The following letter was written by Avice Fathers to her brother Ken while he was fighting during the Great War. Sadly he had been wounded several days previously but she was not yet informed of this. It is a lovely chatty letter simply informing her brother of the goings on at home.
Transcript to follow after the images
29th April 1915
Dearest old chap,
The weather here is simply gorgeous; hot as anything and the trees simply bursting themselves. The park is jolly with all the hyacinths and tulips out and the birds singing. I do hope it keeps like it. What is it like in France or Flanders or wherever you are?
Mrs Howlett paid me a call yesterday and said that a Mrs Kingdom of Maybury Word, Woking, who had heard me sing there, was very anxious to get me to come down on Friday and go with her to a soldiers’ entertainment at Pirbright, as the person who was coming had disappointed her. Of course I was bowled through the moon! She is going to pay my expenses and put me up for the night. I am to go down to Woking by the 5.30, be met by her and taken out to tea, and we shall motor over to Pirbright. Won’t it be splendid fun? I seem in for a run of luck right now, don’t I? Mother is awfully bucked about it. I will let you know how I get on. I think I shall sing “Little Grey Home in the West” and they can join in the chorus.
I have got a delightful new hat – I wish you could see it. It is most bowling. Also I am going to have a new blue frock to match my old checked silk skirt. I sang to the Band of Hope last night and played a song for Mr Fletcher. Mr Barnes has played my accompaniments three times in eight days. I should think he would be fed up some.
The Conservatoire term starts today and I am going down for my first lesson. Miss Willis has been to Bournemouth and sent me a congratulatory card from there after The War concert.
It is settled, I am to go in for the scholarship in June and I am now swotting Elements but it is a fag by oneself. I think I shall be able to wrangle my tennis sub out of Father. Won’t it be bowling if I do! He came to see me yesterday and was in a jolly good mood. He told Gordon when he was at home that he didn’t suppose we would be at Carshalton another winter as he intended to sell the house and take a nice one somewhere else! Pretty significant n’est-ce-pas!
Mother has put heaps of things in the garden and it ought soon to be a perfect bower! She is rushing around today, collecting the foot rules. That woman’s activity is something wonderful!
Jack Rumsey went up to report yesterday but I haven’t heard yet when he is to go back. Almeric went back ten days ago but gets whole days off at a time, marching home to brekker. He is an outsider.
I feel sure I saw Philip in a taxi in Buckingham Palace Road yesterday. I nearly shouted but he was miles away.
I have just this instant received a telegram to say that the soldiers’ concert is postponed so I don’t know if I will be going. I am rather sorry.
Always your loving Avice