The following letter was sent to Avice in response to her enquiry for information on William Matson’s family. William was living at Old Court, Cowbeech Hill, Hailsham according to the letterhead. It is very interesting to note that William was under the impression his father had died of influenza when in fact a verdict of suicide was recorded.
Transcript to follow after the images. (Please contact me if you can help decipher any of the [illegible] words on this document)
Many thanks for your letter of 17th November. According to the enclosed [illegible]₁ of 14-4-61 from Ted, which I lent you at the time, Emily Fox was born on 31-3-1861. Her birthday certainly fell on the last day of March.
But Somerset House were unable to trace her birth certificate – see the attached [illegible]₂ letter of 10-5-1961. She died in 30-11-1924 at age 63. My father, John William Hill, was born on 27-4-1851, and died on 10-3-1899 at age 48. He was born at Stratford (in the High St), Essex. [illegible]₃ was for a time (at all events) a chemist in that [illegible]₄ – but whether in a chemist ship or in the wholesale chemist business, I do not know. I was not 4 years of age when he died of I think, influenza. Under the date of 24-5-1961, Somerset House said that they could not trace his birth certificate.
I am sorry – and ashamed – to have to admit that I can’t give you anything at all in reply to the second part of your letter! You have already … [illegible]₅ … the past Hills which was entirely unknown to me!
I hear that Robert has certainly made the grade at Felsted and I was interested to hear about Justin. What wonderful luck that the school could take him and board him! I hear that Geoffrey has started again to work at his Contractors and is to be a postman at Christmas. I must say I have the greatest admiration for the way he is tackling things after the [illegible]₆ bad luck of having to leave his chosen profession. How on earth he is managing financially I can’t think and don’t like to probe too deeply. If you get any information I shall like to have it – in the strictest confidence of course.
All regards from us both and I am only sorry I can’t help you in your praiseworthy quest for more information about the undistinguished Hill family! I [illegible]₇ that poor Kenneth is about the same. I think of him and ask for help for him every morning at about 7 am – what a pitiable [illegible]₈!