2 January 1916 – Nell to Jack Fielding

02 Jan

Upton St Leonards

2 January 1916


My dear Jack,

By the time you get this I hope you will have got our wire to say that Ted is safe. We had a wire from him at Alexandria & one from Guildford this morning to say he was alright. I was at the hospital washing up when Gladys and Marjorie came & told me that the Persia had been torpedoed in the Mediterranean & in the evening we had a telephone message to say four boats had got to Alexandria. The nurse came to see us yesterday at tea and she told our fortunes in our cups & she said we were to have some good news from over the sea, of a ship from an ‘E’. Marjorie & Louie went down to Mrs Ridler in the evening & cut the cards & she said it would all come right as the cards were so good round Ted & me, & there were some very anxious thoughts coming just before.

Nell never lost her faith in the uncanny as evidenced by Mrs Ridler’s second sight.

The other notable thing about this letter is the mention of the telephone: the unified telephone service in Britain was just over three years old in the beginning of 1916 and even then it was very limited. However, Jack Fielding Sr was an engineer and a prosperous man and an early adopter of new technology. 


Posted by on 2 January, '16 in About


4 responses to “2 January 1916 – Nell to Jack Fielding

  1. Tamsin

    2 January, '16 at 14:04

    Gloucester 141 was the number at Belmont (the house owned by the Fieldings a little way below Broadsground). Expanded to Goucester-double six-one-four-one by the 1960s when I was being taught the protocol for answering the phone. (Once learned never forgotten.)

  2. Family Letters

    2 January, '16 at 23:16

    How interesting. I do wonder if they had a system for phone numbers or if they just started at 1. If the operator was always 100, then it may have been the 41st telephone in Gloucester.

  3. Mark Organ

    22 April, '19 at 02:57

    Just to add a bit to this. The “Fieldings” owned Belmont via an inheritence from Edward Edwin Miles. It was his daughter Pauline Ellen Fielding (nee Miles), who was the wife of John Fielding that inherited Belmont after the death of her father in 1915. I would be interested to know what or where Broadsground was and what it is known as now as I can’t seem to find it on any old maps.

  4. Family Letters

    29 April, '19 at 17:05

    Hello Mark

    Thank you for posting about this. I hadn’t realised that Belmont was a Miles inheritance, thought it makes complete sense. And it makes sense of something I never understood, which was why the family had two large villas almost side by side. They lived in Broadsground during WW2, but sold it after the War (death duties?) and moved into Belmont which had been let for the duration. Belmont was in turn sold in the early 1970s.

    Broadsground is now the Hatton Court Hotel, which is about a mile or less up the hill from Belmont. I assume that this proximity fostered a romance between Jack Fielding and Pauline Miles, though no one now could be sure. Broadsground was a perfectly sensible mid-Victorian villa though the Fieldings added an entirely fake Tudorbethan frontage to it. If you go there you can quite literally see the join!

    Thanks again for getting in touch and plugging this specific gap in my family history.


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