Issue Date: 15/10/2015
AJP’s parents: Go here
Born1: 17/12/1890 at and father's address:
Walsall Rd, Willenhall,
Father William Edmund, mother Elizabeth (formerly Fryer).
Father's occupation: hardware merchant.
(Birth Cert: registered 3/2/1891 Wolverhampton 6b 643, March 1891).
Died: at the Manor House, Oaken, Wolverhampton, 11/1/1968. Service at Codsall Church.
Married: 14/4/1915, Ethel Ann Lister at the Wesleyan Union St, Willenhall, witnessed by both sets of parents and Gladys.
Granted Arms 5 March 1963:
"Sable on a Fess between three Stag's heads erased Or collared a Stafford Knot Vert between two Acorns proper."
with a crest on a wreath of the Colours in front of a rising Sun a Squirrel sejant on a Tree stump all proper.
AJ Parkes abt 1913 AJ Parkes about 1965
AJ Parkes Married 14/4/1915, Weslyan Chapel, Union St, Willenhall:
Birth Cert Wolverhampton Q4 1885 6b 589
BC: 1/9/1885 of 15 Lower Lichfield St, Wolverhampton.
Parents: Samuel & Sarah Lister.
Died: 3/9/1951, Oaken, Codsall. Service at Codsall Church.
Issue of Arthur and Ethel (Lister) Parkes:
Born 14/6/1919, Church Hill,
Married 11/1941, Codsall Church, Donald Sidney Maitland.
Died: 12/7/2004 at The Dower House, Oaken, home for 48 years.
Cremated Telford, 20/7/04 with service at Codsall Church
See RJLM Text file for full details.
2/1. Antony Maitland
2/2. Eleanor Lindley Maitland,
born 6/2/1949 at High Elms, Codsall.
Born: 18/4/1921, Wolverhampton.
Died: May 1972, Exton House, Winchester, Hampshire.
Peter Lindley Waddell, Codsall Church, 18 October 1941.
PLW was born 15/7/1919, Parbold, Lancs, son of Ivor Lindley & Gladys (Howarth) Waddell.
The Waddell name seems to have originated in Scotland, Midlothian according to some websites; Antony Maitland, while flying in Norway, noted a place called Wadahl (about 100 miles NNW of Oslo airport, N6130 E00950) – were the Waddell ancestors Norse invaders from this valley (..dahl is valley in Norway)?
ILW was a doctor, and was a doctor and chief medical officer of the London and Scottish Railway Company. Gladys came from Parbold, Lancashire, but spent a good deal of time when PLW was young touring Europe with her brother. Peter's first school was therefore in St Jean de Luz, followed by the Dragon School, Oxford, & Charterhouse.
He spent a gap year (unusual at that time) learning French in Tours for 6 months and German for 6 months in Munich. The war broke out after his first year at Cambridge and he abandoned his law degree after his 2nd year (he said he would not have got a degree, anyway), to join the Royal Corps of Signals. His division was on embarkation leave for the Far East (all subsequently captured at Singapore) when it was discovered that he was and Olympic class skier and he was diverted, 48 hours before departure, to Iceland with tropical kit.
Joined BP after War, then hardware business then laundries - see separate file on Marie Blanche Ltd.
He was picked for the British team in the Winter Olympics in December 1939 in Japan which had been cancelled. He was in the first post war Olympics in 1948 but could not ski in his event because of an injury the previous day in practice. He was non-skiing captain in 1952 and manager in 1956.
He managed to ski, mostly in Klosters, every winter, except for during the war from about 1930 until he died.
Peter knew Donald Maitland and Rosemary Parkes at Cambridge, having been at school with Donald. He met Bunch through Rosemary, and appeared at Bunch's parents 25th Wedding Anniversary as Rosemary's boyfriend to avoid trouble as Bunch was very young then.
Bunch was educated, like her sister, at Bredenbury prep school near Tenbury Wells, and then at Lawnside, Malvern. She spent about a year in Paris in 1938/39.
Bunch and Pete lived until about 1964 at Upper Jordan, Worplesdon, near Guildford, before moving to Exton House, Hampshire.
In 1995, a Mrs C Mathieson was granted planning for a riding arena at Exton House.
Listing for Exton House:
SU 62 SW EXTON EXTON LANE
4/20 Exton House
House. Late C18, with early and mid C19 rear extensions. Stuccoed front, with parapet and moulded cornice, stone cills: other walls of painted brickwork in Flemish Garden Wall bond. Hipped half-hipped and gabled tile roof. Wide symmetrical south front elevation of two storeys, five windows. Sashes, triple above the central entrance. Open half-octagonal porch, with two pilasters and two columns of a simple Tuscan Order, concave metal roof, arched doorway with radiating fanlight. Vernacular rear extensions, with casements.
Issue of Peter and Bunch Waddell:
2/1. Carol Ann Waddell,
born Oaken 31/8/1942, died 15
January 2008, cremation 22 January, Odiham.
Married 3/8/1963: Jeremy Patrick Dawson Moore, born 17/3/1938, died 1/10/2005, son of Norman Frederick Alexander and Mary Grace (Sheppard) Moore. NFAM had sister called Lorna, MM had sisters Helen & Nancy. JPDM was educated at King's School, Canterbury and then at Royal Naval College, Dartmouth (1956), a sub-Lt 1958. Was submariner, which he enjoyed but was moved to surface ships after collapsing a lung during a practice escape. Surface did not suit and he left to join Vickers Shipbuilding in Barrow in Furness. In the late 1960's they moved to Hampshire.
See at the end of this volume for Jeremy Moore’s family.
3/1. Sophie Louise Moore, born Woking, 15/12/1964.
3/2. Julian Lindley Branthwayt Moore,
born Kendal, 13/3/1967.
Married, 22/7/06 Chelsea Old Town Hall.
4/1. Jayda Moore DOB 6th July 09 3.62 KG 54 cm long
2/2. Angela Rosemary Waddell, born Oaken, 23/5/1944.
Married 6/3/1965: Antony Thomas
Baldwin, born 19/8/1941, Nuneaton, son of Thomas Alfred (6/3/1909 - 1969) and
Dorothy Jean (Povey-Harper, 1919-1959) Baldwin. ATB has brothers John (married
to Christine, living in Herefordshire, with children Stephen, Sheila and
Rebecca) & William (married to Ann). TAB was son of Thomas Baldwin of Derby
and had siblings Audrey, Hilda & Ray. DJP-H was daughter of Frederick
Povey-Harper (a coal mining engineer from Nuneaton), and had sisters Valerie
and Mary. FPH had brothers Clifford and Kenneth.
Issue of Antony & Angela Baldwin:
3/1. Clare Baldwin, born 22/7/1966,
Married, March 1994 in Klosters,
Michael Stockford, born 9/12/1958, Westcliffe on Sea, son of Frederick &
4/1. Victoria Elizabeth Stockford, born 3/8/1997.
4/2. Emily Ann Stockford, 28/5/2000.
4/3. Lucy Stockford, 22/1/2002.
3/2. Natasha Baldwin, born 8/12/1968
Married 16/5/1998 Dogmersfield,
Andrew Chappell, son of Tony & Vivienne Chappell.
Andrew’s family descend from the Cortlandt family of New York, another descendant being Maria Skinner, who became Lady Nugent of Jamaica fame.
4/1. Oliver Anthony Cortlandt Chappell, born London, 23/2/2002.
4/2. Toby Jack Alexander Chappell, born 14/11/2007.
After leaving Tettenhall College about 1908, he was articled to a civil engineering practice in Wolverhampton but soon joined the army and was commissioned in the Royal Engineers (21/6/1913), serving at Chatham (in M Coy, RE, ref photo) and Woolwich.
1891 Census: The family was at 6, Walsall rd in 1891.
1907, November 11: indenture as Civil Engineer Apprentice.
1909, February: passed student exams for Institute of Civil Engineers.
1901 Census, Bank St, Willenhall: with parents.
1911 Census: 21, Bank St, Willenhall:
William Edmund Parkes (Hd, 55, Married 29 yrs, 2 children living & born, Lock manufacturer, employer, Willenhall), Elizabeth (wf, 59, B’ham), William Cyril (23, Manager lock manufacturer, Willenhall), Arthur Josiah (22, Civil Engineer, Willenhall), Daisy Brown (22, domestic servant).
1912, February: passed associate exams for Institute of Civil Engineers.
1913 June 21: Special Reserve Office 2nd Lt, Commission in DH collection
1914 Aug 4: mobilized at Aldershot, 23 Field Coy, RE section 4,
1914 Aug 15: embarked for France
1915: Lt, RE (Civil Engineer) Fernside, The Manor, Willenhall.
1915 Feb 1: wounded in shell burst.
1915 Feb-Apr: sick leave and marriage.
1915 May 31: (2nd Lt) Mentioned in Dispatches
1915 June 9th: Lieutenant.
1915, June 23rd: MC gazetted.
1915, July: Aldershot, HQ Motor Cycles.
1916, July-Nov: 23 Coy.
1916, Nov-May: No 6 Pontoon Park
1916, Dec: home leave.
1917, May 13: Leaves unit to Italy
1917, May 18: Arrives LofC Taranto
1918, Aug-Nov: attached HQ 7th Div.
1918, September: leave with wife.
1918: Italian Campaign medal 1918
1918, December: Tortona
1919, 18 January: (Capt.): Mentioned in Dispatches
1919, April: leaves Italy.
1919: Church St, Tettenhall, Captain RE (Special Reserve) and Staff Captain (Civil Engineer).
1921: 11, Parkdale, Wolverhampton, civil engineer.
1923, 16 March: elected Associate Member of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers.
1934, April 9: Arr Southampton from South Africa, Arundel Castle, AJP & EAP from Cape Town. (They went out to Marseilles by train).
1935: visited Berlin, from photo album.
1940-45: Home Guard 24th Staffordshire (Tettenhall) Battalion.
1944, 16 June: DL Stafford, as Lt Col.
1944, 10 Oct: JP. Certificate in DH Collection.
1946: Member of Siesdon RDC.
23/3/1967: retired as Chairman, Josiah Parkes & Sons.
Gave RJLP a Methodist Bible 14/6/1927.
Book for Advance of Pay shows AJP received cash in advance of pay (lire 150 as late as 16 April 1919, then as Staff Captain, HQ, IGC Italy.
AJP's cash books between 1914 & 1930 exist, but have not been examined in detail.
He was mobilized at Aldershot and embarked for France as a 2nd Lieutenant in the R.E. with British Expeditionary Force, 15/8/1914, disembarking 2 days later.
He was in the retreat from Mons according to son-in-law, DS Maitland. This would have been the case as the BEF faced the Germans at Mons August 22-23 1914 in the first major battle of the War as the Germans invaded France via Belgium. This may have been the action in which he earned his MC, blowing up the bridges across the Mons Canal. His unit was in the retreat over the Marne in September, 1914, where AJ is recorded as blowing up a bridge over the Marne and Sammeron.
His first unit was the 23rd Field Coy, Royal Engineers (which was involved in the battle of the Marne, 5-9 September 1914, #1 Corps, 1st Div), 1st Div RE (Feb 1915, ref Photo), assigned to Section 4. This unit was employed initially on bridgework, and later on constructing fortifications and digging mines. The unit was in several actions in 1914 and 1915, including some loss of life in January 1915 in the area of Cambrin (Pas de Calais), but from the fact that there is a photograph of a fit AJP in February 1915, he appears to have survived these events: he was not among those listed as casualties. According to daughter RJLP, he was wounded about February 1915: this must have been the shell burst in the trenches of his unit, 1st-2nd February (and again about 1916), and in April 1915 married Ethel Lister shortly before returning to France after sick leave. An X-Ray report dated 3/3/1915 showed shrapnel fragments in the right hand, arm and knee. It may be that the photograph date is incorrect.
On 9/6/1915 he was promoted Lieutenant.
He was awarded the Military Cross, listed in London Gazette 23/6/1915, and marked on Medal award card; the original citations have not survived in the PRO making it difficult to confirm the reason; the unit diary lists this award under "birthday honours". No indication is given in the diaries of how AJP gained the award, (son in law, DS Maitland, thought it to have been for blowing up bridges at the retreat from Mons).
There is no mention of him in the 23rd Coy between June 1915 and his "joining the company for duty" at Baizeiux on 8 August 1916: he was probably attached to another unit during this period as the records of 1916 contain good personnel movements. (two photographs of him with the Headquarter Motor Cyclists at Aldershot exist). His address at the time was South Farnborough (see letter below). His pay at this time was £14-14-5d SR (special reserve) and £4-10-00d Eng (engineers) (total =£1050 pm 2004). This rose to £26-18-6d pm by Dec 1918 (£962 - high inflation in 1917).
During 1916, 23rd Coy was employed on general construction work, with some enemy action, including one against "Marden's Keep" in September 1916. It may be that this was a period when he was again wounded. He finally left the 23 Coy for the "No 6 Pontoon Park" on 11/11/1916.
No 6 Pontoon Park (which used to be known as a Bridging Train) was based at Cléty between November 1916 and March 1917, when it moved to Azincourt (about 7 miles NE of Hesdin in the Pas de Calais region). The work of this unit seemed to comprise moving heavy engineering stores (including 10000 lbs of hay!) and buildings around the area. There was no mention of any enemy action.
AJP is mentioned several times in the diary, including being on leave in England from 11-21 December, 1916.
On 13/5/17 Lt. AJ Parkes RE leaves the unit to proceed to Italy on duty with "A.D.W. Eastern L. of C." (Assistant Director of Works Eastern Lines of Communication).
A photograph indicates he was in England, presumably on leave, at least some time in 1917. He was appointed acting Captain 12/7/1917 and promoted Captain 8/11/1917.
He joined the "Lines of Communication, Italy Commandants Taranto Base" in May 1917, when it was being set up, but is not mentioned in the unit's war diary after June 1917. The unit here was a/the major supply base for the Italian Campaign: AJP was probably involved in the civil works of setting up the base and its satellite units. There seemed to have been a lot of negotiation required with the Italians! Malaria was also a seasonal problem: quinine was prescribed for all. There was also an RFC airfield there. An ID card dated 7/1/1918 shows him attached to CRE, Taranto. (Commander Royal Engineers).
From photographs, at some point, he was transferred to the Genoa/Tortona area: no mention of him has been found in the relevant diaries but they are not very detailed about junior ranks. He was presumable involved in similar work there.
This area seemed to have been a hospital and recovery area: Portofina (in photograph album) was a convalescent home for officers. The major subsidiary base for Genoa was Arquato. There was mention of VAD nurses in the area: Mrs AJP was a VAD nurse and known to have been in Italy in October 1918.
An ID Card dated 1/8/1918-30/11/1918 shows him "RE attd HQ 7th Division".
The 7th division was transferred to Italy after the 3rd Battle of Ypres, which ended in November 1917. It was involved in the Battle of Vittorio Veneto. From 9/2/1918, the division was commanded by Brigadier General Steele, who is photographed with the King of Italy reviewing 22nd Brigade, part of the 7th division in Italy.
A photograph of a review by the King of Italy of 22nd Brigade under General Steele, found to be on 27 November 1918 at Castelgomberto aerodrome (a few miles West of Vicenza) indicates that he was present then. Also found are 2 panoramic views over the Battlefield of Vittorio Veneto.
The diaries of the 22nd Brigade units at the time, were also examined, but no trace has been found (54th and 528th Field Companies). The 22nd were moved to Italy about November 1917 after the 2nd Paschendale and took part in the Battle of Vittorio Veneto in the final days of WW1. This was the end of the Austro-Hungarian Empire (the 54th were involved in this action).
Prints in his photograph album show him at Tortona (Villa Forgana) and also has views over Portofino. Tortona is about 65km North of Genoa, and Portofino on the coast, about 20km East of Genoa. The main action in the Italian War was in the North East around Verona. According to RJLP, he was also in Taranto in Southern Italy. Tortona was a supply base, established in May 1917: it was on the railway line used to move the British Division into Northern Italy in November 1917 to support the Italians against the Austrians (who were fighting in the Verona/Vicenza area).
He finished the war with Victory & British medals and the 1914 Star.
According to RJLP, he was in Sicily at the end of the war and travelled to Stresa meet up with wife who was a nurse.
A postcard to Ethel 14 March 1919 shows the Bridge of Sighs Venice. "we did not arrive here till nearly midnight yesterday and we have to leave at 7.30 pm tomorrow so it is a rush. As usual it's most expensive". (Mrs AJP at The Manor, Willenhall).
Post 1st War
When his father, WE Parkes , died in 1920 he left the army and joined his brother CWP (who had been expected to run the works alone) in JP&S. After the 1st War armistice, he lived briefly in Prees Heath, Cheshire (while still in the Army) before moving to 11 Parkdale, Wolverhampton, and then to the Manor House (Oaken, Wolverhampton) in 1929, which he rented before buying it later; the rent in 1942 was £695. He bought the Manor House from the estate of R.M.Shelton in July/August 1945 for £5500, including 13 acres and a small cottage, "The Thatch". The Shelton family owned much of Oaken up to the 2nd War. He continued to live at the Manor House after his wife's death until he died, being looked after by his cook Mrs Jones (the widow of a miner killed in a major pit disaster in Wrexham in the 1930's) and later by another couple, Mr. & Mrs. Saxby. He had a gardener, "Butters" who lived in cottage on the property. When his daughters were young, the house had 2 maids and "Nanny", who lived with them until her death during the War.
Brought up as a Methodist (he gave daughter a Methodist bible in 1927), he became active in the Codsall Parish, as a Church Warden and a long time member of Codsall Parochial Church Council, and a member of the Lichfield Diocesan Board of Finance in 1965, retiring in 1967. He commissioned a window at Codsall Parish Church to his wife in 1951.
Appointed Deputy Lieutenant for Staffordshire 4/7/1944, and Justice of the Peace 4/10/1944. A3M remembers being taken to the Quarter Sessions in Stafford in the 1950's - not very exiting for a young lad! Member of Siesdon Rural District Council 1946/7 for the parish of Codsall (won by 525 votes to 437 & 236 for the competition).
He and Ethel made a trip round Africa in 1933/34. Ethel’s letters to the children give a good story to the trip. AJ took some 9.5mm cine film of the trip. They returned on the Arundel Castle, landing at Southampton 9 April 1934. The manor house had a number of African souvenirs, shields and the like, presumably from this trip.
In the 2nd war, after France fell in 1940 he took an
active part in the formation of the Local Defence Volunteers which after a
couple of months became the Home Guard, he became the Lt. Col. commanding the
24th Battalion (Tettenhall) of the South Staffordshire Home Guard. A3M
remembers as a boy shooting in the garden at the Manor House, AJP's .38"
Webley Army Issue revolver owned by AJP.
Went to Northern Ireland about May 1943.
AJP was always an enthusiastic sportsman, riding to hounds and playing tennis in his younger day. Family photographs show him looking sporting and swimming on summer holidays. In later life he was a demon croquet player, playing for the County.
He had several classic British cars: a 3 litre Rover before the war and a Bristol, & 2 Alvis's after. Like many of his generation and background, he was a patriot and would not allow any non British cars (incl Fords) at JP&S!
He tried to remarry in 1962 to a Mrs Elmer Salzman, 1818 Oliver Avenue South, Minneapolis. He sent her a gift of 5 cut, unmounted diamonds (value for customs £1078), which she returned to him. He gave them to his grand-daughter, Carol Ann, and gave Antony the equivalent cash.
He was an accomplished amateur artist, exhibiting his work at some exhibitions.
From Sue Poulson, one time librarian in Codsall now resident in Telford (6/2005):
Some of my memories of your grandfather - every Christmas he used to bring a tin of Huntley & Palmer biscuits to the Staff at the library. He wore a camel hair overcoat with leather cuffs. He read history and military history. When my husband serviced the Alvis he gave him 3d as a tip!
He spent much time in JP&S travelling around the world on sales business (A3M remembers the fascination of receiving (illegible) post cards from exotic parts of the world - good for stamp collections!). He was Chairman of JP&S 1964-67 and a director of Chubb and Sons 1966-67, retiring 31/3/1967 after 47 years, leaving directions that Will Egar should be Executive Chairman of JP&S, and DSM & EC Fryer (his cousin) should be joint MD's. For more information about Josiah Parkes & Sons.
Owned the Crane Foundry and sold it in 25/6/1945 to Qualcast for £92000 equivalent Qualcast shares, shared with WCP and the Fellows family. AJP & EAP share: £11925.
In 1927, AJP visited Poland, flying to Warsaw, with a view to looking at the Polish market: He put a proposal together for a joint manufacturing venture with a local group. This did not go ahead: a report by the JP&S accountants was very discouraging! In view of the events some 12 years later, it was a good thing they did not!
1936 service agreement with Josiah Parkes & Co. as Joint MD. Annual salary £1600 plus 5% of net profits in excess of 10% of issued and paid up capital wef 2 September 1936, the date from which the company acquired the business.
(Firm in fact Berrington, Son and Martin, Bank Buildings, W'ton)
This Indenture, made the eleventh day of November One Thousand Nine Hundred and Seven Between William Edmund Parkes, Lock Manufacturer, of Fernside, Willenhall, in the County of Stafford, of the first part, Arthur Josiah Parkes, son of the said William Edmund Parkes, of the second part, and Richard Evans Willoughby Berrington, of Wolverhampton, in the County of Stafford, Civil Engineer, of the third part, Witnesseth that in consideration of the sum of two hundred Guineas now paid to the said RICHARD EVANS WILLOUGHBY BERRINGTON by the said William Edmund Parkes on the execution whereof the receipt of which sum of two hundred guineas the said RICHARD EVANS WILLOUGHBY BERRINGTON hereby acknowledges, and in consideration also of the services of the said Arthur Josiah Parkes to be done or performed to or for the said RICHARD EVANS WILLOUGHBY BERRINGTON, and the covenants and agreements hereinafter entered into by the said William Edmund Parkes, The said Richard Evans Willoughby Berrington at the request of the said William Edmund Parkes for himself and his heirs and executors hereby covenants and agrees with the said William Edmund Parkes and also with the said Arthur Josiah Parkes that the said Richard Evans Willoughby Berrington will take and receive the said Arthur Josiah Parkes as his apprentice or pupil for a term of three years commencing on the eleventh day of November, One thousand nine hundred and seven, and also will during the said term to the best of his knowledge and ability instruct or cause to be instructed the said Arthur Josiah Parkes in the profession of a Civil Engineer and in all things incident and relating thereto in such a manner as the said Richard Evans Willoughby Berrington doth now or shall hereafter practice the same, And further that the said Richard Evans Willoughby Berrington, his executors or administrators shall not (unless and extreme and unusual pressure of business shall render it necessary to do so) require the said Arthur Josiah Parkes to attend to the business or affairs of the said Richard Evans Willoughby Berrington, his executors or administrators, for a longer period than from nine o'clock in the morning to five o'clock in the afternoon each day of the said time (except on Sunday, and except on Saturday on which day the hours of business shall cease at One o'clock in the afternoon) and shall allow the said Arthur Josiah Parkes One hour at mid-day for his luncheon (except on a Saturday). And further the said Richard Evans Willoughby Berrington will allow to the said Arthur Josiah Parkes the following holidays during the said term namely one week at Christmas and not less than three days after each of the festivals on Easter and Whitsuntide, One fortnight for his summer holidays, and also the first Monday I August, and in consideration of the covenants and agreements hereinbefore contained on the part of the said Richard Evans Willoughby Berrington, the said William Edmund Parkes and the said Arthur Josiah Parkes, the said Arthur Josiah Parkes of his own free will and by and with the consent of his father, doth put place and bind himself an apprentice, with and to the said Richard Evans Willoughby Berrington during the term aforesaid And further, that the said William Edmund Parkes will at his own expense find and provide the said Arthur Josiah Parkes with board, lodging, clothing and all other necessaries during the said term. Provided also, and it is hereby further agreed that in case the said Arthur Josiah Parkes shall at any time during the said term be wilfully disobedient to the lawful and reasonable commands of the said Richard Evans Willoughby Berrington or shall otherwise grossly misconduct himself it shall be lawful for the said Richard Evans Willoughby Berrington to discharge the said Arthur Josiah Parkes from his service, and thereupon this indenture shall be void.
Signed by William Edmund Parkes Arthur Josiah Parkes and Richard Evans Willoughby Berrington.
On End of Document:
I have pleasure in certifying that the within named
Arthur Josiah Parkes has faithfully served these article for a period of three
years ending October 1910, and that during the whole of that time here has
given me every satisfaction.
His work has always been carefully executed and he has always been most attentive to office work and on the several works he has been engaged.
He has acquired a good deal of experience in Waterworks, Sewage disposal, Drainage and other branches of municipal engineering.
In 1909 he successfully passed the students Examination, and in February this year, he successfully passed the Associate Membership Examination.
He is still retained by me as an assistant.
During the whole time he has been with me, his personal character has been all one could desire.
March 21st 1912, RW Berrington.
Letter from WEP re above:
Laurences Hotel (Temperance Hotel)
14/3/1912 8 A.M.
My dear Arthur,
I have just had your mother's letter with good news of your success and I hasten to offer my very heartiest congratulations I am very pleased indeed and so I am writing this before I have my breakfast. I thought you would be successful as you stuck well to your work and did your level best. Its as nice for you to have got thro' first time trying and at the earliest date that you could try and we must celebrate the success somehow and I must be invited to that high tea and I should like to meet Mr Tench and thank him. You want a holiday and I should like you to have one.
I prayed for you, I believe that you do not pray in vain and now I must return thanks to the Giver of All Good, May his blessing always be with you. Very Best Love, Your Affec Father.
AJP SERVICE AGREEMENT with JP&S:
23 Dec 1936:
10 years from 2 Sept 1936
Fixed salary of £1600 incl of directors fees
Commission of 5% of net profits in excess of 10% on issued capital
Renewed AGM 29 March 1946
7 June 1957:
10 years from 1 Jan 1957
Fixed salary of £4800 incl of directors fees (75K 2004)
Commission of 2.5% of net profits in excess of 10% on issued capital
15 October 1961
Supplement to 1957
JP&S becomes JP&S holdings
Fixed salary of £4000 incl of directors fees
Commission of 1.25% of net profits.
Record of Military Service (issued 1957):
Captain Arthur Josiah Parkes (46185)
21/6/1913: Appointed to a Militia commission as 2nd Lieutenant,
Royal Engineers. (special reserve in Army list)
3/9/14: in action blowing up Sammeron Bridge over the Marne (see below).
15/8/1914: embarked for France
9/6/1915: Promoted Lieutenant
6/7/1915: Limpsfield, Winchester St, South Farnborough, Hants (letter).
August 1915: photograph shows AJP with Headquarters Motor Cycles, Aldershot.
12/7/1917: Appointed Acting Captain
8/11/1917: Promoted Captain.
9/1919: Captain, Special Reserve.
17/12/1925: Relinquished Militia commission
17/12/1925: Appointed to the Regular Army Reserve of Officers as
Captain (with seniority 14/9/1923) (P30-07-01)
7/6/1932: Resigned commission
Awarded the Military Cross - London Gazette 22/6/1915, supplement 23/6. No further information in original copy - citations of this period no longer exist. 2nd Lt AJP. Ref 6120 VII 1915 ZJ1/622.
1915: Hesdin, France, in Sec 4, 23rd Field Coy, 1st Division.
1917: on leave? At Colwyn Bay with family.
1918: Italy, Tortona (Villa Forgana) & Portofino, & Stresa (on leave with wife).
1918: Photograph in AJP's album of 22nd Brigade being inspected by King of Italy with General Steele.
All units in the 1st WW appear to have kept war diaries.
They are written in flimsy paper, usually in pencil, and were kept on behalf of
the CO, but usually by a more junior officer. The content and frequency of
reporting varies. It seemed to depend on the writer to decide what to record.
They can contain details of personnel movement.
23 Field Company, Royal Engineers, War Diary (WO95 1252):
Lt Bond for OC 23rd Fd. Co., RE wrote this diary. A photograph of him exists in AJP's album, together with "Stafford", who was awarded the MC at the same time as AJP.
This diary contains good detail of the actions carried out by the unit, but has sparse reference to individuals.
This unit was employed on the western front and suffered casualties in various actions.
1914: blowing and building bridges.
19/8 arrived Rouen
21/8 Billets Dompierre
22/8 Marched to Villers-sire-Nicole
23/8 Marched to Rouveroy, then Liseroeux to prepare defensive position, facing NW & W between Fauroeux and Peissant. At 3pm an attack was expected from the West and the works were occupied by the Welsh Regt.
24/8 to La Longueville.
25/8 Wet march to Dompierre, fired on one sapper wounded.
27/8 fired on at bridge. No casualties.
The following few days cover General Von Kluck’s advance to the East of Paris, and the German’s subsequent stall and retreat. AJP was evidently in the thick of this early battle. (see August 1914 by Barbara W Tuchman, p395-400).
31/8 no 4 section destroyed bridge over Aisne at Soissons. Lattice girder on Soissons to Paisley Rd.
1/9 blew up 2 bridges over River Ourcq at Marolles (nr La Ferte Milon)
3/9 and over Marne at Sammeron and St Jean les 2 Jumeaux
3/9 No 4 section with RG of Coldstream Guards and rejoined at Douarre.
4/9 No 1 & 4 sections assisted blocking road during night.
6/9 Orders were issued to advance. No 2 section in Advance guard with Coldstream Gds came into action (under Lt Bond, who was mentioned in the diary).
16/9 No 4 sect repairing bridges at Vill(i)ers.
Billeted at Vendresse. Worked on Defensive positions around there. Putting up wire, digging trenches etc. until end 9/14.
1/10-15 working around Vendresse and Bourg. Built observatory for artillery.
16/10 to Perles. 4 section dismantled bridge at Pont-Arcy.
19/10 by train to Hazebrouck.
22-23/10 built pontoon bridge (using barges) over canal NW of Ypres 1.5 miles.
27/10 Hooge, digging trenches at night etc.
30/10 2300 ordered to hold Zillerbeke until relieved. 3 wounded
31/10 relieved 1430. During the day dug and manned trenches near Hooge:
In after noon sent out to act as infantry to clean up situation and cleared the woods SW of Veldhook. 9 wounded.
3/11-6/11 work on defensive position around Ypres
7/11 whole company fire-fighting in Ypres.
8/11-15/11 at work near Ypres. Billet shelled 2230 1 killed, 9 wounded.
17/11 marched to Borre
18/11-30/11 worked around Borre - Lt RL Bond wrote diary.
3/12 Visit by King.
4/12-11 experimental trenching.
Continued till 21/11.
22/12 Locon. Trenching etc.
26/12 Cambrin, trench work at Givenchy.
31/12 Attack on KRR trenches, MG emplacement captured.
1-9/1 trenching and making keep
10/1/15: Cambrin, 4 section assists infantry to make good captured post on railway line, together with 1st lowland Field Coy RE (T). Sapper Bell killed, 2 wounded.
11/1/15: work continued. 1 wounded, 1 killed.
12/1/15 until post lost abt 2.30 pm.
13-20/1 Trenching work.
21-4/1 Mining near Brick Stack. Also more trenching.
25/1/15: men missing and killed. "Front line taken by Germans and mining party missing (5 men)", 1 wounded.
28/1 1 killed, 1 wounded.
29/1 1 wounded.
30/1 -3/2 misc work.
1/2/15: on night of 1-2, shell burst in billets. 2 killed and 15 wounded. (incl. AJP)
4/2-16 Hurionville. Training etc - Capt Herring wounded by bomb instructing in throwing.
17/2-27/2 Rambert mining etc.
1/3-31/3 Les Glautignies, nr Le Touquet Breastworks, keep & mines.
Injuries about 5/3. At Indian Village.
1/4-8/5 Le Touquet defensive works
9/5 1st Div attack on Rue de Bois front. Attack failed and only work carried out was clearance of Cinder Track and Edward Rd. 2 k 3 w
10/5 Marched to Mont Bernechon. And then Beuvry
13/5-1/6 at Beuvry, trenching etc.
2/6-20/6 Fontenelle Farm, training etc
23/6/15: birthday honours: MC Lt AJ Parkes (+ Capt HW Herring, LT JH Stafford)
28/6-5/9 La Bourse Vermelles: defensive works (Daly's Keep)
6/9- Drouvin Labourse Vermelles
24-29/9/15. In action with the Black Watch operations against Germans Mallins wounded and Lt Edwards gassed,
5/10-13/10 Mazingarbe. Sect 4 Battle Stations 13/10.
14/10-13/11 train to Lozinghem.
14/11-13/1/16 Mazingarbe Philosophe
15/1 Lillers Allouagne
15/2-14/5 Les Brebis Loos
4/4 Lt Vanetone Sect 4 relieve.
17/4 Lt Smith takes command of no 4 sect
16/4-4/7 Les Brebis Calonne
12/7-26/7 Albert & Becourt Wood
AJP may have left 23 Company by end 1915 - after this, there are good records of the officers movements & he is not mentioned.
A photograph in August 1915 shows him with Headquarters Motor Cyclists, Aldershot. The letter below, dated 6/7/1915 was sent to an address near Aldershot. It can be assumed that he had transferred to Home Duty by early July 1915.
8/8/1916: Baizieux, Lt AJ Parkes RE joined company for duty.
15/8-13/9 Fricourt & Albert. Heavy Casualties 15/8.
15/8/1916: Lt Parkes with 4 section to billets X27c62 near Fricourt.
3/9/1916: Lts Salmon, Parkes & Smith with 2,3,4 sections standing by in billets. No 1 section in action.
24/9/16: No 4 section with AJP at Bazentin on billets.
29/9- 26/10/1916 Fricourt roadbuilding
26/10-11/11 Fricourt & Bazentin
11/11/16: Lt HA Parkes, RE proceeds to No 6 Pontoon Park for duty. (initials incorrect).
1917-18 23 company remained in France/Belgium.
26th Field Company, RE: no mention of AJP to end 1916.
No 6 Pontoon Park (formerly Bridging Train). (WO95/427).
At Cléty (Pas de Calais?)
21/3/16: unit arrived in SS Connaught at Rouen.
12/11/1916 Lt AJ Parkes RE transferred to this unit from 23 field coy RE. OC GG Mead Capt.
11/12/1916 Lt AJ Parkes proceeds on leave to England.
21/12/1916 Lt AJ Parkes returns from leave.
24/3/1917: preparation for move to Azincourt.
Advance billeting party under Lt. AJ Parkes left for Azincourt (about 7 miles NE of Hesdin). Also in unit Lt. E Chenevix-Trench; was he later headmaster of Eton?
Work of this unit seemed to comprise moving engineering stores and buildings around the area. No comment about any enemy action.
13/5/17 Lt. AJ Parkes RE leaves the unit to proceed to Italy on duty with "A.D.W. Eastern L. of C."
(ADW = Assistant Director of Works; LofC = Lines of Communication).
Lines of Communication, Italy Commandants Taranto Base.
14/5/1917: en-route Taranto.
18/5/17: Lt Parkes, RE arrived Taranto.
Mention of Daily quinine
15/6 Capt Wilson, ASC & Lt AJP to visit Halte Repas at Foggia and Brindisi to arrange rations & water for personnel.
8/7 another officer wired for (obviously short handed)
24/10 Major Parkes arrived from Salonika and took over the duties of D.O.R.E.
Continuous discussions about setting up the base and negotiations with the Italians. Malaria also a problem: some camps only suitable in some seasons. Taranto seemed to be a major supply base for Italian Campaign.
23/10/18: Major JH Parkes DSO RE proceed to Genoa & off strength. In Genoa War Diary, this officer became Lt Col, CRE.
AJP not mentioned from early days until end Jan 1919.
Various unit diaries checked around Genoa.
ID Cards show:
7/1/1918: attached to CRE Taranto (Commander Royal Engineers)
1/8/1918-30/11: RE attd HQ 7th Division.
The 7th division was transferred to Italy after the 3rd Battle of Ypres, which ended in November 1917. It was involved in the Battle of Vittorio Veneto. From 9/2/1918, the division was commanded by Brigadier General Steele (who is photographed with the King of Italy reviewing 22nd Brigade, which was part of the 7th division in Italy.
Other 7th Div Italian actions:
The fighting on the Asiago Plateau. 15-16 Jun 1918.
Passage of the Piave. 23 Oct-4 Nov 1918.
Capture of the Grave di Papadoli. 23-26 Oct 1918.
Crossing of the Tagliamento. 3 Nov 1918.
The Passage of the Piave & Grave di Papdoli, an island in the Piave River required many bridges constructed by the 7th Division. It is probable that AJP was involved in this work. A dispatch from the British CinC Italy, General the Earl of Cavan, gives a good description of the advance over the Piave. General Steele is mentioned in the dispatch.
Photographs of AJP in Italy quote DAAG for a Major Brunswick as Deputy Assistant to Adjutant General (this was a common job title!).
A reference to No 6 Pontoon Park found in Italy associated with 54th Coy in the diaries of the HQ 7th Div Engineers (also reference to King's inspection). The 95th Field Coy was checked but no mention of AJP and did not mention King's Inspection.
Cambrin in Pas de Calais, nearby Givenchy.
Baizieux in Pas de Calais. Became an RFC base. Near Bresle. In the area of Battle of Somme, June 1916.
Bazentin 5 miles NE of Albert, Somme. Scene of fierce fighting September 1915.
Fricourt: East of Albert, Somme. Some surviving mine craters.
Mazingarbe & Philosophe villages near Loos. Mazingarbe just S of Bethune Lens road (N43).
Cléty: small village about 35 km East of Boulogne, on the N928.
Hesdin: small village about 10km East of Le Touquet, on N39.
It seemed that at least some of the time, the 26th Field Coy operated with the 23rd: each Army had 2 RE Field companies attached to it and one "Pontoon Park".
The 1st Division included both the 23rd & 26th field company RE.
25/1/1915 1st Division was in action at Givenchy.
The photograph of the King of Italy's inspection of 22 Brigade (on 27 November 1918) indicated that AJP may have moved to the 54th Field Company of Engineers (or possibly the 528th), who remained in the 22nd Brigade through the War: he was not found in any of these units.
The 22nd, as part of the 7th Division, were moved to Italy after 2nd Paschendale October/November 1917 (as part of X Corps, 2nd Army) and took part in the Battle of Vittorio Veneto in the final days of WW1.
This was the end of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Brig Gen Steele took command 9/2/1918.
From Royal Engineers Journal of June 1932
Courtesy of Terry Dean April 2010.
C.R.E. – Lt-Col. A.L. Schreiber, D.S.O.
Adjutant – Capt. L.C. Jackson
23rd Field Coy. 26th Field Coy.
Major C. Russell-Brown Maj. H. L. Pritchard D.S.O.
Capt. G. H. Addison Capt. N. W. Webber.
Lieut. R. L. Bond, Lieut. E. E. Calthrop.
Lieut. J. H. Stafford. Lieut. A. G. Smith.
Lieut W. J. W. D Mallins 2nd-Lieut. M. R.
2nd Lieut A. J. Parkes (S.R.) 2nd-Leut.J.D.ManIey(SR)
3rd September [continued).
The O.C. 23rd Coy. was told to send in a report when the bridge at St. Jean was ready, and to follow the column, leaving a party to blow it up if ordered, or to inform the cavalry as to the work that had been done. Lieut. Mallins went to St. Jean, and 2nd-Lieut. Parkes to Sammeron, the latter bridge being ready by 11 a.m. Each of these bridges was successfully demolished. (App. L. and N.)
BRIDGE OVER THE MARNE AT SAMMERON.
Three masonry arches totalling 298 ft., width of roadway 18 ft., arch rings 3 ft. thick.
Roadway excavated down to crown of masonry arch, charge of 110 lb. guncotton laid along it, and tamped wet (sic). Fired electrically. Result: whole bridge demolished, including both piers. (is this AJP’s own report??).
Mallins appears in several photographs. Lt John Wilfred Douglas Mallins awarded an MC, gazette 3 June 1916.
54 Field Coy WO95 4221 12/17-2/19 (also 22 Bgde)
54 Field Coy 1918 Italy, no mention of AJP.
21/9/18 Drill & practice for Review by King if Italy. All orders for review cancelled indefinitely. At Brogliano.
27/11/1918: Review by King of Italy at Castelgomberto aerodrome at 10 am. 1919 Capt Carroll i/c 54 Coy.
A letter written from the Imperial Palace Hotel, Rapallo, Italy to:
Imperial Palace Hotel, Rapallo, Santa Margherita.
"Mon cher consul"
It is with enormous regrets that I learned on my passage to Turin, last month, that you were in France for I had the intention of ..... or giving you the best wishes of our mutual friend Flack, who will see you in several days at Ventimillia on return from France.
The word would be brought to you by a charming lady of our friend Madame Parkes, wife of Captain Parkes, MC, all received with us. She returns to England after having received for the permission of her husband, who has since 18 months on the Italian front with the English army, and I thank you in advance for all that you can do to assist her passage through France.
Receipt for 100 lire for Villius Barenghise Tortona
Letter from Willenhall Urban District, 6 July 1915:
Dear Mr Parkes,
At a meeting of the Council held last evening a Resolution was passed heartily congratulating you upon the well deserved honour which you have obtained and which the Council hope you may long be spared to enjoy.
The Council feel that you have not only brought honour to yourself but to your native Town, and they are all proud of your achievement.
Yours faithfully, Rowland Tildesley.
Lieut. AJ Parkes,
Bishop Vesey's Grammar School, Sutton Coldfield (printed on stiff card):
19/12/1903 (term ending): First in the A form in Latin.
31/3/1904 (term ending): First in the A form in Mathematics.
31/3/1904 (term ending): First in the A form in English
Easter 1904(term ending): Second in the A form in French
Easter 1904 (term ending): First in the A form in Latin
27/7/1904 (term ending): First in the A form in Drawing
17/12/1904 (term ending): Second in the 3rd form in Freehand Drawing
15/4/1905 (term ending): Second in the 3rd form Mathematics
After leaving Tettenhall College about 1908, he was articled to a civil engineering practice in Wolverhampton but soon joined the army and was commissioned in the Royal Engineers (21/6/1913), serving at Chatham (in M Coy, RE, ref photo) and Woolwich.
Special Reserve Office 2nd Lt, 21 June 1913. Commission in DH collection.
DL Stafford 16 June 1944 as Lt Col.
JP 10 Oct 1944. Certificate in DH Collection.
Gave RJLP a Methodist Bible 14/6/1927.
Italian Campaign medal 1918 (Italian inscription on reverse:
Nella fede fratelli e nella vittoria
Certificate showing medical leave of absence 16th March to 16th April, 1915. (P30-05)
WAR OFFICE TELEGRAMS: (P30-03)
4 Au 1914. To Second Lieut AJ Parkes Royal Engineers Special Reserve. The Manor Willenhall.
You are required to proceed to Aldershot immediately. Your 23rd company on mobilization. Notify this office number of railway ticket when taken.
4 Feb 1915 to WE Parkes
Regret to inform you that 2nd Lieut AJ Parkes was slightly wounded on the 1st February. Secy War Office.
28/2/15, Boulogne Smer to Parkes Fernside Willenhall.
Coming England hospital hand wound. Arthur.
5 Mar 1915 to WE Parkes.
2nd Lieut AJ Parkes Royal Engineers in hospital 58 Grosvenor St W. with gunshot wound. Secretary War Office.
Letter on "Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway" paper,
On board the "Mellifont" Monday 17/8/14 6.45pm
(The ship was owned by the above railway and served till 1914 on the Liverpool Drogheda run - she was built in 1903 and scrapped 1933. 1204 tons)
(Letter censored, shown by ---)
My darling Ethel,
We have started at last as you see. Got away from Southampton at about 3 o'clock and do not get to ---- till 5 o'clock tomorrow morning and then we are going ----- ----- which we are supposed to reach at 10.30 am. ---- as you probably know is about -- miles up from --- so it should be a very nice journey. We came passed Portsmouth and dropped our pilot in Sandown Bay I.o.W. The boat s very small. 1200 tons only and so is pitching badly. The engines are very noisy too. A few nurses are on board and also a few gunners and horses. Only our 4 sections were able to get on board and we had to leave headquarters ?? company behind. They carry the pontoons, water carts etc.
Tuesday 18th 7.20 am.
My love just than ,y love. I went very squeamish. I suppose it was the smell of the cooking! But I was not sick and had a good dinner at 8 pm Bound(?) did not have any. Was laid up. We are in --- now --- up. We had to anchor at --- to wait for the pilot at 5 o'clock.
They say that the king's 2 sons passed us sleeping in boats on deck. You see this is a small passenger-cattle boat running from Liverpool to Drogheda and we managed to get a good night. The poor men are not having a brilliant time. It was cold and they had to stay on deck all night. My darling, if this were only a holiday and you were here! Our base is to be --- we think, and all letters are censored but I am hoping to give this to the Captain of this boat to post in England.
We shall probably remain at ---- several days in a rest camp and then go on to ??? the ---- Frontier and then help to form the Reserve of the --- attack.
These --- people are very excited. Cheering and play-dipping all along. Well darling I must just send a note home. Goodness knows when you will hear again. Try sending me a card at ---- "Rest Camp". Only put on it about yourself love or they will censor it. Good bye my own darling Ethel. He will not be far away.
Please send a letter as well, but nothing about my doing in it.
Card found in DH Collection, Postmarked 7 October 1914.
"Field Service Postcard"
To Miss Lister, The Manor, forwarded to 93a Redland Rd, Bristol.
Contains pre-printed statements:
"I am quite well
"I have been admitted into hospital
(sick ) and am going on well (all deleted by AJP)
(wounded ) and hope to be discharged soon
"I am being sent down to the base (deleted)
"I have received your (telegram (deleted)
"Letter follows at first opportunity
"I have received no letter from you (deleted)
(for a long time (deleted)
Post Card (P29-01)
Not sent, but a group including AJP of 23rd Field Coy RE 1st Div Jan 1916. Taken at Lilliers where I was in hospital.
LETTERS To AJP: FROM WW1
Hd Qrs 1st Divn Engineers
5-2-14 (should be 15)
Herewith railway warrant and leave and 2 letters for my subaltern Lieut Parkes RRE who left for Boulogne today, Would you kindly see that they are forwarded to him early and ask him to acknowledge receipt direct to me at above address.
Also please send this letter to him to inform him that, as I had not got his address, I have given as his my own home address "Kingston House" Alexandra Rd, Farnborough, Hants. P.G. would like Parkes to write to my wife telling her where to forward letters or telegrams which may be sent to him at my home address.
I could only get 10 days leave for him 7th to 17th Feb which is the same as another of my subs (Lt Mallins) returns from leave.
Lt Parkes wound is not likely to last beyond 17th he might obtain a med'l leave and apply for ?? of leave but I fear this will lead to trouble as the gods may ask why he was not sent home on sick leave and he will then be sent to K's Army. (this para v. difficult to read)
I suggest that if well enough to travel he sh'd return on 17th to LILLERS and join the 23rd Fd Co in billets at HURIONVILLE (about 2 miles south (Lilliers) where he can rest until he gets well.
Many thanks for looking after Parkes.
Hope you can read this scrawl written on very rough board in the dark.
Please give my orderly a chit to say you have got this letter and also Parkes' address in Boulogne if you know it.
Envelope To: AJ Parkes esq RRE
Not via GPO, but internal field mail.
Dear old Man
So sorry to hear that the medicos are going to shunt you to a base hospital as I fear we shall loose you unless you are an arch-diplomatist.
You have done such good work during the first six months of this war that your possible departure from the 23rd Fd Co is a really serious loss at this great time in its history.
However we still hope that somehow you will manage to get back to us thoroughly repaired and ready to capture more "Culvert Positions".
Send me a line from Boulogne to let me know how you get on. If possible make yourself acquainted with my friend Major Moore RAMC who lives in the hospital train at Boulogne station.
He is a capital doctor but he ought to be sent home to rest for a bit as he is nearly worn out with hard work. All luck
Yours ever R-B.
Envelope addressed to AJ Parkes, The Manor Willenhall
Post marked Field Post Office 14 April 1915.
From C Russell- Brown
23 Fd Co. RE
12 April 1915
I am a holy terror as a bad letter writer but your generous present of chocolate for the old 23rd has roused me to make an effort. The men are awfully pleased that you have remembered them and you sent such a quantity that the officers are going to keep a packet to eat during their usual nightly work on the front trenches. We have been working on a front which begins about 2 miles from where you were wounded and inland for another 2 miles. We now have the Lowland Fd Co sharing with the line with us.
We have had very few fellows killed and wounded considering that we have been working very close to the Boches during the last 2 months.
Dick B., Jack S. and Mallins all keep merry and bright. We have a junior sub - one Edwards, quite a good boy but of course he does not know the old 23rd as you do. I can't tell you how sick we all were to loose you. I asked the Gods on several occasions to try and get you back but it was no good.
How is your hand now? I hope it has stopped giving trouble, but I suppose you still have a collection of metal to carry about?
Col. Schreiber was very slightly grazed by a shrapnel bullet last week but is quite fit now.
We wonder how long we are going to stay here. The country is still a bit wet but is slowly drying. We still have to live behind breastworks except in a very few places where trenches are possible.
Our men are in fine fettle and ready for a shove whenever the time comes.
Will you please convey my apologies to your father for not having answered his letter and thank him for his kindness in writing.
The German crumps did a fair amount of firing today with 6 inch shell but their ranging was bad and no damage was done.
They have wired themselves in stiff and done a lot of work behind their lines.
I have been having a good long squint at them today from a good artillery position.
We now have a mining section attached to us and have already blown up on German trench.
J.S. asks "have you got yet lost your taste for bully?" He also thanks you for your letter.
Best of luck and many thanks again for the choc.
Note: this must have been written in or near Le Touquet.
Letter post marked 26 April 1915
To Mrs AJ Parkes, 13 Bank St, Willenhall
(Annotated "My first from my husband).
R.E. Mess, Aldershot
My Darling Wife,
Its 6.30 pm. I've just come in I've been searching for rooms since 3.30 this afternoon except 1/2 an hour for tea and I have not found any at all. Been in at least 30 houses in Franboro' and Aldershot. I shall ask the police in Farnboro' tomorrow one only took in bachelors (!) one only boarded as well (2 1/2 pennies each) and so on but I am not without hope or I should indeed be sick.
My job in the Training depot is in "B" Coy and is very light indeed. Only means attending a few parades.
I only know 1 man in Aldershot He's Sweeney who is in "B" Coy T.D. and whom I knew at Chatham very nice chap. He was only at the front a month and was wounded. He's been in the T.D. since Xmas.
I got here at 1 pm. Saw the Chief Engineer. Gen Gibbon very nice man he seemed. Reported myself at 2 or 3 offices and then had lunch in the mess where they remembered me so perhaps I shall have better luck. I am very sick indeed especially as otherwise there is no difficulty. For tonight I shall shake down in the mess which is not quite full up.
I am most awfully disappointed because I shall have to put you off at any rate until till Thursday. 9 out of 10 were full up.
I do hope my wife that you are all right. Be careful this week, I do hate the thought of a lonely night and I know you do too.
I'll try every house in Farnboro' tomorrow we couldn't possibly stand Aldershot town. The number of troops about is simply appalling so is the dirt.
The place looks just the same ……… there was any trouble at all.
Love I do want you. I'll have you at least on Thursday at the latest. Do take care of yourself tho' please.
Good night, all my love your husband.
(about 1 Sept 1918, EAP birthday 1 Sept)
Saturday Night (probably 31 August 1918)
Shall wire you tomorrow Leave granted! I have just seen the DA&QMG and he says that he has spoken to the G.O.C. who has no objections but that its too far in advance to grant the warrant. Still he definitely said that leave is granted. Now only the exigencies of war are in the way. Otherwise it is as sure as can possibly be. Also what surprises me was that they, none of them, had any objection to your coming. Col Lang spoke as if it was perfectly easy. However you know ---- and so will you carry straight on. Its an awful age to look forward to tho' you'll be busy and so time will go quickly.
By the way about luggage. If I were you I should only bring one package beside your dressing case. You can look after it so much more easily, but I don't really think there is much difficulty about porters. The part of the journey I dread for you is from Southampton to Paris. I don't fear much for submarines, but the discomfort. I believe and very much hope that the journey from Havre is by day and is only 5 hours but I've never been that route. From Paris you will get into your sleeper and wake up at Aix-les-Bains in time for Break on the train. You can get dinner at the Gare de Lyons very nicely. Oh lover I wish you had somebody to travel with tho'. If you had a maid. Could you bring one of Cyril's? It really worries me. Perhaps the passport people have some lady going down on that day too.
Don't bring towels cos I can bring up plenty and they would only stodge your bag out. I think my big kit bag is the thing for you.
Take very careful note of these instructions lover. Cos I know the journey so very well.
Poor little wife you were so down when you wrote on Sunday. This note ought to cheer you. I think really it is a very nice birthday present.
God bless you my darling
Note by AM: she entered Italy on the 20th September, and left 4th October.
2.4.1919 (Wednesday A3M) Headquarters
morning L. of C.
It's all arranged at last. I propose leaving here on Monday so I can go decently and give you plenty of time to arrange things. I shouldn't have been able to get away if I hadn't given the reason but the -- is very nice about it. I've just been in to see him and he's given me a very nice testimonial to the L.G.B? That should go well, cos they want to know my social position? and its rather a sore point!
About our going away straight from town, I want much rather, but I'll leave it to you, At any rate you will meet me in Town on Tuesday might. I can leave Paris at 12 noon, catch the 4 o'clock boat from Boulogne and arrive about dinner time. There's only horses in Paris and so I might miss the boat, but I've just heard from Buckland and he managed it successfully.
I'm wiring you this afternoon to meet me at the Rubens hotel. You will wire for rooms won't you.
It's too good to believe about. About getting a job at home. It may be a little difficult, but I shall get them to send a wire from here strongly recommending that I be given staff employment at home on compassionate grounds and that will help no doubt. It will be extremely useful to have an income till we can find a civil job. I'm certain tho' it best that I should come home. Its very hard from here to get a jib.
I pulled Lindsay's leg properly yesterday being April 1st. I rang him up in my best soprano voice and told him I was the matron and would he come down and see me. I think he went, but I'm not sure. Then Euan Bu-hill and I sent him a wire ordering him to Russia. He was very excited and took it with G.C. who was in the know. Then we cancelled it later by another telegram. Then we sent a note and said who said April 1st and Russia. He's fed to the teeth with me. Scotchmen cannot stand a joke. It won't be any use my writing after today lover cos you'll only get this on Monday. Till Home, etc.
WILLENHALL OFFICERS WEDDING (April 14 1915)(P30-01)
In the presence of a large congregation, the wedding took place at the Weslyan Church, Willenhall, this morning, of Lieutenant Arthur J. Parkes, 23rd Field Company, Royal Engineers (second son of Mr and Mrs WE Parkes, the Manor, Willenhall) to Miss Ethel A. Lister (eldest daughter of Councillor and Mrs S. Lister, Willenhall).
In view of the fact that the bridegroom's brother, Captain Cyril Parkes, 6th Battalion S.S. Regiment (South Staffs - A3M), is at present at the front, the event was observed as quietly as possible by the members of the two families, but was not allowed to pass unnoticed by their many friends.
The bridegroom is home on sick leave, having been wounded at La Basse on February 5th, but is due to return again on Friday next.
The ceremony was performed by the Rev. H.H. Adams (superintendent minister), assisted by Rev A.E. Calver (Baptist Minister). The bride was given away by her father, and the bridegroom, who wore his officer's uniform, was attended by Mr. L. Baxter (cousin).
KHAKI WEDDING AT WILLENHALL
Great interest was taken in the wedding which took place at the Wesleyan Church, Union St, Willenhall this (Wednesday) morning, of Lieutenant Arthur J. Parkes, second son of Mr and Mrs W.E. Parkes, Willenhall to Miss Ethel A. Lister, eldest daughter of Councillor and Mrs S. Lister of Willenhall.
The parents of the bride and bridegroom are well known in the district, both Mr. Parkes and Mr. Lister having been chairmen of the Willenhall Urban District Council, and Mrs Parkes is one of the Willenhall members on the Wolverhampton Board of Guardians.
The event was a popular one, especially as Lieutenant Parkes, who is attached to the 23rd Field Company of the Royal Engineers, is one of our war heroes, he having been wounded at La Bassee on February 5th. He is at present on sick leave, but is due to return to his company on Friday next.
Owing to Captain Cyril Parkes (6th Battalion South Staffordshire Regiment), brother of the bridegroom, being at the front, the wedding was of a simple character, but there was a large congregation to witness the nuptials.
The ceremony was performed by the Rev. H.H. Adams (superintendent minister), assisted by the Rev. A.E. Calver (Baptist Minister). The bride was given away by her father and the bridegroom, who wore khaki, was assisted by Mr. L. Baxter (cousin).
Wolverhampton Express and Star, June 23rd 1915
(Page found in Dower House Collection - P30-15-02)
(at the end of a piece about those mentioned in dispatches)
Willenhall Officer Mentioned
Included in the list of soldiers mentioned for gallant and distinguished service in the field is the name of Lieutenant A.J. Parkes, Royal Engineers. Lieutenant Parkes, who is the second son of Mr and Mrs W.E. Parkes, The Manor, Willenhall, had been at the front since the commencement of hostilities, but was twice wounded, and was invalided home a short time ago. Whilst on sick leave, he married the eldest daughter of Councillor and Mrs Lister, and has since returned to the front.
News of the honour to be conferred upon him has given no little satisfaction in the town, and especially amongst the members of the Lichfield street Baptist Men's Own Brotherhood, Lieutenant Parkes being on the long roll of honour in connection with that place of worship.
Retirement Announcement in Express and Star Wednesday April 5 1967:
A leading International figure in the lock and hardware industry, Mr. Arthur Josiah Parkes has resigned from the board of Josiah Parkes and Sons, of Willenhall, and associated companies. He has been chairman since 1964 and managing director for 47 years.
After the first world war during which he gained the M.C. with the Royal Engineers — Mr. Parkes joined the family business, then a private company. When his father, William Edmund Parkes, died in 1920, he became a managing director jointly with his brother, Cyril, who died last year.
Under his guidance, the company has grown to more than 10 times its size when he took over. It is an international organisation with three factories in Willenhall and others in Birmingham, South Africa, Rhodesia and Nigeria.
The trademark "Union" has become one of the world's best known in the lock and hardware field.
Mr. Parkes has taken a personal interest in the development of the company's export trade. His retirement marks the end of an era of family control, the business having been started by his grandfather about 1840.
The new chairman of the company is Mr. W. E. Egar, who has been deputy chairman for several years. Mr. D. S. Maitland and Mr. E. C. Fryer, formerly assistant managing directors, become managing directors.
The Parkes Group was merged with Chubb and Son, in November, 1965, of which it is now a wholly-owned subsidiary.
Express & Star AJP Funeral.
Staff Mourn Former
Many staff of Josiah Parkes and Sons, the Willenhall lock and hardware firm, paid tribute to the late Mr. Arthur Josiah Parkes at his funeral at St Nicholas Church, Codsall, Wolverhampton, yesterday.
Mr. Parkes (77) who died at his home. Manor House, Oaken, near Wolverhampton, last week, was for many years joint managing director.
When the firm merged with Chubb and Sons in 1964, he became chairman, retiring from the board in April last year.
Express & Star Obituary
(copy found in Dower House collection - DH P36-04)
One of the leading figures in the British lock and hardware industry, Mr. Arthur Josiah Parkes, died last night at his home, The Manor House, Oaken, Codsall. He was in his 78th year.
Mr. Parkes retired last April from the board of Josiah Parkes and Sons, of Willenhall, and associated companies. He had been chairman since 1964 and managing director for 47 years.
Mr. Parkes served with the Royal Engineers during the first world war and gained the M.C. Afterwards he joined the family business, which was then a private company. On the death of his father, Mr. William Edmund Parkes, in 1920, he became a managing director jointly with his brother, Cyril, who died in 1968.
Since then, the company has grown tenfold. It is an international organisation with three factories In Willenhall and others in Birmingham, South Africa. Rhodesia and Nigeria.
The company has achieved International recognition through its trade mark "Union."
The Parkes Group was merged with Chubb and Son in 1965 and is now a wholly owned subsidiary
Mr. Parkes, who was also a local magistrate, leaves two daughters. The only remaining family connection with the business is through a son-in-law, Mr. D.S. Maitland, a joint managing director.
This Battalion covered a great swathe of land from the north-west to the south-west of Wolverhampton. Its final area stretched roughly from Codsall Wood in the north to Swindon in the south; and from Tettenhall village in the east to Burnhill Green in the west. It was one of the handful of Staffordshire units which decided to record its activities after the war and published in 1946 "24 Home Guard - The Record of the 24th Staffs. (Tettenhall) Bn. HG." This rare book is full of images and factual information and means that the Battalion must be one of the best documented in the country. A copy is lodged in Wolverhampton Library.
The Battalion was commanded throughout its existence by Lt. Col. A.J. Parkes M.C. (pictured right, at Patshull in 1944) who was also the author of its above record.
P31-01: Speeches supper, 26/5/1945
Handwritten: From HRQ, at supper 26 May 1945 Presentation
(40 officers present. All coy comd ex T Jones)
In May, 1940, Anthony Eden broadcast to the nation asking for volunteers for a defence force as England was in danger. He called for all able-bodied citizens to rally together for the defence of their homes against a powerful enemy.
The L.D.V. was formed, and those of you who were present at those early meetings, will recollect, with pride, the enthusiasm of all those volunteers, of all ages, men of seventy and youths from the schools, some of us had kept our knowledge of weapons from the previous war and we were glad to have these boys from the public schools who knew more than we did.
A leader was necessary for such a large body of men in such a huge area and Arthur Parkes was chosen by the powers that be to lead us - how wise that choice was - and how keen he was to lead us.
He put everything he had got into it - his heart and soul were combined to produce from the rabble that came along, a strong, disciplined force,
No one knows better than I, what difficulties he had to contend within those early days, we had no rank - we just depended on one common aim - all working together to make ourselves efficient in the few weapons we possessed - he mixed with everybody and in a very short time he became our acknowledged leader.
He did this with tact and a complete understanding of the many different people under his command, he got to know their names, and never forget them.
He was a sapper in the last war and knew very little of Infantry, but he soon overcame this terrible misfortune and went on courses and spent sleepless nights in learning all about battle drill and infantry tactics.
He went on every course possible and where he could not get in, he gate-crashed, giving up all his spare time and his business to make his battalion efficient.
He never seeked the lime-light - he was not out for honours - he was just as natural with the youngest recruit as he was with the Brass hats that sometimes came to see us - and I can vouch for the fact that he would not use any whitewash for the visiting General.
He was proud of his battalion and we were proud to belong to it.
Behind all his work for us, he had the understanding of his wife, who was so pleased to entertain all of us on two or three occasions, and my excuse to you to-night, gentlemen, in reading this, is to ask Arthur Parkes to hand these short notes to Mrs Parkes, because I am sure that he would not tell her how much we appreciate her kindness in allowing her husband to have neglected her on our behalf, and how much we thank him for his kindness, his strength and his example in comradeship and loyalty.
EVIDENTLY AJP's REPLY:
I do not know what to say.
I wish I were able to express my feelings adequately and as I can't I must ask you to accept the halting words and read into them my very great gratitude and thanks for the honour you have done me.
I am torn by two forces and as I was instructed in my youth every force has an equal and opposite reaction you will understand my dilemma.
The one force is the pleasure I have just mentioned. Apparently you think I am deserving of the gift which is the expression of your goodwill. It must always be an honour to anyone to be so treated and I am certainly no exception to the rule. Then there is the intrinsic and artistic value of the gift.
My family like me will be proud of it and my descendants I am sure will value it equally highly. It will become one of my few heirlooms.
The other force operating is my unworthiness. I did not want you to do anything. I have an inferiority complex and I cannot believe I have earned the tribute. I rarely felt that my deeds were meritorious tho it is true that I tried to do my best. I could never do enough for the Cause. I regarded all the officers of the Bn. or shall I be strictly truthful - most of the officers - as being more efficient and more deserving of praise than I. Most of you did a harder days work at your civil job and it is nearly always easier to issue the bumph (my duty) than carry out the orders it contained (your duty).
It has been a hard grind since May 14./1940 and we are not yet disbanded. We have I think enjoyed it nevertheless and we have certainly learnt lessons which we shall not forget.
Tact, tolerance, give and take. (handwritten, "not appeasment")
Winston Churchill in his book "My early life" tells 3 incidents to illustrate these attributes how to get done a job which in your opinion is of great importance, at the same time getting the whole-hearted co-operation of whose who are to carry out the work.
1. Prep. School, 2. Candle in wine bottle and 3. Signing the book.
We officers in the H.G. have had to turn the blind eye on many occasions achieving our objectives in so doing.
There are of course many other lessons and memories which we shall cherish.
Mark Antony said I think and hope ironically that the evil that men do lives after them and the good is oft interred with their bones. In the case of this Bn. I feel certain that any evil we have done has already been interred and plenty of good will live perhaps for ever.
The medal which we are to receive with 7 million others I see is not to be brown at both ends but it has 2 strips of black not however in mourning for our demise. It has I think been earned by most of us by comparison with certain other issues.
S E C U R I T Y.
The Company Commanders are asked to inform all Platoon Commanders and N.C.0.s in their Company that there is a possibility of landings by parachutists, enemy agents or spies, and the undernoted details may be of help.
Parachute landings will probably take place in darkness on a night with low cloud. Immediately on landing he will cut up and hide his parachute in ditches, rabbit holes, etc. He may have a flying suit, food, other clothes, which will also be hidden. He will then steal a bicycle or get lift to avoid travelling on railways or buses, and make for a town. He is most likely to be interested in aerodromes and landing grounds, aeroplane factories, gun sites, etc. He will carry a wireless set which may be made of dark imitation leather, and measure 20" X 12" X 6", or possibly look like a dark imitation leather camera case, and measure 122 X 72 X 3¾". He will carry a large sum of money (anything from £50 to £500) in English notes. He will probably be a young man. He may be slightly injured by his landing, therefore look for scratched wrists, ankles or faces. He is not likely to be an Englishman, and will pass himself off as a Dane or a Dutchman. He will probably be unaware of his whereabouts, and this is certainly suspicious. His clothes will be civilian, which might betray their foreign origin by their un-English cut.
As food, he may carry German or Dutch chocolate with paper of foreign origin which should be easily noticed, whilst he will probably carry brandy and drugs in the form of white pills or tablets, Large scale maps and a compass form a normal part of his equipment. Mistakes in the National Registration Identity Card are evident, Christian name before surname, the usual method is vice versa. Christian names are always printed in full in England, never initials. The date at the bottom right hand corner of the card cannot be before 27/5/40. In the address, the English way is to put the name of a town last, foreigners put it first. A person found with a blank Identity Card must be regarded with the gravest suspicion.
Date: Thu, 29 Jun 2006 14:07:59 +0100
From: "WebmasterStaffsHomeGuard" firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Mr. Maitland,
Please forgive me for picking a very minor nit, but I believe I am right in saying that Col. Parkes commanded the 24th Staffordshire (Tettenhall) Battalion of the Home Guard, rather than the 22nd as stated in your genealogical site.
I found the latter very interesting and a fine tribute to a remarkable man. I have taken the liberty of making a link to it from my own (wholly amateur and non-commercial) site which commemorates the Home Guard. Hope that's OK.
My link is from http://www.staffshomeguard.co.uk/DotherReminiscencesStaffsstaffshg.htm
AJP's C.O. in France 1914/15:
Lt C Russell-Brown served in the Boer War, mentioned in French's Dispatch to Roberts 2 February 1900 near Colesburg.
CRB was in Hongkong in 1925 as a Honorary Colonel (when he substituted for the GOC on the legislative council).
Colonel Francis David Millest BROWN VC was born on 7 Aug 1837 in Bhagalpur, India. He died on 21 Nov 1895 in Sandown, Isle of Wight and was buried in Winchester Cemetery, after a service at Winchester Cathedral. Colonel Francis David Millest BROWN VC married Jessie Rhind RUSSELL. Francis was employed as 2nd Lieutenant, 1st European Bengal Fusiliers, (later the Royal Munster Fusiliers) 7 Mar 1857. He was employed as Lieutenant, 1st European Bengal Fusiliers 7 Jun 1857. He was employed as Captain 23 Aug 1864. He was employed as Assistant Principal 1868/1873 in Thomason College, Roorkee. He was employed as Major 7 Dec 1875. He was employed as Lieutenant Colonel 8 Dec 1881. He was Presented to Queen Victoria at Levee on 24 Apr 1860 - St James's Palace. He was Victoria Cross deed (Indian Mutiny) on 16 Nov 1857 - Narnoul, India. He was educated at Grosvenor College, Bath. He was educated 1852 - 1854 at Private tutor: Brisco Morland GANE, late curate of Honiton.
They had the following children:
M i Frank Russell BROWN was born on 24 Mar 1872. He died on 3 Apr 1900. Frank was employed as 2nd Lieutenant, Royal Munster Fusiliers. He was employed as 1st Lieutenant 1 Aug 1895.
Wounded near Bloemfontein Waterworks, 30th March. Died of wounds 4th April 1900, aged 28. Son of Colonel F. Brown, VC, ISC. Husband of Kathleen Colquhoun, married August 1899
M ii Claude Russell BROWN was born on 11 Apr 1873. Claude was employed as 2nd Lieutenant, Royal Engineers 22 Jul 1892. He was employed as Lieutenant 22 Jul 1895.
The following are transcripts of diaries, or texts for talks of some of AJ Parkes foreign trips, found in the papers at the Dower House, after his daughter, Rosemary Parkes' death in July 2004. They have been transcribed by A Maitland.
Most were typed up by Miss Partridge from hand-written notes by AJP when away.
10 October 1951.
Dutch friends of the Van de Meebergs invited me to
visit the Palmoil and rubber estate where they live and work and so we went up
country on Saturday, 6th October '51, to stay the night there. Jacks lent us a
Vanguard car and a syce who turned out to be a very good driver. The distance
is about 110 miles from Singapore, which is 17 miles from the causeway on to
the mainland at Johore Baru. From there the road runs along the shore for about
half a mile, past MacDonald's house, which is quite beautiful. It was quite
beautiful the whole way except that the villages are not much to look at
consisting as they do of bazaar type shops, At intervals of something of 15
miles there are police checks as an anti-bandit precaution and nearly all the
villages are surrounded by barbed wire fences, and inhabitants having been
brought in from the country side into these areas which are called settlement
areas. This is so that they cannot feed the bandits and otherwise help them.
The road is very good all the way and quite wide, There was a lot of traffic for the first 50 miles but then it got much less. Practically all the way there was a curfew from 4 p.m. till 6 a.m.
We arrived about noon at the factory and were met by our host Mr.A.C.Van der Zwaan, who then took us up to his bungalow about half a mile away, for lunch. His wife lives with him and a child of about 2 1/2. She is the only white woman on the estate. The bungalow, like all the others, is on top of a small hill and surrounded by barbed wire fence, the area being about 1/2 acre. The factory and all buildings in fact are similarly guarded. On the factory they have some 100 of armed Malay police and each bungalow has 6 and the white people are all provided with armoured Jeeps or Land Rovers and can only go out if they are accompanied by an armed policeman. The host's bungalow has only recently been built in a clearing of the jungle,
The estate consists of about 27,000 acres in all, 15,000 being planted with palmoil trees and 5000 with rubber trees. After lunch we drove round the estate and saw the oil being processed in the factory where they employ about 600 Malay, Chinese and Tamil people. I had a talk with Mr Newman, the estate manager and he, like me, cannot understand why the bandits dont shoot up all the white people. His office is about 11/2 mile from the factory and his bungalow about 1 1/2 mile the other direction, so that a dozen or so bungalows are spread out over an area of possible 10 square miles.
After we had looked at the oil-plant we went to the club
which is close to the factory and inside the barbed wire and I met the other white men, 15 of them, mostly British, but some French and one Dutchman. The company itself Socfin Co. Ltd., is French owned. The estate is called Johore Labis Estate of Plantations de Terres Rouges. The club is about like the pavilion at the Sports grounds. The white people seem to assemble there every evening at 6 for an hour or so. Then they go to their own bungalows and apparently retire at about 9. It is Indeed a most extra-ordinary life.
Apart from benefits they have to put up with various wild animals, including an occasional tiger and elephant. However, they seem to be quite happy and do not seem to have any desire to return home.
Near the factory, there is the resettlement village of Chaah and there are about 3000 people, many of them working either in the factory or on the estate. The oil they produce is used for margarine and the whole of it is purchased by the British Government. The rubber which is processed as crepe is sold on the op market. Socfin Co. is an enormous concern, having estates in Thailand and French Indo China as well as Malaya. I understand the conditions in all these other places as regards bandits, is much worse than in Malaya.
The estate is divided up into squares, each one being a kilometre each wide.
The bungalows, which are very comfortable, instead of ordinary windows, have shutters and mosquito-netting. There are no curtains to be drawn and so it seems to me, that bandits can easily shoot up anybody inside at night, although it is surrounded by these 6 policemen in specially made emplacements.
0n Sunday morning we saw the Rubber factory and then set off back to Singapore. We arrived at Johore Bahru about lunch time so that we had lunch at the station buffet, which was not of the highest order.
We looked at the War Cemetary, which is just on the island to see if I could find Dick Hazel's grave which is not there but found later that he was buried near Bangkok. We got back to Singapore about 3 p.m.
Just before dinner on Saturday night the news came through that Sir Henry Gurney been murdered by the bandits, close to the hill station Fraser's Hill about 100 miles further North, but I have just heard that the State of Johore is considered to be one of the most dangerous and it is the only one in which these Resettlement camps have been established.
I understand that this estate is bigger than average, in fact only a few of them do any manufacturing. Vast amounts of the oil and the rubber is grown by smallholders and smaller companies, there output being sold in the case of rubber in the form of latex or smoked sheet to the dealers. I do not know what happens to the nuts,
Mr. Newman told me that the cost of the oil was under 4 Malay cents in 1932 and today is over 80 cents. The workpeop1e get paid something like 3.10 a week whereas in l932 the wages were 3/- a week.
Your father dictated this report to me and I hope I did not make too many mistakes. A copy has also been sent to Mr.C.W. I saw the present your father bought for you and I'm sure you will be delighted with it.
I hope you are keeping well, also the children.
Kind regards; remember me to Donald.
1st April 1953.
I have now had 24 hours in Istanbul and I can make some sort of comparison between it and Athens and Cyprus.
Athens is dilapidated and poor European like Southern Italy, Istanbul is both Western and Eastern. There are bazaars as in parts of Cyprus - streets and. streets of little open shops and workshops where tradesmen ply all trades. Opposite my bedroom a 4 storey house is being erected, 2 rooms thick and I room wide - it is being built of brick but without scaffolding!! Both Athens and Istanbul are obviously very poor. Great holes in the streets - streets filled with trams, U.S. motor oars, and people. The town is divided by the Golden Horn about as wide as the Thames at London and in a way similar.
There are only two bridges - the main one being Galata. This hotel is in the new (foreign) town - PERA. The old town is called Istanbul. All property is terribly dilapidated and there are many wooden houses and mosques all over the place, ranch more dilapidated than Athens.
The Airport is about 20 miles out, right in the dreary
country, and is the poorest and quietest one I think I have seen. Our plane (weekly from Nicosia) was the only one but it took an hour for the passengers to be cleared. Even the huge British Embassy is dilapidated and dreary (tho' being renovated).
The weather is much colder than Nicosia and so far the sun has not shined. The temperature is roughly 55 compared with 70 in Nicosia.
It is difficult to pick out all the nationalities. There are many from USA. a few English, Turks, Armenians. Turks mostly look alike. Everybody wears European clothes.
Weinstein's history is interesting. His father lived in (now) Russia near Odessa. In one of the pogroms at the age of 4 he was taken away but was rescued by Jews and brought up by them; his name was not known and his rescuers gave him their name. He asked me not to publish this information.
I have spent today in the City - the old Istanbul again. It is a wilderness or rather a maze. All the little streets jammed with traffic including male porters carrying enormous loads on their backs, beggars. Two horse carts, as well as the enormous American motor cars, nearly all taxis. Except for the clothes of the men - there are very few women - it is almost like Bombay. The old Oriental bazaar is even more of a maze, literally miles of narrow streets, tiny shops full of stuff. Each trade seems to have a stretch perhaps 20/30 stalls, but there is very little manufacturing being carried on as in other similar places.
I do not know how it is ventilated except that there are windows at the sides of the roof and many of the windows are of course broken. I saw perhaps half of it and walked for 3/4 hour; by myself I could not have found my way out. The Dolmababrar Palace the Summer palace of the Sultans is impressive overlooking the Bosphorus and near the hotel. The Bosphorus and the Golden Horn are alive with shipping - I have not seen a Red Ensign yet!
Most of the customers are Jews who came out of Spain 500 years ago. They still speak Spanish, French, Greek and Turkish. Some are expert in Hebrew too and German.
I have seen practically no flowers growing or cut. There are very few trees and they unlike Greece and Cyprus are deciduous. The place is very hilly.
All morning in the City calling on customers again. Have obtained much useful information but licences are practically unobtainable.
Weinstein took me to lunch in a City Restaurant, pretty poor near the Railway Station which I went to see trains go from it into Europe. They are incredibly old and poor and I'm told travel at 20/30 kilos per hour.
I then took a taxi to St. Sophia - now called a Museum. There is nothing except the enormous bare building. How it has stood since 325 A.D. I do not know nor can I believe. Next door to it (500 yards) is the Blue Mosque still used by the Moslems.
Then I wanted to see Seraglio and so I walked for an hour through a dreadful park but my guide (Sharia, Weinstein's man) did not know it was a Museum so we did not go in.
I am most interested to compare the people in the 4. Hotels. G.B. Athens - they were smart (not so many Americans). The Dome,(indescribably amateurish tho' large) Kyrenia, was filled with filled with middle-aged English. We might have been at Bournemouth. The Ledra, Nicosia, fairly smart. There were about 12-20 English film people staying shooting "Those who dare". Here one might be at
The Victoria, Wolverhampton. The Americans particularly (I seem to be the only Englishman) look very low class. Why do so many Continental hotels have (l) the mixers in the middle of the bath (2) no Lounges in which there are comfortable chairs?
The house opposite is progressing. The top storey. The top storey is on and the men are now getting on with the roof. The first man appeared through the hole in the ceiling of the top floor at 8.50 a.m. How they will plaster it outside I cannot imagine.
I am badgered with servants in the hotel wanting to change my travellers cheques. I am offered up to £.T. for £1. Official rate 7.80.
The sun is trying to shine this morning (4th April) but there is a mist over the Bosphorous. I am kept awake by backyard cocks in the middle of the town!! The street below is unmade.
7.p.m. Weinstein has taken me up the Bosphorous - by road to Sariya a couple of miles from the Black Sea which can be seen. We had lunch there, otherwise Restaurant empty, and came back by a ferry steamer to the Galata bridge. We went a little inland behind Yildiz Palace. Both sides are fairly thickly populated with large Summer houses and Palaces, mostly dilapidated but elaborate. Some new Villas too. In bright weather it must be lovely. One place on the European side is The Terapia, I think where the British Embassy used to go in the Summer. The two forts at the narrowest (500 yards) are quite magnificent and also Enpress Bugenie's palace newly painted, Rococo, most elaborate and public.
The temperature has been max. 53°. No sun and misty.
The ferry called at Scutari (Anatolia) but we did not land. It is a big town. I should like to have seen Florence Nightingale's hospital and the British Crimea cemetery there. I am beginning to feel the tremendous history of the place. It was only conquered by the Turks in 1943. They are not celebrating much
because of offending the Greeks. We cannot give up Cyprus for fear of offending the Turks to whom of course it belongs.
Last night the Weinsteins took me to the pictures. The building was not as good as the one in Willenhall and the picture was what I imagine the usual US. technical colour to be, with captions in Turkish. The news as in Cyprus was Gaumont British (the Cinema in Cyprus was the last word - we could hardly get in for ground nut shells).
Today I have been with the Weinsteins to the Islands in the Manaara. The boat holding about 1500 called first of all on the Asia side and then at several islands, and finished finally at BUYUK ADA, where we had a very good lunch. Went for a carriage drive and a walk, getting back to Istanbul about 6 o'clock, the journey taking about 1 1/2 hours. There are no oars on any of the Islands the large one where we landed was very beautiful and well kept with many beautiful Summer villas. Spring has yet not properly come and it has again been very cold. We had no rain but very little sun. The ship rounded the Seraglio point and the Scutari Station on the Anatolian side, the Terminus of the Kaiser's Berlin to Baghdad railway.
6th Aprils Rome. (Hotel Quirinale)
I arrived here at 5.p.m. and so I had a walk round. The hotel is at the top of Via Nationale, the Piccadilly of Rome, close to Diocletian's baths. I found my way to the Piazza di Spagna down the Via Condotti, down the Via del Corso, (the Bond Street,) to the Piazza Venetzia, up to the Campivolio overlooking the Roman Forum round the Victor Emmanuel memorial into the Via Nationale about 3 miles I should think. It is of course Easter Monday and so not the best of times for sight seeing.
The weather is very warm, perhaps 70° compared with 50° at the same time 4 years ago.
It is most interesting to compare Rome, Athens and Istanbul. Rome is by far the best from every point of view, in fact the other two are poor sisters. The hotel too is very good, coffee (not Ness or Turkish). It is 9.50. and I am off to bed but my room is very noisy.
We had a magnificent view of Vesuvious from the plane. There is a great jagged hole in the top but because of shadows we could not see down to the bottom. We had lunch in the restaurant at Athens but in compensation again had a fine view of the Acropolis.
Unfortunately we did not fly over the Dardanelles as the plane went straight
over the Marmara. Tomorrow I am going to the Vatican and the Castel St.Angelo.
The Exchanges have been interesting, the Black Market at Istanbul was pretty considerable. I had offered to me up to 11 to the £. Official rate 7.80. In Italy the Official rate about 1500 but for travellers cheques up to 2000. I had considerable difficulty in paying my Bill as I had used up all my blank travellers cheques so I had to pay In Turkish money, losing about 50% on the Exchange.
Rome. 7th April.
To finish the story. I went to see St. Peter's and the Vatican Museum this morning. I found my way on a trolley bus and saw many things on route. The bridge over the Tiber is very beautiful called Victor Emmanuel the 2nd. though it looked to be an old one. The approach to St. Peter's has been much improved a lot of property has been taken down and a beautiful street made. The pavements are of marble and beautiful electric light standards also in marble. I was one of I should think 1000 in the Sistine Chapel.
This afternoon I took a bus tour to nee Castel Gondolfo and Frascati, both in the Alban hills, and it was really quite beautiful and interesting.
One other bit of information, the steward on the Viking from Istanbul to Rome cashed me a cheque for English pounds which seemed to me to be very irregular.
Paper found in AJP papers 2004, undated, but refers to October 1951 (see extract at the end of transcript. Transcription by A Maitland, August 2004.
You will see that I have had to bring a map of the world with me to help you to follow my Ear Eastern journey. I covered rather more than one-third of the distance round the world and in all I was in an aeroplane for about 20,000 miles, covering a period of about 6 weeks.
On the outward journey as far as BOMBAY the plane was a Constellation, a very big powered American machine; it flew at a height of 20,000ft, as do of course the other 4 engined planes as well.
Afterwards except for a short distance in Malaya where I used an American machine DC.3., I was in a Canadian machine called an Argonaut. I am told that this machine is built in Canada because the British Government wished to keep the Manufacturers - Canadair Limited - in existence, presumably for wartime purposes. The engines of the Argonaut are Rolls-Royce, and although the Argonaut is not as powerful as the Constellation it is more comfortable. The British seem to understand comfort better than the Americans. Except the DC.3. they are both 4 engined machines and travel at about 260 miles per hour.
The weather was good for most of the time but coming back from Cairo to Rome the passengers had to wear their seat belts for about 3 or 4 hours because we ran into bad weather; it was bad enough for loose packages to come down from the luggage racks but nobody seemed to mind. In Rome the rain was so heavy that the pilot delayed take-off but I was interested to see that the Dutch and French people did not worry about it; I saw several of their planes start off. I was told that B.0.A.C. is super-careful, not a bad thing from the passenger's point of view.
The meals which are served on the planes are really excellent, much better than one gets in a Dining car on the British Railways; they are served hot and produced out of the tiniest kitchen which is certainly not more than 6ft. sqr. , and up to 48 meals are served at a sitting of 5 courses. Soup, meat, sweets, cheese and fruit.
The planes are air conditioned which means that even though you are flying at 20,000ft., the air pressure inside the plane is equal to about 5,000ft. above sea level, and the temperature also is regulated to about 65° /70° F. Most of the Aerodromes I came down on were built by the British, and now that this wave of intense Nationalisation is turning us out of so many countries the new Governments have taken them over, presumably for nothing. They practically all have good concrete runways but in one or two cases there is still the old steel tracking which was put down during the war, and in one instance we had to come down on a grass field.
Possibly the two most interesting and exciting Aerodromes are those at Hong Kong and Ipoh in Malaya. The landing strip at Hong Kong is on the mainland and very close to Red China. The country is mountainous and so it was very difficult to find a place at all to put down a landing strip which has to be at least 4,500ft, to take the big planes. It is so difficult to land at Hong Kong in view of the mountains that the Aerodrome can only be used during daylight. Ipoh is in a pocket of the hills; this is where there was only a grass field and our aeroplane had to approach it through a narrow valley between high hills. It is only possible for passengers to have a restricted view from small side windows and so they cannot know either the best or the worst.
On the outward journey we stayed about 5 hours during the night at Karachi in a rest house which is built just off the aerodrome called Speedbird House, and of course I was very pleased to see that the building was fitted with UNION locksets. I expect you all like me wherever you go look to see who has made
the locks. I would here give you a word of advice - do not look at the locks if a Policeman is in view; I once had a little difficulty in explaining what I was doing.
Coming home I landed at Basra, which is at the head of the Persian Gulf, and which of course has been in the news very much in the last few months in connection with the Persian Oil Fields dispute. Basra is in Iraq, but Iraq, Iran and Saudi-Arabia all meet hereabouts. The aerodrome is right on the edge
of the Shat El Arab where I saw our Warships still at anchor. At Cairo I was met by our Egyptian agent and his son, and the Egyptians took a poor view of me and my doings. I was able to get out of that trouble but I was told by the Captain of the aeroplane that he had had instructions to be conciliatory and even
put up with indignities which the Egyptians might offer. I suppose that for face-saving reasons we do not wish to leave the aerodrome in Cairo and for our planes to refuel somewhere else in the Middle East. Cairo is a very important air junction because from the aerodrome there are planes going to India, the Far East, Middle East, Europe and Africa. Well so much for my journey.
My first stopping place was BOMBAY where I stayed for about a week. All our customers there are in the Bazaar and our agents are Moslems. Incidentally that fact is really rather important because the Government of Pakistan turned all the Hindoos out of their country on partition whereas the Government of India did not retaliate by turning out the Moslems, in fact many of our customers also are Moslems in Bombay and they seem to be quite as comfortable and live just as well as the Hindoos whose country of course India is. The Bazaar is quite interesting; I have seen Bazaars in other parts of the world but never in the East.
The shops are very small, most of them being not more than about 30ft. long and 15ft, wide, and it is simply incredible the amount of stock and people they get into such a small space; they do not have shop windows but the place where the windows should be is boarded up at night. The proprietor and his assistant sit at desks just inside the shop; they do not have offices as a rule so that one sits talking to the customer practically in the street. The buildings are several stories high, possibly 5 or 6; people live in Flats above the shops; the streets are quite narrow, no wider than say Gower Street where the offices are. There is a vast amount of traffic of all sorts, donkeys, Indians walking about in their thousands, motor-cars, bullock carts, and so on, and it is very very difficult even to walk without interruption, but is all most picturesque.
People seem to bring out their bits and pieces and do their cooking in the street; their beds are just rough frames of wood and wire netting, and the men doss down in the street for a few hours during the night, I do not know what they do when it rains. They do not require any cover because the weather is always hot, in fact I was never provided with blankets in any hotel; I would add though that I did not sleep out in the street. One thing struck me about the Indians and the Chinese (beyond Ceylon all our customers are Chinese) was their wonderful memories; most of them remembered our pre war agent - Mr. Joseph Waine - who died about 10 years ago, and all of them knew the numbers of many of our patterns. They remembered the prices they paid before the war and they remembered all the promises of delivery that have been made. They are most intelligent people, they were all interested to see me, and very hospitable.
In travelling about the East a visitor is always expected to have some sort of liquid refreshment with every customer. In Cairo you must drink Mocha coffee, in Portuguese East Africa the drink is Port Wine, in Bangkok you have China tea served in proper Chinese fashion, in Singapore and Hong Kong you are given the American Koka Cola; towards the end of my trip I got quite wise about the matter; so long as one takes the glass of whatever is offered it does not matter whether you drink it all or not; you just have to accept what is offered
Well after Bombay I spent a week at Colombo in Ceylon where the climate is quite different from Bombay, it is very wet as well as being very hot; it is practically on the Equator as you know and everything grows at a most tremendous pace; all trees are evergreen and there are no Seasons. It is a beautiful country and incidentally quite a good market for us.
I had a motor drive through the country for a distance of 60 or 70 miles to the University of Peradeniya, which is in course of erection, and for which we have orders for the locks. The roads have an excellent tarred surface tho' narrow. They are all banked between the Rice Fields and thro' the Banana, Cocoanut and other Palm tree Estates and Rubber plantations. The University is really rather a wonderful conception; most people think that it is being hopelessly overdone having regard to the population of the Island. The site is an enormous saucer in the hills of about 2,000 acres. All the buildings are scattered about over this area and are well designed. It is close to the ancient Capital of KANDY where I had lunch on that day, and the world famous Botanical Gardens.
There are vast numbers of rooks everywhere. I was taken on a sight-seeing tour by the P.W.D. Architect, almost the last Britisher. Mrs. Wynne-Jones (wife of the architect) took the food for us to have in a Government (British built) Rest House. We sat on the Verandah overlooking the river; she left the sandwiches on a plate inside the building and going in for them a few minutes later found that 9 out of 10 had disappeared. The native boys said that the rooks must have taken them, but we never knew, no crumbs even remained.
As you no doubt remember Ceylon and India are now Dominions and our control over them therefore is ended. Practically all the British people who were there under the old regime have now been superseded by natives. It was very nostalgic to me to see the statues to famous British people after whom also many of the streets were named, photographs of them in the Government Departments, and Rolls of Honour of those killed in the 1st world war, amongst the names mentioned being two friends of mine - but I'm glad these signs of the good old days have not been removed. I can assure you that the British have done this part of the world immense good and I felt more proud than ever to be one of the race.
Note in pencil "film"
I then flew to SINGAPORE where I stayed about 10 days.
Singapore is not in Malaya but has its own Government, & most peculiar arrangement. It is a very important place as you all know from many points of view, trade, politically and militarily; very much an Outpost of the Empire. It is surrounded by China, French Indo-China and Dutch East Indies, where Political disturbances and just banditry are pretty considerable.
When you realize that a large part of the tin of the world, much of the palm-oil, and a large percentage of the rubber, come from this area, you will see how important it is and to what extent the supply of these vital commodities is precarious.
I saw a statement since I came back that practically 1,000 British people have been killed in Malaya during the last 12 months. It is wonderful to me that white people are still content to go to these places and yet they all seem happy there.
One of the Bazaars is called Bugie Street and some of our customers trade in it. At about 4 o'clock in the afternoon stalls like those of an open air market in England appear and food is cooked on them in vast quantities. Chinese feed here every night up till 3 a.m. standing and sitting round the tables under electric light or kerosene. It is one of the best known sights of the East.
I compared- Hong Kong, Singapore, Penang in Malaya, Malta and Gibraltar (Gibraltar is not an Island but the others are) and thought how very vital they all are to the well being of the Empire and the world. I might have added Cyprus as well as that Island is becoming more important every day. None is larger than the Isle of Man. Singapore is a beautiful town, more so than any in England except London, and almost the equal of Hong Kong.
I went up-country from Singapore to a Palm-oil Estate 110 miles north - in the middle of the State of Johore - for a week-end. The road was very good for the first 50 miles, a fair amount of traffic, thro Banana, Rice, Rubber, and Balm Estates as in Ceylon, and near jungle. It is 17 miles along the Bukit Tijaah road on the island, to the famous causeway. It is all in the danger area though and there is a curfew over the whole country, in some places as early as 4 o'clock in the afternoon.
The people have been re-settled, that is to say, they have been brought into Villages around which barbed wire fences have been erected to prevent them from feeding the bandits.
The Estate on which I stayed covered an area of 15,000 acres of Palm-olive, 5,000 acres of rubber, and 7,000 acres jungle now being cleared. There are 15 white people of which about 8 or 9 are British; they all live in separate bungalows spread over an area of 4 miles and to some of them the jungle comes very close. Each bungalow is surrounded by barbed-wire; it has 6 armed guards the whole time and there are machine gun emplacements all round. No white man is allowed out except with an armed guard and also he must be armed himself. I think I am right in saying that he may only go out in an armoured jeep on the Estate. I evidently broke the rule as I went round the Estate in an ordinary motor car.
On the Estate they process the rubber making it into crepe, and crush the nuts to produce the oil, which is used in the manufacture of margarine. It is therefore quite a big factory; it is very modem, surrounded by barbed wire, like the bungalows and the Villages.
The General Manager of the Estate agreed with me when I said I did not see any reason why the Bandits should not shoot every white man on every Estate in Malaya.
They are 120 miles from Kuala Lumpur so that they go into Kuala Lumpur or Singapore one week-end a month for relaxation, otherwise they go to bed every night at 8 o'clock. There is only one white woman on the Estate; she has a child about 2 years old and is having another one this month. I was up-country on the day Sir Harry Gurney was killed.
All sorts of wild beasts roam about particularly elephant and tiger.
However, every one liked the life, and were very happy about it.
I flew from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur the Capital of Malaya, and then on to Penang, which is as I have said another Island. Both places are beautiful, particularly Penang which has a lovely Coast line. My bathroom at Penang was amusing, it had no bath but instead a tap (practically no hotel has hot water laid on, the water in the cold tap being hot enough,) on to which was attached a yard length of rubber tubing. I had to be instructed on how to use it. In the little bathroom is a Siamese jar of unglazed earthenware of about 30 gallons and the tube is used to fill it. One then ladles the water out of the jar with a galvanized steel basin and pours it over ones body. The floor is concrete and the used water goes to waste through a hole in the corner of the room.
Then I went on to Bangkok in Thailand. You know that they have recently changed the name from Siam to Thailand. The people are charming, slap-dash, and unassuming, so I am told. For example, their answer to your question was invariably not their opinion but what they thought would please you. All our customers are Chinese, and they were very nice to me. I had 3 Chinese meals, eating with chop-sticks. On the third occasion I got on so well with using them that nobody passed any rude remarks. The Chinese and the Indians too do understand food as do few Britishers, and everybody eats the most excellent and varied food, a meal consisting of many courses.
Siam is a rice growing country like Burma, and more so than Ceylon and Malaya. It grows in water, not seeded like wheat, but planted. The whole country practically is under water, as you see from the aeroplane. I guess 65% of the population live in wooden huts built on stilts along the river banks; their only approach to their houses is by boat, 15% live in Sampans on the water, and only 10% in towns. The floating market is a sight, and small boats continually ply selling hot coffee made in elaborate brass pots on the boats and cooked foods.
Until 50 years ago even Bangkok had no roads; there are some now but only that to the Airport can be called good. The wheeled traffic in Bangkok is very dense - there are 15,000 tricycle-taxicabs, the basket carrying 2 passengers is in front (in Singapore it is behind, and in Hong Kong at the side) and 20,000 motor cars. To travel by car from my hotel to the agents office, less than one mile, takes up to half an hour.
They had a revolution in June when the Army deposed the Navy. It was not vice versa. I saw the Navy on the river; an amazing collection of rusty old hulks. The British Embassy was in the line of fire, field guns were used - it still bears the marks. The Japs occupied the country during the war, they boarded up the bronze statue of Queen Victoria in the garden of the British Embassy but they left slits opposite her eyes so that the old lady could see what was happening.
Hong Kong where I spent nearly a week is I think the most interesting and beautiful place I saw. I have mentioned the aerodrome. The mainland town near to it is Kowloon with a population of about 3/4 million (1 1/4 million on the island of Hong Kong) and the straits vary from 300 yards wide to a mile. There is an excellent ferry service very well patronized.
The town itself is on the Straits and in the mountainous interior are a few villages, beautiful bays, villas and flats. The sight at night from above looking over the town and straits were there is much shipping across to Kowloon is of thousands of lights of all colours, quite fascinating.
The newest and most important building to be erected in the East since the war is the Bank of China, on which I was proud to see UNION 2272's. Close by is the Cricket Ground about 3 acres in the middle of the city valued at 2 million £. but let to the British Club at 1 H.K. dollar a year.
I was struck by the cleanliness of the men and women all over the Ear East; everything they wear is washed and ironed every day, and everything the men wear is perfectly white. One never sees a dirty person or dirty article of clothing. All the Chinese women and girls are most attractively dressed and are just as soignée as a Parisian is supposed to be. In Singapore the women wear pyjamas (I mean in daytime) and in Hong Kong long dresses with high necks. The native men dress now much better than the Europeans who wear open shirts and duck trousers, all white, a complete reversal in the last 20 years.
There is a great deal of rain; they have 100" a year in Malaya, Singapore, Hong Kong and Ceylon, but when it does not rain the sun is shining. When the rain does come 2" an hour is quite an ordinary rate of fall. We only get here in Wolverhampton 26" a year.
I found the climate very trying; I suppose I am too old to stand it but I was very tired every night, my feet in particular.
Electric fans like aeroplane propellers are in all rooms set in the ceiling; I counted as many as 100 all moving in a hotel dining-room. The days of the punka are over.
This paper was undated, but the reference to Sir Harry Gurney dates it:
Extract from a web site on the internet:
Death of Sir Henry Gurney* (Oct.6th.,1951)
Text of telegram from Sir M.V. del Tufo, Chief Secretary, Federation of Malaya Govt. to Mr. Griffiths, Secretary of State for the Colonies.
"The High Commissioner's car with Sir Henry and Lady Gurney in the back of the car and the Private Secretary (D.J. Staples) in front with a Malay driver was proceeding to Fraser's Hill escorted by one Land Rover and one armoured scout car. A Police wireless van, which was also part of the convoy, unfortunately had broken down about eight miles short of the ambush position.
Party was ambushed at 1.15pm about two miles short of the Gap. Driver of the car was hit in the head on the first outburst of fire. Private Secretary managed to stop the car from falling over the edge of a precipitous slope on the left of the road and brought it to a standstill. Heavy automatic fire* was directed from the right and rear both against the High Commissioner's car and the Land Rover after first burst of fire. Gurney opened the door of the car and stepped out and was immediately shot down by heavy automatic fire.
Scout car drove up behind and with difficulty pushed past the High Commissioner's car to fetch help from the Gap police station. Intermittent fire continued at any sight of movement for about ten minutes, at the end of which a bugle was blown and the bandits withdrew. Lady Gurney and the Private Secretary remained in the car until the firing eased when they crawled out and found Gurney's body in the ditch on the right side of the road.
Officer in charge of the Scout car returned about twenty minutes later on foot with reinforcements from the Gap Police station, bandits having felled a tree across the road above the site of the ambush. Armoured vehicles from Kuala Kubu arrived on the scene about 2.15pm and engage in follow up operations.
Hogan (M.J.P. Hogan, Attorney General, FofM 1950-55) and wife were following the High Commissioner's party in their own car and were about half a mile behind at the time of the ambush. They stopped when they heard firing in front. After a few minutes telecommunication van (which had been passed by the High Commissioner's party ) appeared from the opposite direction and it was possible to tap the overhead telephone wires and communicate with Kuala Kubu. Ambush position was some half mile long and clearly carefully prepared. Estimated size of bandit party was 20. Full investigation into the circumstances is being made".
* High Commissioner 1948-51
* In a letter to the New Straits Times dated 30th.Nov.1999, D.C. Alfred wrote "the ambush party comprised 38 armed with three Bren Guns, Stenguns and rifles from 11th.Regiment Malayan Races Liberation Army and were led by Sui Mah who was subsequently killed by his own men near Ipoh in March,1959.
In 1948 the Federation of Malaya comprised nine States(Johor, Negri Sembilan, Pahang, Perak, Kedah, Kelantan, Selangor, Trengganu & Perlis) governed by hereditary Sultans, and two Settlements (Malacca & Penang) governed by Governors appointed by the British Government. Each Sultan had a British Adviser appointed by the British Government to advise him on matters of Defence, Security, Trade etc., such advice did not extend to religious matters. During the occupation of Malaya by the Japanese(1941-45) the main organised opposition to the occupiers was by the Malayan Peoples Anti Japanese Army, a communist organisation comprising, mostly, Malayan Chinese. The MPAJA was supported by the British Govt. who provided arms and supplies plus British Army personnel for training purposes. Upon the defeat of the Japanese the MPAJA was disbanded and members were paid a small gratuity, arms were supposed to be handed in but not all were. Thereafter the aim of the Communist Party of Malaya was to gain control of the Malayan Govt. by destabilising it through establishment and control of Trade Unions and in this it had some success but was never able to achieve official recognition and become a legitimate political party. The CPM decided to attempt to attain their aims by armed insurrection and formed the Malayan Peoples Anti British Army with some three thousand members, again mainly Chinese although there were some Malay and Indian recruits. The insurrection started in Perak with the execution of three European rubber planters on 16th.June,1948 and other killings soon followed, mainly confined to the rural areas by way of road ambushes and assassinations, however, as the Malayan Government built up it's security forces and took administrative measures to restrict supplies to the terrorists the tide started to turn. This process was given extra momentum in 1951 when the High Commissioner was killed in a road ambush and General Templer was appointed as his successor with the additional powers as Commander of all security forces and overall control of all security operations. In mid 1955 the Government received a letter from" Supreme Command Headquarters of the Malayan Racial Liberation Army" offering to negotiate an end to the Emergency. This offer was rejected and in September a general amnesty was declared by Government:
To all who have taken up arms against the Government of the Federation of Malaya and those who have consorted with them.
1. The Government, representing the people of Malaya, make a declaration of amnesty on the following terms.
2.Those of you who come in and surrender will not be prosecuted for any offence connected with the Emergency which you have committed under communist direction, either before this date or in ignorance of this declaration
3. You may surrender how and to whom you like including to members of the public.
4. There will be no general "ceasefire" but the Security Forces will be on alert to help those who wish to accept this offer and for this purpose local "ceasefire" will be arranged.
5. The Government will conduct investigation on those who surrender. Those who show that they genuinely intend to be loyal to the Government of Malaya and to give up their communist activities will be helped to regain their normal position in society and be reunited with their families. As regards the remainder, restrictions will have to be placed on their liberty but if any of them wish to go to China their request will be given due consideration.
Amnesty leaflets in Malay, Indian, English and various Chinese languages were distributed widely in the Towns and Villages and air dropped over jungle areas. This led to a meeting in December,1955 between the Chief Ministers of Malaya and Singapore and Chin Peng, Secretary General of the Malayan Communist Party. Talks were held over two days but no agreement could be reached. See "The Baling Peace Talks"
General belief is that the "Emergency" was so called to avoid insurance complications should the word "War" be used, this may be so but in actual fact the entire campaign by the Government was conducted at all levels by what were designated "War Executive Committees". Every administrative District within the State had a District War Executive Committee (DWEC) and each State had a State War Executive Committee (SWEC). DWEC's were chaired by the District Officer with permanent members being the senior Police and Military officer in the District whilst SWEC was chaired by the British Adviser with permanent members being the senior Police and Military Officer in the State who were usually accompanied by their Special Branch Officer, Police, and Intelligence Officer, Military. Depending on subjects under discussion, heads of other Govt. Depts. could be called.
5th Saturday morning noon (paper English Club Montevideo)
I have come in here waiting for Bol????. We are going to the Grey? club for lunch.
This club is typical. Rather like clubs in England but not so comfortable. There are about a dozen Englishmen about. It's on the first floor of a big building. Since we have had to sell the Railway, the telephones air lines?, ???? members have declined. We now only own the gas company which is foolishly enough situated on the sea front.
I've read a F thermometer for the first time. It shows 73 degrees inside. Outside it is a beautiful day, probably 80 degrees F. (36C is blood heat).
Noon Sunday 6/3/55
I've just been to Church very nice about 50 English people. No sermon. Parson (155 ACS) ill. Lots of memorials including one to the Battle of the Plate 1939. Ajax, Achilles and Exeter. Went to the Parson's to dinner last night. V. nice but rather pathetic. He has not been "home" for 25 years and seems hopeless of doing any good. They live in a nice flat in a house 2 children. One in the Argentine Army and the other a nice little girl of 10.
Yesterday afternoon Nathan took me around and I saw the art gallery (not so good as W'pton). It is a large Spanish type villa. Only local paintings.
Then we went up to the hill overlooking the town. This is the monte from which the town takes its name. We had lunch again at the Grey? Club. This is the last of Uruguay. Its nice but not very important in any way. The typical capital of a small state. My bill has been about £50 - not too bad including all meals. Exchange 8.40 pesos to £1.
Lima. I arrived at 11 this morning and was met by 2 people from Milmas?. I ought to have got in last night, but the plane (Paraguay DC6) had to turn back 1 1/2 hours after leaving La Paz because of the weather. La Paz lies on the Altiplano about 14000 ft up and is surrounded by high mountains. To get to Lima the plane flies through 2 passes about 15000. The pilot is allowed only to fly on sight because of the storms and he could see nothing so he turned round and went back to La Paz where there is no proper runway and he can only land in daylight. He did it with 15 minutes to spare. I was not comfortable! We had our belts on all the time. I was a bit alarmed to be in La Paz because of the altitude 12200 ft tho' the aerodrome is 13500. The town lies in a basin. It is Spanish. A lot of Indians were about dressed native style. They managed to find me a bed with a young American at a new hotel in the main street. Rather primitive. My heart fluttered a little but nobody minded the altitude much. The agent Cowpo? met me. He is about 50 and has lived there all his life. There are a few small mud villages scattered about over the plain. Why I do not know tho' there are some cairns? Not a blade of grass (in the mountains) Not a tree tho' La Paz was quite green. We flew over the cloud this am, the snow peaks poking above and one volcano round which the pilot flew very close. It was smoking a bit. I was relieved we must have been flying over the Andes 7 hours altogether! My night in B.A was fantastic. Freeland? met me at the airport built in magnificent style by Peron but a white elephant. Only 4 planes left today. I stayed at the hotel on the aerodrome about the one visitor in perhaps 200 rooms. Freeland drove me into B.A. on a wonderful road ??? in at the Plage - the best hotel in South America he said.
It was cheaper than England and so is Lima. Montevideo is dearer. B.A. is unbelievable. Nothing so flamboyant in all Europe or Asia. 7 pictures of Peron and 7 of Eva in the entrance hall of the aerodrome.
No trouble so far with money or passports tho' it takes up to an hour to get through.
Lima is more human - more like a European city (No, Hongkong) The hotel is excellent tho' no the food. Yyy? Chairman took me to lunch at the most magnificent club and I've been made a member of the U.S.-English Club, tho' no meals are served its somewhere to sit and read the papers. Its hot about 75 I should say today, but not too unbearable.
My room at the Bolivar is good but very noisy. Trams (here or at MV - BA also) and motors hooting. However I am getting better rooms.
Time goes on - I've been away a fortnight. I went to the Embassy at 6 yesterday evening and the commercial councillor Jamieson took me home - about 3 miles. He lives in a furnished house as large as the Manor House. It is built in the Spanish style and belongs to a General who failed in a coup d'etat 6 months ago and so had to fly to the Argentine!
Lima is nice. The streets are very narrow and full of people and traffic tho' my hotel overlooks the main square - a very nice one.
I called on customers yesterday and discussed things at Yyy?. Not too satisfactory.
Its now 8 am. I've been writing letters since 7. I could not sleep!
The tap water is quite filthy. I hate bathing in it. At Montevideo it was drinkable. I'm glad I had a T.A.B inoculation! There are lots of Hawkers here selling Gov't batteries. All are blind or otherwise maimed. There were no such things at M. Nor are there any announcements of money changing here. Rate 50.50.
Not a very interesting day. Called on 2-3 customers and Williams and Williams factory called*. It is a fascinating town. The architecture is Spanish and there are many courtyards as in Spain. The place is so clean. The women are soigné and clean like the Chinese in Hongkong but not pretty. The streets are full of people particularly at 7 pm. Trams are in most of the narrow streets which are chockerbloc. The shops are very good, many of them open, again like the East. The people must be poor. Wages at W & W factory are from 2/10/- to 3/-/- per week. There is no income tax at all! Sat in the club this evening and had 1/2 pt of beer 1/- but dinner at the hotel - hors d'oeuvre, cold turkey and ham a pint of beer and coffee 22/6. Hair cut 2/6 in an excellent place. Saw Peter's picture in the Tatler at the club!.
*Arrowed from Williams & Williams "manager called Lester" -> knows R. York.
There is a lot of colour in the people Indian and negro. Very few pure Indians in the town but in the country it was a lot. The Indian women at La Paz all wear highly coloured bowler hats and shirts.
In the club.
The flowers in the shops here and at Montevideo are only Gladioli and some roses and dahlias which fade in a few hours!
I've been for a ride this afternoon (car) to the sea thro' ???? The developments is terrific and rivals England tho' the new houses are so pretty and not for working people. They are small and have no front fences. No rain ever falls here but they seem to get water from a little river so except where they irrigate the ground is brown and barren. The hills are dreadful in their barrenness except for a few trees in the original?? Forest?? there is no vegetation at all. The streets are fascinating at Night (no twilight of course) with the many neon signs. Work starts at 7 or 8. The place closes down from 12-4 and then at 8. I've been to the Embassy again. The offices are the 6th floor of a block, not very impressive. I had lunch at a very American hotel the Crillon. The Americans (US) are dreadful. So plain and badly dressed and there are so many of them. There is no English newspaper here and I'm cut off without news. I am continuously astonished at the cleanness of the place. Men go about the streets with pans and brushes and there is never litter anywhere. My Palm Beach suites have not yet had to be cleaned - only pressed (one suit). At home they would not last the day. My John Collins has just cost (at the club) 7.5 soles? = 4/- and a pair of nylon short socks 15/- but taxis are about 6d a mile. The place is subject to earthquakes and in 1940 Callao the sea port 8 miles away was destroyed and 3000 people killed!
It is 116 paces from the lift to my room. Quite a distance in this climate - 6th and top floor.
8-45. I have just had dinner at the hotel. I had an orange to take to bed and they have charged 4.50 soles - 2/6!
12/3/55 Saturday Evening
I've been to the house of Williams managing director name of Lawson. It is 25 miles out from Lima. The road was quite good thro' the river valley. The mountains are quite bare and look awful but the valley is irrigated from the river - smaller than the Severn at Bridgnorth. Lima also depends on it for all water. They live in a sort of village the last one beyond the road goes in to the Andes for a long way. Its most queer to see the desolation with the patches of green. They have 4 children one at school in England and the others going soon. Mrs Lawson is English but S American for several generations. The lunch was served on a veranda. We helped ourselves the plates being enormous dishes. There were the usual flowering trees in their garden, a tennis court and a swimming pool. Except for a Danish couple next door, they seemed to have no neighbours. He goes to town in his Bristol. Sandy's Michael a very nice boy 30(?) drove me in his Riley. He has been looking after me all the week + salesmen. He's coming home next Christmas 12 months. We had a cup of tea at the club and I've been lying down since. I saw the cathedral and the old Foreign Office this morning. It is 1735 and the palace of one of the Spanish Viceroys. I'm not looking forward to the heat of Guayaquil and in fact the other places rather. That's the reason I've put my trip 2 days on - Jamaica and Cuba may be more bearable.
I'm being taken out to lunch and a Bull fight tomorrow by Yrilberry who will put me on the plane at 7-20. I'll tell you about it later. I'll send this off tonight.
Sunday 13 March (Lima 7.30 am)
I've had a good night (with the aid of a [sleeping pill name??] and a half) so I'll make a few notes. I have packed. I'm going to ???? away at 10-30. The weather is dull as is so often of a morning. Temp 90 I should guess. I've not had more than a sheet to cover me in bed since I landed in S.A. The North Americans as the locals call the inhabitants of the U.S come not all ???? Quite half the people in the hotel are them. Their speech, clothes features are all very vulgar. I am the only person of the UK here. Mrs Lawson (45) wants to live in England but the yanks are so clever, have so much money.
I forgot to see Pissarro's ??? in the cathedral yesterday RC. Cathedrals leave me very cold. The people are very religious. There are shops with open fronts representing altars with prie dieu where people are always praying in full view of the passers by.
Monday 14/3/55 @ G 9-15 am.
As I had expected this place is like Singapore as regards weather. Too hot and damp for me. I could not wear my pyjama trousers in bed partly under the sheet with an electric fan on all night. However I did not sleep too badly.
I was met the agent at the airport at 10-20. 3 hours from Lima.
Yesterday in Lima I went to church. Had to go by taxi about 4 miles into a beautiful suburb where the English and US have built beautiful new church with a canon as a vicar. About 75 English were there. Miss Roberts Lawson's secy was there and we had a taxi back to her flat in town and Yrilberry (Williams) came for me at one to go to their house for lunch. A beautiful house 4 miles out. Frangipani in the little square garden. Biggish house say 2500 sq ft well furnished. Very pretty Peruvian - his wife. We had a good lunch in the garden (after John Collins) and at 3 set off for the Bull fight in the old town. There were enormous crowds (1/2 women) 30000 like a football match at home. The arena is circular about 80 yards I should guess and people sat in tiers (no cover) of concrete benches. The fight began at 4. I saw 5 bulls killed and had to leave at 5-50. Only one other was to be baited. I did not find it too dreadful tho' I did hate it. 3 of the best bull fighters matadors had come from Spain for s short season. They get £3000 for a Sunday afternoon. Its fantastically dangerous for them. The crowd got very excited of course and several times the matadors were nearly gored. I do not want to see another. It’s a degrading sight particularly for women. I suppose all the best people were there. It was very colourful.
Coming back to the airport with Yrilberry thro' the old town I saw a well dressed man making water in the gutter. In all these places there is a vast gulf between the rich and poor tho' the poor are clean as regards clothes.
This place (Guayaquil) is something like the others. Anyway you would know you were in a Latin town. There are many more negroes Indians and cross breeds here and the buildings tho' not old are shabbier. My room (Hotel Humbolt) faces the river - a mile wide. The current is taking masses of lumps of grass down just as at Bangkok. It is noisy with road and river traffic. It is a new building but primitive and so is the food. I have got a bathroom again. Its not expensive. I'm not spending my allowance.
Humbolt was the German who discovered the current which comes up the west from the South Pole. There is a so called English club. Its small and a mile away. I may go down after dinner. The dining room is on the top (6th) floor and it is an interesting view. I am again the only Englishman. All the others are either Ecuadorians or mostly U.S. many with wives.
In all countries so far there is the welfare state patterned on us I think. Nobody seems to care about politics or earthquakes. The poor are very poor all the same.
I walked home from the club last night at 9-30. The streets were very quiet. There seems to be no night life tho' plenty of cinemas.
16/3/55 Quito 9 pm.
I have had dinner and I'm feeling a bit tired. The altitude 9000 ft may be the reason but I had a bad night. It is v hot in Guayaquil. The scaffolding amuses me. Stinks of new ?? like the rest! They grow the best cocoa here and today it is spread over the Road most unsanitary. There are v few of the awful American presented? pipe organs in the hotels. They remind me of a crematorium. To build a new cathedral, the Govt make people pay a tax on turnover I think. It is an awful building ???? windows broken seating because of many kinds. I've never seen anything so tawdry. It will not be finished for years they say. Cogan took me round this am. There are no road outside the town and the houses except in the dreary suburbs are flimsy and filthy. There is no good road even in the town. The people all look poor compared with Lima and not a dozen people staying in the big (Humbolt) hotel. Shepperd?, the M.D. of Anglo-Ecuadoriana took me to the club for lunch. A big building but only 3 or 4 others lunching.
I have to return for 10 hours on 18 to get my plane to Panama.
Quito is much better tho' I only arrived at 4. The pilot could not find a way in thro' the clouds for an hour? They cannot fly on instruments as at La Paz and I had the wind up. Mountains up to 23000 all round! The central heating is on!
17th morning Quito.
I have just had breakfast - an omelette. The restaurant here and at Guayaquil is on the top floor about 9th. The other buildings are low so the view is interesting. The windows overlook the cathedral and Parliament Square. Roofs look very tinny. There is a mist on the hills. The hotel is quite good - new and I have again a bathroom. As usual most of the other guests are US. I saw the chargé d'affairs yesterday - the Ambassador is away. He's a youngster about 35. Nice but not impressive. His office is a villa about a mile out in the suburbs. Apart from him there seem only to be a man also 35 doing duty as commercial attaché. I had my window open for most of the night. No blanket. I should guess the temp is just over 60F. There are vast numbers of churches and since about 6 all of them seem to have been tolling.
I think I will send this off with my other letters.
All the English speaking people were not born in England. They have been here for generations and in many cases have married local women.
18/3/55 Quito 9-15 am.
I have just had breakfast. My plane leaves at 12-30 for Guayaquil. I do not leave G for Panama until about 10-30 tonight. It’s a very pleasant morning. I've put on my palm beach suit because it will be so hot this afternoon. Still I'm not even cool now. My cold bath I see now was 60 and at G. 70. If there are clouds the plane may have to wait until it is clear to get thro' the mountains. They cannot fly in clouds.
I went to McDonald's (the manager here) to dinner last night. He lives in a v. nice house in the suburbs. English tho' he and his wife as usual seem to have lived abroad most of their lives. It was the only really good meal I have had in Ecuador. They are me round to see the sights. I have seen the most famous church. Covered mainly with entirely with gold leaf. V. gaudy. The people here are very religious RC of course. Its tawdry like the RC churches in the Latin countries.
19th March Panama Hotel.
The most fantastic hotel I have ever seen. I had an air conditioned room, but Panama is not hotter than Guayaquil. I arrived about 3-15 am and slept till 7-30. P. has only 800,000 inhabitants but lives I imagine on its canal transit passengers. There is a street of shops "inside" the hotel but it seems to be all offices. A swimming pool (tho' there is one at the Humbolt at G.). Mainly all U.S. people. The servants black and very efficient. The bedroom is one of a series connected by ???? ????. There are 2 "beds", sleeping couches on the 8th floor. Its just like I imagine the US to be like very expensive and elaborate. Poor old England is a hundred years behind the times!
I have been most interested to see the boot blacks everywhere. Round the main square in Quito between the ???? especially. There are also lots of open shops Eastern in appearance all round too.
19th Sat again evening.
Barranquilla. I have arrived here. It was a terribly long time getting thro' the passports over an hour. There was no-one to meet me but I managed quite well and shared a taxi with some Americans to the El Prado Hotel which is excellent rather like Raffles Singapore. I've got an air-conditioned room for the first time its quiet! The proposed agent has been to see me with a man who supposed himself to speak English. Its going to be painful. Cost 5/-/- a day and so not too bad. Dollars fetch a premium of 3.20 instead of 2.80. Pound at par 7. So I'm glad I brought dollars.
Its lonely having no-one who can speak English. I hope I do not get ill! That is the main fear always however so far I an very well. There is a British consul in this place and I've been I touch with him. The servants are black as at Panama.
9pm Sunday 20/3/55
I've come up to my room. As usual there's nowhere suitable to sit and there's so much wind (as at Quito) that its uncomfortable tho' of course not cold!
The new agent, and his interpreter, his wife (a German who speaks a little English) and one of their children came and fetched me at 4 and took me round the place. The town is very poor all built in the last 25 years and the suburbs are good tho' not equal to Lima or Montevideo. We passed a ??? along part of the river where there's a market. The smell was the worst I have ever smelt and vultures were flying around.
They took me to their house a small but quite pretty bungalow - near to the hotel and they brought me back. At 6-30 the consul and his wife picked me up and I went to their flat also near the hotel quite nice. He has some foreign blood in him - she is S. American. I think the UK Govt should spend more on entertaining properly people like me and have better representatives. I was glad to get a good mail this morning and the Times (weekly of the 17th) I've run out of tobacco and so I'm smoking local cigarettes broken up. I've been away over a month!
The consul took me to church this morning at 11. The building is near the Town. It is on the street and there is no glass in the windows. It is like a poor Welsh NC church. There were about 60 people, mostly Americans by whom it is run - the Rockerfellow fortune mainly. I brought away the programme. There is no English church here.
There is no "country" or not understand the term so far in S America. The nearest is Quito where it is green for the most part. McDonald and family are coming to the UK this year. I must remember.
$3.60 (2.80 par?)
£5.50 (7 par?) on the street.
The observatory at Quito is most interesting and well equipped. They have a "wild" wind vane for estimating the Beaufort Scale. I must get one. All the streets are numbered Calle. The cross roads are called Carrera which means? road so that antomulliendly?? Calle gives way to Carrera Barranquilla.
I've had a day with the consul and now I'm going to the country club with Bell of Tracey - I've decided to go to Bogota tomorrow.
I forgot to tell you the people at Quito took me for a drive to the Equator. There's a monument there. The country was wild? - again like S. Africa. The people riding in Donkeys and having a very primitive existence. The tarred road ran for about 10 miles and after it becomes a dirt track.
22/3/55 El Prado Barranquilla
Bell took me and Mr and Mrs Dawson (consul) to dinner at the country club last night. It’s a fine affair (had meat!) but except for a party of business people only 2 others were dining. 3 or 4 people played tennis on the floodlit courts. Bell was at Westward Ho. It came out last night. He must have realised I had forgotten when I went to his office I thought his face was familiar. His wife is in England and family at Braintree.
He and Dawson have been most kind and have arranged my passage to Bogota and to be met there by Tracy and the commercial attaché warned etc.
I have now only a week left in S.A. I only hope I can remember it and that trade will result. This place is so w??. 50 years ago when the merchant travellers (tho' [name?] of R.P.) came here they must have had a rough time. No communications except the river Magdelena and mules and Bogota 500 miles away in the mountains! Bell lent me th D Telegraph of the 19th yesterday 21st!
8am Bogota 23/3/55.
I arrived last night by Avianca - a Columbian airline DC4. Over the mountains again! 8660 ft above sea level.
I'm on the 17th floor of this new American Hotel room 1728. I was met by Tracey's manager Mr Robson which was very nice of him as they do not want this agency. They are just prospective customers. The view from my window is fantastic looking upon the main square and the mountains beyond. But this am there is quite a fog. Visibility 150 yards. The hotel is v. inexpensive. Room only 32 pesos nominal 7 = £1. My US dollars are now fetching 3.60 (nominal 2.50) so I'm saving a lot 33 1/3% in fact. I did not sleep well. Its not the altitude. The weather is early English summer. The hotel is central heated and tho' mine is not "on" the room I quite hot.
I went to Bell's flat to lunch yesterday. He "did" it out of tins. His family is in England but it looked so lonely for him. Then Tamara took me to the airport. The aeroplane was crammed with Colombians - dark and swarthy and talkative. I cannot imagine who stays at this hotel and where the money comes from.
I forgot to say that while I was being driven round the (very pretty houses) suburbs of Barranquilla the other day, an Iguana ran into the road and stopped. We got out and looked at it but it did not move and we went on. There are a lot of vultures flying round all the time.
I'm waiting for Robson and his wife to take me out to dinner. It is very good of them. The cost is so high - my breakfast cost 15/- only an omelette and coffee.
I've been round all day with him. The Embassy are efficient and produced and agent, but I am appointing a friend of Robson I think.
Bogota is magnificent in places like this hotel but a mile from the centre it is very poor.
A. Bell Tracey Barranquilla
McDonald Anglo Ecuadoriana Quito
Lawson - Milve?
24/3/55 Thursday 9 am.
I've just had my hair cut 9/- + tip! This place is really too perfect and inhuman. Its so clean too vacuous, disinfectant? Etc.
I've been round Ironmongery again this am. One large firm 3 directors German on a prisoner of war 1915 at Hickmans Bilston and one an airman. Had Robson and the new (German) agent to lunch. Bogota lacks the colour of men and women's clothes. The Indians wear a specially made little ????
26th March 1955.
A fabulous city. 93% of its income is in oil.
I must finish BOGOTA first. The new agent - Kesslar -
and his very nice
wife took me out to Dinner to an old Spanish restaurant. A pretty place doomed I'm afraid to be pulled down for a skyscraper. It is in one of the picturesque narrow streets just like all the other S.A, towns.
K.C. Robson of Traceys took me to the Airport. Started at 6.30. for the 7.40 (4 hours trip) Avianca (Colombian) plane. It took 1 1/4 hours for the passengers to get through the Controls (the worst yet) and so the plane started 1/2 hour late. I might not have got there (some sort of health certificate one Official said I had not got) but for Robson's speaking Spanish. 4 hour trip through the cloud and over the mountains.
I missed the colour of the peoples clothes at Bogota. They all wore dark
European weight though it was quite warm. That’s a feature of the tropic the cleanliness and brightness of men and women's clothes.
The passport business is really ridiculous. One English business traveller was carrying 4 passports; there was not enough room in his case for the visas etc.
One of Zander's people (D.R. Klein) met me. The road from the Airport to Caracas 11 miles they claim to be one of the wonders of the world. Lighted all the way. 2 tunnels (one a mile and 1/4 long) and many bridges climbing from sea level to 3000 at Caracas over a pass 3400ft. Something like the pictures in THE TIMES of 22.3.55, which I have just bought for 2/6!
I have just had a cup of tea 5/- by the Swimming Pool of the hotel. Its just under my window (3rd floor). There are only 3 (women?) and 6 lonely men reading. Everybody except me is U.S. I'm sick of hearing and seeing them. Its not hot - perhaps 80 and there's a breeze. Its a very nice hotel, the best and most pleasant yet - not as wildly expensive as I had expected. The Venezuelans are very proud of their city. They are spending heaps of money pulling down the old streets and buildings and so it will be 100% U.S. without character. This is not the newest and most expensive hotel. The U.S. Company has just put one up 3 or 4 miles away - an ugly block - enormous.
I've been in Zander's (another Jew) office and seen 20 Ironmongers this morning. We have sold nothing yet here. All sales so far have been "up country".
Here also vultures are flying round the hotel; people say they are scavengers.
The windows have mosquito netting. The view from my window as at Quito is of the mountain over the garden - beautiful.
A dreary evening! I've been out to lunch to Zander's Secretary's flat - Miss Simsone Edificio Puerite ANAUCO Apartemento N.E. Esquire Puerito ANAUCO, Caracas! She had also 3 friends and a child, one who was in the French Army at Wrottesley and the others from B.Guiana - with colour I think. She called for me at 1. We started eating at 2.15 and finished at 4. I insisted on coming home at 4.30. Still it was kind and a good lunch.
I went to church this a.m. Very nice. A little building rather better than Codsall Wood. Anglican. It was practically full and the Ambassador was there.
Its been a lovely day. Temp about 85 but it is not sticky. I've sat in the sun for an hour. There was some rain early this a.m. So far I have not used a blanket on my bed since I left England.
The Zanders took me to their house last night at 7.a.m. American couple also there. He's the biggest piston ring manufacturer in the world and nice. Zander is his agent. Polish I think. She is pure Yankee but I was quite amused. Mrs.Z. is Jewish too I think some U.S. European origin. Good looking. Their house is just like the Yilberry's at Lima, beautifully kept but unlived in. They took us to a Theatre Club to dinner. No theatre - there was dancing and they brought me home at mid-night. All these people respect the English in a most extraordinary way. I'm afraid as museum pieces!
The people as I have said are very religious. One taxi I was in in Bogota had a Virgin & Manger lit up on its dashboard.
I have finished work here, I fly D.V. at 7.30. in the morning for Jamaica. I shall be glad to get on to British Territory where everybody I hope will understand me. I've spent a busy day tho' - it is almost as difficult to get about, there is so much traffic, as in London.
I had a good mail today dated 21at. Very slow. The weather has been perfect again and is now quite cool 7.30 p.m.
Courtleigh Manor Hotel. Kingston,
Arrived yesterday to schedule except that Feld (of Zander) was to call for me at 6 to take me to la Guaire and at 6.20. had not arrived so I took a taxi. I was alarmed because I expected trouble with my papers but there was none. Fortunately I was travelling again KLM. and they understood English. Only half a dozen people on the plane - - a Convair -. We touched down at Aruba which has the largest refinery in the world (Creole - Standard Oil).
Mucklow was not at the Airport and so I had to take a taxi. I had no money so I cashed a dollar bill at the Airport. Dollar and Sterling seem to be equal currency here. He was at the hotel when I arrived and had been to the Airport but had missed me.
We had lunch here and then went to the Cricket ground to watch W.I. v. Australia Test Match. 25,000 present. A very good ground but a terrible wicket. No grass on it.
Its a poor sort of hotel but out of the town and facing the mountains. Its very hot but very cool at night, I've got the bedroom.
The Australian Cricketers are staying here and so it is very full and I'm 2 days early. I find that Montego Bay is 120 miles away. I must see that fabulous place.
30. 3. 55. 8.30.P.M.
Cricket again ! from 11.30 to 1. Then I took a taxi to the hotel returning to the ground 5 miles away at 5.30. 30,000 people there again and I only saw a very few whites, say 100, all told.
I'm very glad Mucklow and his wife are English. They have 2 children, a girl 16 just leaving school and a boy 12. The schools are all mixed. It seems peculiar. The natives vary from childish to capable.
I am hoping the cricket will be over tomorrow. The Australian teams are here. Very decent lot I should think,
The district round the hotel is good residential but very dried up and the roads unfinished. The flowers are as usual Bougainvillea, crotons, hibiscus, oleander which blooms well
This hotel is quite pathetic in its unsophistication. I don't mind but for instance there is a bookcase the Manageress proudly showed me. There are about 20/30 cloth-covered books and a dozen Penguins and yet the price is £5.15.0. a day American plan i.e. including meals. This was so at Barranquilla too the others European plan.
31. 3. 55 Kingston.
More cricket this morning but as it was practically over at lunch time the Mucklow family took me into town for lunch (I paid £5.0.0.). Then we went for a drive to see Hope Gardens the Jamaica Botanical gardens. Not very exciting. It is all so dry and parched. They are about the size of Wolverhampton Park. All the usual shrubs and some annuals - verbena, salvia, etc. Then we went to see a new reservoir and the site of a house where the M's are going to build. Very wild and dry under the mountains but beautiful compared with Lawson's at Lima.
Kingston is not very progressive. The streets are badly paved, electric wires festooned all over the place as in the S. American countries. The buildings are no more than 3 storey in Central African or Indian style with wide verandahs and in the town arcaded.
I shall be glad to be getting down to work tomorrow.
I had a good mail today but I'm worried that mine do not seem to be arriving maybe they are under-stamped by the hotels and seat seamail. My room is fantastic, in an outbuilding, still there seams to be several like the Rondavels of Africa, Its 10 x 8 with a funny little basin. Next door is a primitive shower and a W.C. and next door to that (no proper bolts) the Manageress's room. She has to use the shower, etc. Still we have not clashed so far! I move into a fine one they say on Friday when the Australians have gone.
This place is more comfortable and ??????? than any of the others. Everybody says Good Morning - only English is spoken. I can read papers in English and hear the BBC. news. I am moving from my cramped quarters this morning. The Australian Team does not go until 5, a.m. tomorrow. I went to the Cinemascope last night and saw The Student Prince - open air theatre - quite full. I was interested tho' the show is U.S. I'm rather distressed by the U.S. influence here. Their Stock Prices are quoted in the press and only our Government Securities. Nothing much can be imported however from U.S.
2. 4. 55. Courtleigh Manor.
8.45. a.m. 1.45. in UK.
I've just had breakfast and am waiting for the Mucklows who are going to take me to Montego Bay for the night in their old Riley. Its 120 miles but I'll tell you about it tomorrow.
This hotel is a large bungalow villa in the suburbs about 3 miles from town. The terraced Rondavels have been added. I am in a nice room but public. There is a verandah on which I am writing, a brown lawn and the swimming pool.
(Rough diagram of room)
with little curtains blowing about.
No privacy. Black servants of course. The Australians have gone. I think there are not a dozen guests now. Vultures are flying around as usual.
The Mucklows came to dinner last night and after took me up to the Jamaica Inn about 5 miles away in the hills. Its a fantastic place. Very nice and full of people eating and drinking. There was a wood fire burning more for show than need. It is very pretty the Hope River running in a gorge in the garden. Lots of lights very dimmed.
I was interested in the price list. Visitors from
overseas pay almost twice the locals. There is here and everywhere a pretty
blue vine growing. They say it is called Petrea.
It is hot again of course.
In Mucklows office yesterday the temp. was 86°. I do not feel tired in spite of it but I would prefer it 10° cooler. It is night and the mountains in front look beautiful. The blue mountains where they grow (they claim) the best coffee in the world.
A yellow shrub like a Hibiscus which they call Alamanda is everywhere. The blooms are about 4" across, single. There is lots of plumbago of course but very few things are or can be properly grown.
The native question is, as in so many places a problem. Here they are equal with the whites and mix up with them. Some are quite white but their children may be black. I'm afraid it will go quite black. No one
wears a hat and I am getting less afraid of the sun.
3.4.55, Chatham Hotel. Montego Bay.
The fabulous place! except for about 3 US. money-built hotels there is nothing fabulous, oh! the sea, sky and sun. No Casino or night life. Nothing like Monte Carlo. I do not think there is even a Golf Course. The sea is about 75° I imagine. This hotel is poor because the road is between it and the sea, and the sea cannot be seen except the horizon from the bedroom. The most expensive of the hotels is £7 a day in the Season. American plan. The drive over was quite beautiful - all green Banana, Coconut and sugar plantations. Lots of jungle like wild parts.
We came over the mountains and had lunch at a beautiful place called Shaw Park Hotel standing in a lovely garden overlooking the blue Caribbean 1000 down below, 120 miles from Kingston. As it gets dark at 6.15 the nights are long and there is nothing to but go to bed. The hotels have no downstairs doors except to bedrooms, etc. Apparently Night Watchmen look after the loose property which is of course about.
The weather is nearly perfect. Cool about 75° I should guess. I've been to see some friends of Geoffrey Foster's (H. Radcliffe). 79 Hope Rd) a couple of miles away, charming old people. The man about 75 and the wife 10 or more years younger. The journey home was OK. We had a drink at the original fabulous hotel Casa Blanca. Very nice but cheek by jowl with the poverty of the negroes. I shall never pine to go to Montego Bay again.
4. 4. 55. 5.p.m.
I've had a good day. Seen several customers, all excellent and very friendly. We have an excellent agent (came through the T.C.). His salesman who goes round with me is coloured - Moody is a splendid type and his wife is delightful also coloured. Ha takes me to lunch on his way home with his wife who is a clerk. I've just been into a shop and asked for a squash orange to their surprise - they produced a pint glass and told me it contained 6 oranges. No water or sugar but some ice. I wanted it like that but not 6. All the shops are little stores.
It has been hot again 86 in the shops but the mornings and evenings are perfect. I've just had a cold bath and am writing this nearly baked in my room which is very nice but I cannot even see the sky unless I stand up because of the covered windows and verandah both sides and yet the view to the North over the garden and swimming pool of the mountains is very beautiful and green in spite of the drought and sun.
I've just had a splendid mail from home of the 26. 28. 30th and 31st.
6. 4. 55. 8.45. a.m.
Courtleigh Manor Hotel,
I've just been listening to the Wireless. and reading the "Daily Gleaner" on the retirement of Churchill. Its a pity the London papers are on strike. It has been most moving.
Its a lovely morning again but from 12-4 its too hot for me. This hotel has many good points. My black maid Mary is excellent - looks after me as if I was a child!
I went to a fantastic house last night (Webster a customer). His father built the house in the Spanish style and the garden was made by the present owner - quite beautiful but in the suburbs.
Moody (40?) and his very pretty attractive wife (about 30 + ?) came in for dinner and they took me up the mountains to look down on Kingston. He is about half black and she quarter I should guess. I drank rum,
twice yesterday. More like whiskey than the rum we get in England. Its 11/- a bottle.
Cuba 7/4/55 Hotel National.
This is altogether a fabulous place. More so than anywhere so far. Its enormous my room. 6th floor facing the sea is $16 a night European plan. Vast rooms but nobody ever seems to use them. This writing room (its 7.30 pm) is like the packing room and I am the only person in it. Its hot The season is over at this end of the island. I shall be cooked after a week of this. All the Mucklows and Woody send me off this morning from Kingston. They all gave me presents Mucklow - a bottle of Rum, Mrs a pen-desk affair and Woody a tape measure!
The party last night was a huge success, about 60 people, invited from 6.30 to 8, they stayed till after 11. The food was fantastic - a pig and a turkey as main dishes. We ate on the lawn in front of the Mucklow's bungalow in the suburbs. They had strung lights about and there was a full moon.
I was met at the airport here by the Cuba agent's brother-in-law's son abut 14. This boy spoke a few words of English. Poor people in a very poor office. They took me there after leaving my luggage here. They have no car and no telephone. I have spoken to the commercial attaché but business was over for the day and tomorrow he will not be on duty. In weeks time I hope to be over the Atlantic.
He had to drive along the front. Its like a glorified Eastbourne and thro' the old town. Very picturesque like the other Latin towns only bigger.
Its of course full of Americans, none of them attractive to look at.
I understand that margarine is never used in S. America. Tho' butter is 9/- several? places. The difference between rich and poor is very great.
There is a series of eating rooms on the floor than the entrance hall. I am dining in the main one now. Its quite a beautiful room. All the walls covered by printed wall papers of Cuban scenes mainly of the old times. There are about 40 others dining. I am having the table d'hôte at $4.50. The room is air-conditioned. 1/2 a grapefruit fish (quite good) a desert and coffee.
6pm 8/4/55 Good Friday.
I am sitting in the Bar and having a gin and tonic. $25 + 15 tip = 8/6. (I have had no tea). The first and last one.
(A3M: 8/6 1955 = £7.3 2004!)
Still its air-conditioned, tho' its not been so hot today. Its like Sunday. I've been to the American club but tho' open no-one was there except one old man. There was no service. I had an introduction from an Englishman I met at church this morning. The church is American Episcopalian. Like C of E in the States tho' nothing to do with our Archbishops. It is a cathedral the (US) Diocese of Cuba. Small very nice and about 60 people there. I was brought back to the hotel. I had a talk to the Dean who conducted the service. Otherwise I have had a lonely day. I could not sleep this afternoon. I walked back (1 1/2 miles) from the club thro' the old town. Very quiet, but interesting - one very straight street almost all the way.
I'm reading Nine Troubled Years - the best I could find in Jamaica where I read 2, one by Nigel Balchin - Creditors [Sundry Creditors, A3M] - quite good and the other by H.E. Bates - the Feast of July - not so good.
This place is of course all Yank. It would appear to be part of the US. I have not seen a British car or anything else. Still the whole of Latin America is nearly the same.
6.30 pm 9/4/55 Saturday
I've had a dreary day. Hair cut after breakfast $1.05. Burberry at 10 to meet Mr Lewty the this 2nd Secy re an agent. The nephew of the old one also came. I'm trying to get hold of the Johnson's man but he evidently away. The other applicant met me at the American Club and we had lunch there. Its quite nice. After I walked round the old town. I saw Columbus Cathedral - a poor affair to my thinking and then came back to the hotel at 4. I'm going to sit out I think. There seem to be several places ????
It’s a big town and really quite nice I think. Very like the others but bigger. Motor ?? are blowing all the time. Most places now they are prohibited.
The weather has been slightly cooler not more than 85 (minimum 68) I think and a strong wind. I fell down in the street! My iron tips skidded. Fortunately there was no damage.
9/4/55 Havana 9.15 pm.
I have just had dinner with an American and his wife from Kansas. Very decent people. I met them on a motor tour this afternoon. There were several American woman. All touring as they all seem to be. We had a ??? affair. Went over a marvellous?? ?? garden (saw the old man) the guide ?? took us in. Not very nice. Very good suburbs and rich. Saw ???? for a few ??? and various things growing in a sort of small holding tobacco etc and a vine climbing a royal palm as they call the palmolive tree.
I went to church this am 10-30 communion. The church was packed almost all U.S. Everybody stayed to communion. The bishop preached. The congregation looked well dressed in their palm beach clothes.
I've tried cannot get in touch with the proposed agent. I'm very worried about it. Also my money is none too much. I'm frightened too if loosing my passport and papers. Its been a nightmare all the time. However its nearly over. My ??????? was silly.
There is a very wide double track road running round the bay (in front of the hotel) but no promenade and no-one walks on it or on the beach of which this is ???.
One thing I have noticed throughout. Nothing appears to be done for housing the poorer classes ?? which there are many.
This afternoon we saw a dead horse on the side of the main road, waiting for the vultures I suppose.
11/4/55 9pm, Havana Tuesday.
I am just waiting to be taken by the commercial attaché and his wife to La Tropicana, a night club and a casino. Its very hot and I've put on my lightest summer suit and I can hardly bear it. I've had dinner in the dining room here for a change $4. Soup chicken and a bottle of beer. I'm a bit worried about money. I think I shall have plenty but I do not want to be stranded in New York!
Well yesterday morning at 9 I managed to get I touch with xxx?. He came and fetched me and he's a great find. Very strongly supported by Lewty the commercial sec'y. I've called on several customers and they are enthusiastic about him. His daughter works for him. Camilla and 2 salesmen. Their English is a bit sketchy. I've had ??? and ???? with the reps of the late agent and cannot even see the brother and so have no ?? or samples. We've been dashing about the city all the time in taxis. Its an amazing place full of cars and taxis and very narrow streets like all the other places except Jamaica only more so - a multitude of narrow streets all one way and all the same! I've never been in so many taxis in my life. Had a good lunch at La Florida today with a rum drink excellent! I shall be glad to be on the plane in 36 hours not having been ill, lost my papers or scraped through without money.** I feel I ought to bring somebody to look after these things. I was relieved to get hold of xxx?. There has been no rain in Havana for over 5 months!
**Note on facing blank page:
No tornadoes, all of which are more than possible.
9.15 pm. 13th Havana
I've just finished packing. Xxx? Wanted me to go to dinner but its so hot 88 I felt couldn't. I've spent today again in the city - its quite fascinating and I think my money is OK. This am I went out to Miramar? beyond Vedado? to see the ???. He the old man lives in past style. Has 8 sons and 1 daughter. As usual the house was unlived in. All unable ??? ???? here. Lunch again at Florida. Excellent. Last night I was taken by xxx? And good looking wife and Lewty and wife to the famous night club La Tropicana. A fantastic place apeing Monte Carlo but falling short. We had a drink a walk round and came home at 12. The floor show does not start till 12.
All furniture is of course mahogany here - locally ???? or yank.
There's an enormous apartment building being erected outside my window about 25-30 stories. It might be in any city in the world. Old ???? in streets always camberous clothes and adequate ??? have ?? appeared.
I've only spoken to one Englishman in these hotels during the whole town and that was at Caracas? All often are US and very poor specimens? Come over for the weekend ie Havana is by far the most impressive place.
It’s a great pity about culture too. I tried to get to see museums and art galleries. Even here where they built an enormous new one, there was nothing to see. There seem to be no? old master in the whole of the continent.
On Board KLM 15/4/55:
After a very exasperating day yesterday, I seem now to be on the last but one leg.
After leaving Havana the air hostess told me that Idlewild was closed and we were to land at Pittsburgh 300 miles from NY. There were rumours all the way, but finally we landed at Newark an hour in the bus from the centre of New York. It took us 2 hours to get thro' the Doctor, passports and customs worse even than Caracas, so I did not get into N.Y. till 8-30pm. My BOAC did leave after all. I was more than lucky to find a very helpful man at the BOAC office after several enquiries he managed to get me on this plane and I think the last seat on it. For a time I thought I was delayed for days. National Airlines got me a bed at the Shelbourne Hotel where I arrived at 9pm, fed up. However they found me some good food and a quiet room and so with a pill I had a good night. NY is as expected at night but worst interestingly by day. I walked along 5th Avenue this am and found it dull. Not many cars nor people compared with say Piccadilly and interesting buildings. I was sorry. Its upset my home coming as this plane goes to Prestwick. I am going to try to catch the BEA plane to B'ham. The weather was quite bad yesterday but it did not seem to me to be bad enough to close down Idlewild. Its very dull compared with Heathrow. Very poor buildings, not many people about and the grass quite brown. The drive to the airport is not interesting except for the tunnels. London again much more interesting and attractive. I'm waiting for lunch. Its 2-10 and I'm hungry but KLM do you well. National Airlines were not good.
16/4/55 In the train at Crewe! Another chapter of ????? events. We landed at Prestwick on time 5-30 am. 11 hours flight I did not sleep a wink anyhow it was only 12-30 by New York time. Prestwick was wonderful - a delightful Scottish lassie met us (only 2 passengers were landing. No formalities. They gave us breakfast in a v. nice dining room - quite the most genteel I have seen on this trip - everything was so nice and clean and quiet. A woman wanted to go on to London and the plane for L and B'ham fly from Renfrew 25 miles away so they (KLM) sent us in an old Rolls. When we got there I found KLM in NY had not booked me a seat and the plane was full so I had to have a taxi to Glasgow and take the 10-5 train on which I now am. I went to the hotel had a bath telephoned to 43 Codsall. Ran into Jack Douglas of Jo'burg and now I am nearly home. It already seems like a dream. Its so warm but the scene is not bright as in the tropics. Altogether a most exasperating 2 days.
12/9/66 7.30 pm Moscow time, 5.30 uk
I have just got to my room - its quite good and there is a bathroom. On the 8th floor No 804. Peter and Joan are on the same floor. I am waiting for my baggage so I can't do anything except wash. Quite a good journey 3 1/2 hours. Weather bad very low cloud and raining. It’s a very quick road from the airport. It’s a fantastic hotel - the ground floor like a railway station. We have had a cup of good coffee and dinner is at 8. Goodness knows if and when you will get this letter. I am glad I am not here by myself, the language problem is considerable.
There are no advertisements so the town looks dull. The people party look quite good - much better - socially than a European tour. I must go down.
Please send this on to Bunch.
Lots of love.
This was a company of which AJP was chairman with CWP, DSM,
AS Parkes and S Rhodes as directors.
In the company report for the y/e 30/6/1959, it made a profit of £33,392 with a net book value of £354331 (abt £5M at 2004). (P24-07)
Reginald Parkes was a director in 1951.
Letter 19/6/1963 re:
Whites-Nunan Ltd, Sharp St, Manchester
Injectors-Ejectors, Steam, Oil & water valves, Fire Hoses & Appliances, ships fittings) from AJP as Chairman (for 32 years). Bought out by Yorkshire Imperial Metals. RJLM shares 6790, cheque £30555. Also to DSM re 200 shares £900.
JOSIAH PARKES & SONS LTD.
Broadcast to all 4 works at Willenhall on Thursday 23/3/67 9.30 a.m.
I have what is to me a most important statement to make.
I can only hope that my announcement will be so considered by many of you listening at all three works, and by the people in the Gower Street block as well.
It is that I am retiring on the 31st March. Many of you will know that I am 76 and understandably my age is my reason for retirement.
I have been a Managing Director since 1920 the year in which my father died 47 years ago. Then we only had the old Union Works and of course no subsidiaries. You know now our position in the Trade. In 1920 we ranked perhaps 4th or 5th - now we are No. l in building locks and hardware in this country. Not only that but our trade now is nearly world-wide and we have four subsidiary Companies in Birmingham and Africa all making locks and door and window fittings.
I am of course more than distressed to be leaving you all but I am leaving the Company at its peak. I am satisfied that my successors will see to it that progress will be continued.
Mr. W. E. Egar is to be the Executive Chairman, Mr. D. S. Maitland and Mr. E. C. Fryer Managing Directors, Mr. R. G. McKay, Mr. John Williams and Mr. L. Southall, Directors; all of them as you know are experts in their field.
I must say a word to thank you all for your loyalty and good service to this Company - many of you for many years. No one could have better support without which I should have been powerless. Miss Partridge has been my Secretary for all the 47 years and I want to say a special word of thanks in appreciation for what she has done for me and the Company. She will be retiring later on.
Finally I wish for you all success in your jobs and happiness in the carrying out of them.
Arthur J. Parkes
I am pleased to be here.
I think to begin with I should explain why I am here today giving away the prizes.
Miss Hammond has had to do with the education of my children and grandchildren since 1932, with a break, if she does not mind my mentioning such a date of so long ago.
Only one of my grandchildren happens to be here at the school at the moment; my great grandchild who is also a female will not be ready to be educated for some considerable time, so that at the moment it looks as if my indebtedness to Miss Hammond is ended at any rate temporarily.
55 years is quite a long time and shows that I and my daughters have considerable trust in her ability.
Miss Stott I must add joined Miss Hammond later so my connection with her is of short duration.
I am in somewhat of a quandary this afternoon. To begin with I really do not know whether I am speaking to parents or pupils, but I am presuming that parents will not be very interested in what I am saying. Also I do not know whether to give advice to the pupils, or for that matter to the parents, or not. Anyway I am sure it is wrong for me to give advice, because if I did I should be arrogating to myself the duties and responsibilities of both parents and teachers.
If I err, as I am afraid I must to some extent, you must forgive me.
Another point is that I am really not in a position to give advice. I cannot for instance talk as an expert about politics or sport, and in any case my daughters and grandchildren and sons-in-law are all here and they might be lead to believe that I am getting at them.
I have not climbed Everest or have I been to either of the Poles, and I have not sailed the Atlantic alone.
I turn to the poets for inspiration but I find them to be extraordinarily unhelpful. For instance, Alexander Pope said that a little learning is a dangerous thing. I am not quite clear what Pope meant but perhaps you can elucidate that mystery for yourselves. Kingsley said - be good sweet maid and let who will be clever. However, I think clever people are born and not made, so this advice does not seem to be of much use. Then the writer of the Acts of the Apostles said - much learning doth make thee mad. So, what are we to do, a little learning or much learning ?
I think in this connection the story of the school-boy who said to his father - you ought to be proud of a son with enough courage to bring home a school report like that, is not unapt.
However, quite obviously a good education is a most valuable asset, and you pupils here are having an excellent start in the world so I do advise you again to make the most of your opportunities so that when you go out into the severe competition of the world, you will meet it satisfactorily.
On balance I think it very well worth risking the disapproval of the writer of the Acts of the Apostles and risk madness. Your teachers and your parents can only start you on the right way, it is then up to you to make the most of your opportunities and to be as successful as possible, though here I find it difficult to define success, so I must leave that also to your imagination.
It was Dean Hole who said - he who would have beautiful roses in his garden, must first have beautiful roses in his heart. This I think does not require explanation.
I am warned by my grand-daughter who is still, as I have said here at this school that I must on no account speak for more than 10 minutes, and that I must not pontificate, give advice, or be otherwise boring.
I will, however, in spite of what I have said give you a little further advice even though I said I should not, and that is that you should read a new book The General next to God by.... It is a biography of General Booth of the Salvation Army, and it is a history of delinquency of all kinds 100 years ago.
I think you should all know what has happened since 1865 when the Salvation Army was first inaugurated. After reading this book it is my opinion, and here I speak as a Justice of the Peace, that the youth of today is better in many ways than when the Salvation Army first started operations, and because I think that, I always speak up for the modem youth though I simply cannot bear "Pop" records.
This is not to say that any one of us is good enough, we never? can be, but I tell you this, so that by comparison we have perhaps improved over the hundred years. So be of good heart, and I hope you will all look to the future with the keenest possible anticipation, and be of good courage. I must add my best wishes for the future of the school. I believe that provided the Government does not interfere, that Miss Hammond and Miss Stott will go on from strength to strength.
Text of a Speech given by D.S. Maitland at Dogmersfield,
Good afternoon everybody. So often at weddings one is left wondering who the old dodderer is who is making an inaudible speech.
I will do my best to make myself heard and introduce myself. I'm the nearest thing Tasha has to a grandfather which is not inappropriate since the equivalent speech at her mother's wedding was made by her real grandfather.
I must also tell you that like all busy people who make speeches -I've only been retired 16 years - I have a ghost of whom more later.
Anyway a warm welcome to you all and a thank you for coming to celebrate Andrew and Tasha's wedding.
Tony tells me that any disappointment in his daughters lies only in their inability to tell the difference between a mashie and a niblick or tell a woodcock from a Frenchman in and their total disinterest in either pursuit. But disappointment goes out of the window when they bring home a string of delectable girl friends for father to admire and sigh after many of whom seem to be here today looking marvellous. I can also add that another generation only marginally dulls the appreciation of pretty girls so Tash take my advice and watch Andrew for the next 50 years.
I have known Tasha for ever and she was always a peaceful and calm little girl with one unusual ability in a child which caused me to think she would grow up to be a model. You know how reluctant most kids are when you want to photograph them-not Tasha. From the age of about four one had only to point a camera at her for her to drape herself in an elegant pose, smile and freeze until you pressed the button when she would go on with whatever she was doing.
She didn't follow this career but in fact developed a commercial spirit pretty soon and this is where I must introduce Tor her matron of honour, an unattractive phrase I always think for a bridesmaid who happens to be married.
Tash and Tor have always been like twins and there is a story that once they exhausted Angy who had to spend an afternoon picking plums that the two of them successfully sold to Passing motorists at the gate of Eastcote House. Having made their fortunes at the age of ten or thereabouts they decided that they would like to live together but realising that they might like children they accepted that they would have to get married. Then they could "make" their babies, jettison their husbands and live happily ever after. Despite displaying some knowledge of the basic biology of life I don't think at this tender age they had quite got the hang of the full attractions of the opposite sex. A situation happily resolved with advancing age and I'm sure neither real husband is in any danger of being jettisoned even though Tor's has been left in Hong Kong for the time being.
A grown up Tasha has done a few things in her time including back packing in Australia where she sampled all sorts of jobs including picking grapes. This latter occupation is not the romantic pastime one might think but very hard work, very hot, very dusty, very hard on the back and a disaster for the hair and nails. The pay is terrible too.
Having got over that trip she settled down to the property business where she has clambered up to a very responsible job. At the same time she remains a very family person devoted to her parents and to Claire and Mick to whom she provides useful facilities like mother sitting because Claire doesn't like being alone.
Enough about Tasha. Words now about Andrew. Bridegrooms often seem to come off second best on these occasions partly I suspect because so much time is taken up eulogising about the bride - and rightly too -that here isn't enough to do the bridegroom justice but also in my case because I can only claim a very limited acquaintance with him in 36 hours in Devon last summer along with 11 other members of the family in four generations all talking at once which makes it a bit difficult to arrive at a reasoned assessment. I have established a tenuous bond in that he was born in Singapore and brought up in Hong Kong while I was born in Shanghai and both our fathers and his grandfather worked for the Hong Kong and Shanghai Hank so he must be all right. He tells me that he is a bond dealer which conjures up to me those terrible contrived pictures in the press of a group of young men and to be politically correct a couple of young girls jostling together and apparently shouting their heads off and making what look like rude gestures at the photographer. But I'm sure its not really like that and its a job requiring a good deal of expertise and that you have your wits about you.
Unlike his wife and sister-in-law he does know the difference between a woodcock and a Frenchman and certainly between a mashie and a niblick in which pursuit there is some danger that he will beat Tony which might not be politically correct.
Tony and Angie are sure that Tasha's judgement is equal to Claire's and if Andrew equals Mick's enthusiasm for hard work and fearless hard play he will be more than welcome in the Baldwin family.
If you haven't already realised, my Ghost is Tony himself and he particularly wants to say a few thank yous and I am now using his words. First to Simon & Sally Walters who have been quite exceptional friends over the years and have allowed us to use their house and garden today. Secondly Tony and Vivien Chappell who have been a pleasure to meet and who must be thanked for their generosity in providing the champagne.
Which means it is time I shut up, ask you to take advantage of that generosity, raise your glasses and drink a toast to the future happiness of Andrew and Tasha.
Marie Blanche was a laundry run mainly by Peter Waddell, but with most of his generation of the family and AJP holding shares. It provided services to the directors & family members such as laundry and car spares (A3M!).
Sold December 1983.
The sale took about 2 years during which the losses continued to mount: the final sale value was about 1/3 of that originally envisaged. AM & ELM were paid £2114 each for their shares.
The Sunday Times, May 1 1966.
£200,000 laundry balloon seems set for higher things.
BY JOHN MATTISON
IN THESE DAYS of launderettes and fully automatic washing machines, it is a brave man who pays out over £207,000 for a loss-making laundry in South-West London. Peter Waddell, 46-year-old chairman of the Marie Blanche laundry company, has just paid this amount for the laundry division of London and Provincial Laundries, and at one swoop has doubled his laundry capacity and trebled his dry-cleaning capacity.
As far as Waddell is concerned this is not a vote of confidence in the future of the laundry business as a whole but in the high-quality, personalised, expensive service which Marie Blanche operates. Working from a shop in Mayfair and a fragmented back-street laundry, in Battersea, Marie Blanche's success so far has been based on a list of only 400-500 high-income private clients, and a service for guests at many of the West End's leading hotels such as the Dorchester, Carlton Tower, Westbury, Brown's, the Mayfair and Quaglino's.
For having their clothes washed and ironed by hand within 24 hours customers have to pay between 4s. and 5s. a shirt (against the average of around 2s.). The fact that there is a separate tariff on the price list for silk shirts gives an idea of the type, of clientele.
Waddell, a former Olympic skier, came across Marie Blanche in the early nineteen-fifties when he was still working at B P. He was already running a couple of launderettes in his spare time, and bought a quarter stake in Marie Blanche. Then, when he realised that the company was running into difficulties, he quit B P and after a short spell running the laundry decided to buy out the other interests. The total cost of 100 per cent. control was £5,500 — turnover was running at only £120 a week. Since then Marie Blanche has grown steadily — against the trend of the laundry industry — so that by last year Waddell, despite continuous absorption of buildings surrounding his backyard, faced a critical space problem. By this time he was a non-executive director of London and Provincial Laundries, which, after a reverse takeover deal, was keen on selling off its loss-making Battersea laundry. The deal was a natural and the - finance wasn't too difficult either. Waddell was in the happy position of being able to rustle up more than £200,000 privately—his family had made money from Croid glue and his wife's family had-just realised a lot of cash from the sale of their Josiah Parkes lock business to Chubb.
Waddell expects the two businesses to make about £50,000 profit this year and he is confident that future growth should enable a public flotation after five years. "This is our new family business," he says, "and I would like to see it quoted." The Marie Blanche balloon symbol (the company is named after Marie Blanchard, a French balloonist who is reputed to have delivered laundry to Napoleon by balloon) certainly seems set for higher things.
From Newark Advertiser (no date)
One of Newark's foremost industrial companies, Croda Adhesives off Winthorpe Road, celebrates 50 years of trading in the town this month.
Today, Croda's Newark factory is the company headquarters for an international network of adhesive manufacturing plants located across Europe, the Americas and Asia Pacific.
At home, meanwhile, it is interesting to think that whenever you tear open a Nestle or Cadbury's chocolate bar, the special food-safe 'cold-seal' adhesive which holds the packaging together may well have been produced in Newark by Croda.
As with so many of today's world-beating companies, however, the origins of Croda are humble enough, having been the brainchild of just one man and his innovative ideas about the ways in which glue could be marketed and sold.
The company can trace its origins back to 1911 when a Mr. P. H. W. Serle registered a company known as Improved Liquid Glues Co. Ltd. Up until that time almost every kind of glue was sold as a solid, requiring it to be dissolved in water and boiled before use. It was Mr. Serle's idea to manufacture a range of ready-to-use glues in liquid form, making them easier to apply and instantly attractive to both commercial and domestic users.
His factory - the first to make so-called 'prepared' glues in this country - was located in Croydon, giving rise to the company's first trade name, Croids.
Mr Serle's early glues (made in the traditional way from bone and animal hide) proved highly successful and in 1919 when Alcock and Brown became the first aviators to fly nonstop across the Atlantic, their large wood and fabric biplane relied on Croid glues in some of its construction.
Such success had already led the company to seek new, extended, premises in Wapping, and in 1920 it became a subsidiary of the large British Glues and Chemicals combine.
A year later, a further move brought Croid to Bulwell in Nottingham, followed eight years later by a further relocation to Bermondsey in London.
In 1940 the Bermondsey factory was heavily bombed and Croids production was transferred to a site in Newark already owned by British Glues and Chemicals.
BGC had acquired the Newark family glue-making business of Quibell Brothers in 1920. The name Quibells, however, continued to be used for trading purposes until as late as the Sixties.
Quibell's glue factory was located beside the Trent close to the old Bottom Lock, some distance off Winthorpe Road. Part of the premises survive to this day.
With the war over and the Bermondsey factory still requiring considerable repair, Croids decided to remain in Newark and develop their site adjacent to the existing Quibell's factory.
Building on from the warehouse loaned to them by BGC, Croids began to develop a new factory complex beside the main London-Edinburgh railway line.
And it was the foundation stone for this new undertaking which was laid 50 years ago this month on May 25, 1948.
At the stone-laying ceremony the Mayor of Newark (Mr J. H. Knight) described the new building as "making history for Newark" establishing a new permanent home for Croid after its previous wanderings around the country.
The new factory opened a year later in April, 1949, by the then BGC chairman, Mr Harold Cotes.
The Newark Advertiser reported that "The new building has a smart facade of facing bricks with stone dressings - inside there is a terrazo entrance hall off which lead offices and a terrazo staircase to the upper storey where the laboratory is located."
With the new works in full production the company was reported to be making no fewer than 85 different kinds of glue, each specially formulated for specific purposes - from use in the woodworking and leather industries to commercial packaging and bookbinding.
A new department in the late Forties saw the company experimenting with the first PVA emulsion adhesives which were to become the company's principal output during the Fifties and Sixties.
Croids played a central role in developing the new PVA adhesive technology, first by buying in the compounds from outside, but later using its own polymers, developed in-house. A great deal of additional pioneering work into the new processes was carried out in the Newark laboratories leading ultimately to the development of the first hot melt adhesives in the UK.
Another milestone in the company's history was reached in 1968 when British Glues and Chemicals (including Croid) was taken over by Croda International.
From that time onwards the company has gone from strength to strength in Newark and in 1989 celebrated the opening of its new multi-million pound global headquarters at the Winthorpe Road site in Newark.
From a company which came to the town almost as a refugee in the dark days of the second world war, the Newark offices of Croda now control a network of adhesive manufacturers across the globe from the USA and Canada to Brazil, Belgium, Italy and Australia.
New markets are currently being opened up in China and the Far East, while during 1997 the company's sales growth in South America was described as spectacular.
In Newark, meanwhile, investment in new technology remains the company's watchword with new plant recently having been installed to produce adhesives for the food packaging industry.
TOP: Chairman Mr Harold Cotes laying the foundation stone for Croids new works at Newark, May 25, 1948.
This small section was complied from Jeremy & Carol-Ann (Waddell) Moore’s talks.
Died: 1/10/2005 of heart failure at home in Stowe on the
Wold, Glos, with service at St Edward's 14/10/2005. Tributes and remembrances
were made by his brother, Michael and David Morgan and Bill Lyon-Shaw.
Parents: Norman Frederick Alexander and Mary Grace (Sheppard) Moore.
JPDM was educated at King's School, Canterbury and then at Royal Naval College, Dartmouth (1956), sub-Lt 1958. Was in submarines, before leaving and joining Vickers Shipbuilding in Barrow in Furness. In the late 1960's they moved to Hampshire.
Married, 3/8/1963: Carol Ann Waddell, born Oaken 31/8/1942.
1/1. Sophie Louise Moore, born Woking, 15/12/1964.
1/2. Julian Lindley Branthwayt Moore, born Kendal, 13/3/1967.
Captain Royal Norfolk Infantry, TD. Known as "Mickey"
NFAM had sister called Lorna.
Married, 8/6/1935: Mary Grace Sheppard.
1/1. Michael John Moore, born 18/2/1936. Ed King's School, Canterbury.
RMA Sandhurst (1954/55). 2ndLt
15/19 Hussars (Dec 1955), Malaya, N Ireland, Yemen, Captain 1960.
Married, 10/12/1960: Frances Mary Ball.
2/1. Phyllida Kingsley Moore, b 4/12/1961
2/2. James Richard Branthwayt Moore, b 23/12/1962.
1/2. Jeremy Patrick Dawson Moore.
Married: Constance Le Feuvre Dickson.
The history of this family is a combination of information from Frank Grenfell (2003) and Carol Ann (Waddell) Moore.
1/1. Mary (May) Grace Sheppard, born 6/12/1900, married NFA Moore.
1/2. Constance Louise Sheppard. (Nancy)
Married: Admiral Geoffrey F. Burghard.
2/1. Susan Moore (died in infancy)
2/2. Stephen Frederick Burghard, born 10/3/1936
Married, 1/5/1959: Susan Wood.
3/1. Celia Burghard, b & d 5/9/1960
3/2. Mark Frederic Burghard,
3/3. Sarah Burghard, b. 20/1/1965.
2/3. Martha Elizabeth Burghard. Married, 10/9/1977, F. Alan Bevis
3/1. George Kent Bevis b. 6/7/1978.
1/3. Helen Sydney Sheppard, b. 14/8/1911-4/7/1995,
Married (1) Capt. Russell Grenfell, RN (10/4/1892-4/7/1954).
Married (2) 1958, Evelyn Lindsay-Young (b.25/11/1893)
Issue of Helen & Russell Grenfell:
2/1. Julia Grenfell
Married, 20/4/1960: Capt Jeremy MA Barkworth, 16/5 Royal Lancers
Jeremy died 1981, and Julia married Charles Baron.
3/1. Catherine Barkworth, b 12/11/1962
3/2. Charlotte Barkworth, b 10/1965
3/3. Henrietta Barkworth, b 1/1967
3/4. Diana Barkworth, b 12/12/1969.
2/2. Kate Grenfell, married Sir Richard Barrow.
3/1. Anthony Barrow, 5/1960.
3/2. Nony Louise Barrow, b. 5/8/1963.
3/3. Frances Barrow, 4/1971.
2/3. Frank Grenfell, master at Eton (2003)
f.grenfell (at) etoncollege.0rg.uk.
3/1. Andrew Grenfell, 1984.
3/2. Peter Grenfell, 1985
3/3. ELizabeth Grenfell, 1986.
From Frank Grenfell, 2/2003:
I don't know how much information, if anything, you would like about the Grenfells. I know on my own tree that I rarely go further back than one generation in families who married in, if for no other reason that the amount of information increases very rapidly indeed if you do otherwise. So unless you ask I shan't do anything. We think the Grenfells are an interesting family, with all sorts of adventurers. One John Grenfell was killed by bush rangers in Australia, but it led to the arrest and conviction of the outlaws, so in honour of him they gave the township of Emu Creek the new name of Grenfell. There's Lord Grenfell, of course (not close enough to me ...), and Sir Wilfred, who was my father's first cousin.
24/11/00: Editorial & Contents List.
15/6/2001: resaved HTML from Word
30/8/2001: AJP Picture link
13/9/2001: AJP war diaries.
7/11/2001: more on diaries
2/2/2002: more on diaries.
26/2/2002: extra Baldwin G/children.
15/3/2002: extra details
5/5/2002: extra details & edited.
20/7/2002: edited layout, added JPD Moore to this file
9/2/2003: corrected Moore details.
15/9/2004: Addition of Dower House Collection
8/11/2004: more from DH
16/7/2009: small changes
10/4/2010: Marne Bridge Action
15/10/2015: web frame