Thursday, March 11, 2010
Love in the First World War
My husband's bachelor uncle, Peter, died in 2002 when we were living for a time in Bristol. As representatives of the family, we helped pack up some items of interest for the family back in New Zealand. There was a postcard album that belonged to 'Mother' stuffed full of vintage images from 1913-18. We flicked casually through them and then thought to look on the backs. On most were letters written from Rothwell, my husband's grandfather to his girlfriend (and later,wife) Hilda. What amazed us was what a romantic old thing he had been. He addressed her often as 'Dearest Dadie' and used a secret code to tell her things he obviously didn't want her parents, or the war office reading. The album has been sitting about for the last 8 years gathering dust, but as a way of sharing it with the family and maybe cracking the code, I have decided to scan the postcards, transcribe the handwriting and share it with the world as an enduring testament to an ordinary but devoted relationship in times of adversity. And that is what we all strive for.
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