Thursday, 22 December 2016

Christmas 1915 ............ thoughts from George to his wife Nellie

Last  Christmas our Saul was not  with us and he was missed.

All of which makes me reflect on how much harder it must have been for thousands of families a century ago as we moved towards the second Christmas of the Great War.

George Davison was serving with the Royal Artillery in Ireland and while he had hoped to be home for the festival it wasn’t to be.

And so on the evening of December 23rd he sat down and wrote a quick note to his wife Nellie managing to catch the last post of the day.

It was of course shot through with thoughts of Christmas and the wish that Nellie would enjoy her present and get a toy for their son Duncan but just for a moment George reflected on the absence of any letters from his friends and family “since I left home.  I certainly thought I had a few friends but the old saying ‘out of sight out of mind’ is still true.”

But it was a momentary blip in what was an optimistic letter made more so by the news that Nellie had moved from Hulme to Birch Vale cottage in Romily, “you will find it rather lovely but of course there is nothing like having a home of your own.  I hope you will be comfy in it.”

This was to be her home for most of the Great War and into the decades afterwards.

I don’t know if George ever visited the cottage and Nellie did sub let the property for a while near the end of the war but it is still there today and I rather think later next year I shall go looking for it.

All of which just leaves me to finish with George’s closing remarks “with best wishes for a jolly Xmas for yourself and Duncan.”

Picture; extract from the letter dated December 23 1915 from the George Davison Collection courtesy of David Harrop

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