Norah, John and Elizabeth Ellery lrJohn EllerylrEllery_J lrellery cards2lr
When I mentioned my great great-uncle, John Ellery, in the previous post I got up from my desk to check his date of death. I found a school project that my son had done about his ancestors and a letter that he and I had written to my great-aunt Lyla four years ago. Lyla had taken much trouble to reply to Nicholas about her uncle John although she had never known him herself. I found it moving to reread her letter and to think about that young man who died so long ago. Below are extracts from Lyla’s letter.

22 November 2010
“Dear Nicholas,
Thank you for your letter and I will try to help you with a few of my memories passed on to me by my father and mother. They were both living in Bridport during the war (WW1) but were married after the war ended. My father was not conscripted into the army as he wasn’t fit enough. My mother was living with her father and her step-mother. Her brother Jack (John) was in the army serving as a regular soldier and joined the army when he was 15 or 16 in about 1911. His regiment was the 4th Royal Irish Dragoon Guards. Jack was in France in 1915 and sent his father a postcard from Rouen. Jack was a part of the fighting force in France and sadly he was killed in battle in 1916 at the age of 22.

When I was growing up I didn’t hear my parents talk about the war. I know my mother was very sad when she talked about her brother Jack. I realised many years later, after the 1939/45 war, how terrible it must have been for my mother to have lost her only brother.

With love, and I hope your project is successful.
Aunty Lyla”
(Lyla was my grandmother’s sister and died in January 2012)

The photos that Lyla included with her letter where very poignant especially the one of the 3 little children. This is of John, Norah and the youngest girl, Elizabeth (my great-grandmother) which was taken on the day of their mother’s funeral!

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