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Lansdowne Crescent: Chapter 22

..Charlie was not so fond as the other two boys. I remember his terror one day in early August when I asked him to hold our new niece, Betty, then nearly six months old, while I made her bottle ready. ‘For goodness sake let me get her food while you hold her. I shall break her!’…

Jean Day continues her account of the lives of neighbours in a Worcester crescent a century ago.

To read earlier chapters of her story please click on http://www.openwriting.com/archives/lansdowne_crescent/

Mary, Tom and Betty came to visit us later that summer. Of children Charlie was not so fond as the other two boys. I remember his terror one day in early August when I asked him to hold our new niece, Betty, then nearly six months old, while I made her bottle ready. ‘For goodness sake let me get her food while you hold her. I shall break her!’ was his terrified exclamation, and very well he made the food too.

Father has got a new extra job. He is one of the city’s public officers, the Steward of the Manor of Ombersley.

Mary and her husband Tom Stinton and baby Betty moved this September from Guernsey to Loughborough, where Tom became the Headmaster. But all of that will have to be deferred, as he also has gone into the service, with the 8th Worcester regiment. Mary and Betty will be living with us for the time he is away in the service.

Our sister Beth has had her school moved to avoid the problems of this war. The whole school will be at Pitlochery for the duration.

We had very sad news this year of the death of our friend Mrs. Rowntree. She died of puerperal fever just weeks after the birth of her second child. Mr. Malcolm Rowntree is a tutor at King’s and Peter was very friendly with him. Mr. Rowntree has sent the new baby and her older sister, Elizabeth back to Scarborough, to live with his parents, but I fear they will not be very safe in this war. Perhaps when she is back in the area, Beth might find time to call on them as Elizabeth knows her slightly.

I fear I have not done a good job of keeping up with the other residents of Lansdowne Crescent, as was my original intention. But I can add the following:

We have a new resident in our little road. Mr. J. L. Hogson, is the Diocesan Inspector of Schools. He has moved into number 8, between Mrs. King and Mrs. Stinton. I do not as of yet know much about him or his family.

Another of our neighbours, Mr. Albert Usher is now the councilor for St. Nichols’ parish.

The vicar for St. Nicholas, Rev. G. F. Williams has many other jobs as well, such as being the chaplain to the hospital, and is involved in the Church Mission Society. He also is an assessor, appointed under the Clergy Discipline Act of 1892, for St. Nicholas Church in the Cross.

Mark Day came back from Malaya to fight in the war. Because he is an engineer, he joined the Royal Corps of Engineers. With him is one of his best friends who he met on the boat coming back. He is called Arthur Best. I didn’t know much about this branch of the army so I asked Caroline Day and she told me that its responsibilities include gas and chemical warfare, air defence, searchlights, tunnelling, mining, meteorology, postal services and wireless communications. They also work with coastal defence and searchlights, building railways and bridges, and involved port operations and inland water transport.

When the war was declared, Harold and Muriel and their three sons came back to England, and Harold joined the Royal Artillery. Muriel and the boys are living with Mrs. Caroline Day, but spend much time of course with her mother, Mrs. Louisa King as well. I am so pleased to have my good friend Muriel near by.

George Day has gone to Palestine as a Major in the Camel Corps.

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