edith is aged 29 with her occupation shown as Living on her own means – her father Henry is aged 76 and her mother Charlotte is aged 57.

By the 1901 census Edith’s mother Charlotte is a Widow still living with her family at Seggieden Mansion House.

Edith had three sisters Alice, Constance and Lucy and two brothers James and Harry.

Through my research on Ancestry I found a fascinating document showing the family’s connection to Royal blood as below:

Edith Drummond Hay 20 9 17

Source Information: North America, Family Histories, 1500-2000 [database on-line] Source Citation : Book Title: The blood royal of Britain : being a roll of the living descendants of Edward IV and Henry VIII

Also as part of my research I googled the name of Edith Drummond HAY and found a newspaper article in the Daily Record newspaper dated 2nd July 2016 with the headline – Perthshire Family discover ‘Aunt Tuck’s’ incredible diaries from World War 1 – the article is so amazing as it reports that Edith was a talented Amateur Artist who left a fascinating pictorial history of her time as a nursing volunteer with the Voluntary Aid Detachment (VAD) –

Edith, who never married, lived in Glencarse in Perthshire in Scotland, where she was a pillar of the church, until her death aged 88 in 1960.

Hopefully a member of the HAY family will see this blog post and maybe the postcard can be reunited with them and added to the Edith Drummond HAY family archive.

Simon LAST


Posted in Aunt Tuck, Edith Drummond HAY, Old Photographs, One Name Study, Perthshire, Postcard, Scotland, Seggieden Mansion House, VAD, World War 1 | 2 Comments

Do you have IRELAND relatives from Erdington?

Another recent postcard find was sent in December 1916 to Sapper L J IRELAND 1953 from his mother in Erdington, so with further investigation I wondered what I could discover about this family!

IRELAND postcard reverse 3 8 17

IRELAND postcard front 3 8 17

The message reads:


Dear Leslie, Many thanks for your P.P.Card. I expect you are glad that the snow has gone. Hope you are quite well and that we shall see you soon love from Mother

IRELAND postcard message 3 8 17

The 1911 census record, as below, shows Leslie John IRELAND aged 16 occupation Draftsman living at 15 Oxford Road in Erdington near Birmingham with his father John IRELAND aged 46 occupation an Accountant, his mother Minnie IRELAND aged 46 and sister Elsie May IRELAND aged 17.

IRELAND 1911 England Census

Source Information: 1911 England Census Source Citation: Class: RG14; Piece: 18327

John IRELAND married Minnie HYDE on 15th August 1891 in Handsworth Birmingham

IRELAND Birmingham, England, Church of England Marriages and Banns

Source Information: Birmingham, England, Church of England Marriages and Banns, 1754-1937 Source Citation: Reference Number: DRO 90/20; Archive Roll: 564

and I have found them on the 1901 census, again as below:

IRELAND 1901 England Census

Source Information: 1901 England Census Source Citation: Class: RG13; Piece: 2875; Folio: 94; Page: 11

Leslie John IRELAND survived World War 1 and died in 1980 aged 86 in Birmingham and his Probate record shows his actual date of death as 25th September 1980 and his final address as 114 Milverton Road in Erdington.

The September 1939 World War 2 Register shows Leslie John IRELAND occupation Senior Draughtsman living at 114 Milverton Road in Erdington with his wife Elsie A IRELAND who was born 13th November 1896.

Leslie John IRELAND married Elsie A HALL in the July quarter of 1922 in Tamworth Staffordshire Registration District.

On searching the British Newspaper Archive I found a Forthcoming Marriages announcement, as below, for Dorothy Jean IRELAND daughter of Mr and Mrs L J IRELAND to Arthur Sidney ALLDRIDGE, who was a Sergeant in the Army, son of Mrs and late Mr W H ALLDRIDGE also of Erdington, on 5th January 1944.

IRELAND Birmingham Mail - Monday 3rd January 1944

Birmingham Mail – Monday 3rd January 1944

Dorothy Jean IRELAND was born 31st December 1924 in Birmingham and I have found that she and Arthur emigrated to the USA on 30th June 1950 on board the Ship Georgic part of the Cunard White Star Line – Arthur’s occupation is shown as a Theatre manager.

Dorothy Jean ALLDRIDGE nee IRELAND died on 5th June 1997 in Washington USA and sadly Arthur Sidney ALLDRIDGE had died many years earlier 12th May 1960 in San Francisco.

If anyone has a connection to the IRELAND or ALLDRIDGE families and would like this postcard to add to their family history archives please make contact, as it would be great to reunite it with a  family member.

Simon LAST


Posted in 114 Milverton Road, 15 Oxford Road, ALLDRIDGE, Birmingham, Erdington, IRELAND, One Name Study, Postcard, WW1 postcard | Leave a comment

Dear Snowball – Private John Bertram Leslie HARRISON WW1 postcard – are you connected?

Another recent postcard find was the one below sent during World War 1 on 18th September 1917 from Halifax to ‘Dear Snowball’ in Dorset from Elsie.

JBL HARRISON postcard front 21 6 17

The address on the postcard is:

Private J B L HARRISON 1220, Royal Naval Camp, Blandford in Dorset.

JBL HARRISON postcard reverse 21 6 17

The message reads:

Dear Snowball, Many thanks for card. The brooch is very well thank you. I am going to take it to be re-silvered as it has nearly all come off. It has worn very well though and love … it in every day since you gave it to me. Hope you enjoyed yourself when you went out to tea. Love from Elsie xxxxxx

JBL HARRISON postcard reverse 1 21 6 17

On further investigation J B L HARRISON is John Bertram Leslie HARRISON who was born on the 31st July 1895 in the Burton on Trent Registration District.

John enlisted on 22nd November 1915 to the Royal Marine Light Infantry: Plymouth Division Short Service with the Register Number of 1220 which matches with the postcard.

Taking the research further back John’s parents were John HARRISON and Mary Ellen HARRISON (nee IDILL) who married in the Burton Registration District on 19th January 1892.

John survived the War and I have found a marriage for him in the Brentford Middlesex Registration District in the October quarter of 1929 to Winifred G DURDLE.

John died on 6th August 1958 aged 63 and his Probate record, as below, reads:

HARRISON John Bertram Leslie of 72 Woodland Gardens Isleworth Middlesex died 6th August 1958 at Clacton and District Hospital Clacton-on-Sea Essex Administration London 2 January to Winifred Gertrude Harrison widow

JBL HARRISON Probate 21 6 17

Source: England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administration) 1858-1966, 1973-1995

Does anyone have a connection John Bertram Leslie HARRISON as it would be great to reunite this old postcard with a  family member if possible?

Simon LAST


Posted in Births, Marriages & Deaths, Burton on Trent, HARRISON, IDILL, One Name Study, Postcard, Staffordshire, World War 1, WW1 postcard | 2 Comments

Mr & Mrs C W SNOWDON Silver Wedding 1910 Ashton under Lyne

Another recent super photographic postcard find was of a Silver Wedding group taken in 1910 in Ashton under Lyne in Lancashire.

SNOWDON postcard front 2 6 17

The information on the reverse of the postcard reads Limehurst House, Ashton under Lyne Xmas 1910 – With Hearty Greetings from Mr & Mrs C W SNOWDON – Silver Wedding Group.

SNOWDON postcard reverse 2 6 17

Knowing when the marriage hopefully took place I quickly found the marriage of Charles William SNOWDON to Eliza BRADLEY in the June quarter of 1885 in the Ashton Registration District.

The 1911 census, as below, shows the SNOWDON family living at Limehurst House in Ashton under Lyne with Charles and Eliza having been married for 25 full years – matches completely with the photograph.

1911 census SNOWDON

Source Information: 1911 England Census Source Citation: Class: RG14; Piece: 24325

Charles’s occupation is shown as a Butter Merchant and confirms that him and Eliza have had ten children, nine of who are still living – this therefore means that the nine other people shown in the photograph are their children and their names and ages in 1911 can be confirmed as:

Charles Ernest aged 26, Emily aged 24, Bessie aged 20, Gertrude aged 19, Edith aged 14, Constance aged 14, Noel Hamilton aged 12, Cyril Cunliffe aged 10 and Hugo Jack SNOWDON aged 8.

Their father Charles William SNOWDON was born in Haltwhistle in Northumberland.

As always if you have a connection to the SNOWDON family please make contact, as it would be great to reunite this lovely anniversary photograph with a family member if possible.

Simon LAST


Posted in Ashton under Lyne, BRADLEY, Lancashire, Limehurst House, Old Photographs, One Name Study, Postcard, SNOWDON | Leave a comment

Well Known Local Dover School Mistress – Miss R K CLOUT

Another interesting photographic postcard find was of a well known local School Mistress from Dover Miss R K CLOUT taken on 10th December 1923.

Postcard front 2 6 17

The writing on back says that Miss R K CLOUT (Well Known Local School Mistress) is sitting in the back row, left hand side facing.

Postcard reverse 2 6 17

Miss Ruby Kathleen CLOUT was born in Dover Kent in the July quarter of 1904 and I have found her baptism record from 18th August 1904 at Charlton near Dover – her parents are named as Frank Colston and Clara Esther CLOUT.

Frank Colston CLOUT married Clara Esther GOODWIN in the October quarter of 1892 in the Dover Registration District.

The 1911 census, as below, shows Ruby aged 6 living with her parents Frank and Clara and sister Lillian Clara Louisa CLOUT aged 17, at 68 Maison Dieu Road in Charlton near Dover – Frank’s occupation is shown as an Ironmongers Branch Manager.

1911 census CLOUT

Source Information: 1911 England Census Source Citation: Class: RG14; Piece: 4605; Schedule Number: 11

The writing on the reverse of the postcard says that Ruby died in October 1980 at home in Salisbury Road in Dover and from this IO have found her Probate record, as below, which confirms that she died 15th September at 28 Salisbury Road in Dover.

CLOUT Probate

Source Information: England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1966, 1973-1995. Original data: Principal Probate Registry. Calendar of the Grants of Probate and Letters of Administration made in the Probate Registries of the High Court of Justice in England. London, England © Crown copyright.

Do you have a connection to Ruby and her CLOUT and GOODWIN ancestors – if so please get in touch as I would love to reunite this lovely photo postcard with a family member if possible.

Simon LAST

Posted in 68 Maison Dieu Road, CLOUT, Dover, GOODWIN, Old Photographs, One Name Study, Postcard | Leave a comment