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A Postcard from Nellie

In August 2011, just after the Friedns group had started, prominent Tunbridge Wells blogger Chris Cassidy sent me this picture of a Tunbridge Wells postcard together with the message it contained. I posted this on Facebook and several people contributed to decyphering of the words. Ending up with:

Dear Mum, Many thanks for those lovely flowers they came just the right time to cheer me up, I had influenza it has quite gone however left me rather weak, I shall be all right in two days. Hope Dad's cough is better. Best love your loving Nellie.

But the story doesn't end there...

One of our Facebook friends (Lisa de Garston) took it one step further.

The card had been posted in December 1906 to a Mrs Fuller of Lamberhurst.

A search of the 1881 census shows us:

  • Thomas Fuller, M, Head, married, age 47, born Lamberhurst, Kent; occupation: Woodreeve
  • Elizabeth Fuller, F, Wife, married, age 40, born Lamberhurst, Kent
  • Eleanor Fuller, F, Daughter, age 10, born Lamberhurst, Kent; occupation: Scholar
  • Harriett Fuller, F, Daughter, age 6, born Lamberhurst, Kent; occupation: Scholar
  • Elizabeth Fuller, F, Daughter, age 4, born Lamberhurst, Kent
  • Annie Fuller, F, Daughter, age 2, born Lamberhurst, Kent
  • Thomas Edward Fuller, M, Son, age 1 d, born Lamberhurst, Kent
  • William Fuller, M, Son, age 12, born Lamberhurst, Kent; occupation: Scholar

So in 1906 Eleanor (Nellie) is now 35 and living in Chelsea. A bit more research and...

Lisa found Eleanor Fuller working as a servant at 43 Cadogan Gardens, Chelsea for Mr Lepel H Griffin KCSI (Knight Commander of the Order of Star of India) Indian Civil Service aged 62. Mr Griffin has a wife, Mary who is German and 2 sons Ronald and Lancelot. Mary is only 32 and the children are 2 and 1 respectively. Eleanor is an Upper Housemaid. She is one of 7 servants.

Sir Lepel H Griffin KCSI was quite important in his day (look him up on Google) and wrote 'The Punjab Chiefs' a sort of Indian Who's Who of notable chiefs and families in the Punjab which contains detailed pedigree tables of Sikh nobles and royalty.

And finally, Eleanor Fuller married William Osborne, a butler around 1909 and in 1911 she is living in Cranbrook with her husband, William who was born in Lambeth. They have a daughter Aileen who is 2, who was born in Worcestershire. Eleanor's younger sister, Annie Fuller is living with them and working as a housemaid. They are living at Hockbridge Cottage, Cranbrook.

And all from one postcard.

if you want to see more Tunbridge Wells postcards then check out the Tunbridge Wells blog by Chris Cassidy.

See also...
Commemorative Tree Planting
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