Friday, 14 April 2017

From the 98th Battalion to Miss Marion Dilnuth of Bermonsey

Now I know I will never find the identity of Rex.

He sent this postcard to Miss Marion Dilnut of 280 Bermondsey Street, south east London and on a whim I went looking for the address.

I grew up not far from Bermondsey but if I walked past Miss Dilnuth’s house I have no memory, added to which this bit of London has changed much and the site of her home looks to be a modern block of flats.

Some of the original residential properties still exist.  They are tall two story properties fronted with shops and it may be that hers was one of these

Her father described himself as a store dealer in 1911 and a decade earlier refers to a shop on the census return.

But for now that is about it.

In 1916 when the card was sent Marion was 17 and still living in the family home and possibly still living with her brother, three sisters and widowed father.

So Rex could be a sweetheart or just a friend but I am confident he wasn’t a brother.

The card suggests he had been with the 98th Battalion, of the Canadian Expeditionary Force, but he says he is no longer with the unit, which leaves many questions.

Some in time I am sure will come to light but others I fear are lost.

Location, Folkestone & Bermondsey

Picture; picture postcard, 1916 from the collection of David Harrop

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