Moving letter shows how the war affected families’ lives

Lance Corporal Sidney Page
Lance Corporal Sidney Page

War is not only about heroes and campaigns.It is also about the families who are involved, whose lives change and how they are influenced.

This is movingly demonstrated in this letter from Lance Corporal Sidney Page to his daughter Olive, then aged seven.

Olive and Grace Page

Olive and Grace Page

It was sent from Haldon Camp in Devon on November 21 1916.

The letter was found by the soldier’s grandson Don Pummell, who lives in Scarborough with his wife Constance.

“It was in Aunt Olive’s precious things after she died at the age of 90,” said Mrs Pummell. “Although it is a small letter of goodbye, it is very emotional even for people who never knew them.

“His writing is beautiful, very artistic, his words so carefully chosen, and it was extremely important to Olive as she kept it the rest of her life,” said Mrs Pummell.

In the Church of St Michael the Archangel at Booton in Norfolk there is a small, well-kept memorial to the men of the village who lost their lives in action in World War One.

“One of those men was my husband’s grandfather, Sidney Page,” said Mrs Pummell.

Lance Cpl Page was married to Florence and they had two daughters, Grace and 
Olive, and the family presumes that he sent a similar letter to Grace.

Grace married a serviceman, Donald Victor Pummell, a Farrier Captain in the Royal Signals.

They came to live in Scarborough after World War Two and lived at first in B block at Burniston Barracks.

The family settled here and for quite a few years the sisters lived near each other on Scholes Park Road.

Grace married a Norfolk boy, Reg Fuller, they never had children.

Transcript of Lance Cpl Sidney Page to his daughter Olive, sent from Haldon Camp on November 21, 1916:

My Dear Little Olive

Daddy has got to say Goodbye, I know you will be a good little girl.

Try & comfort Mother wont youlittle Darling.

You will have my photo you can always look at.

God bless you little Maid. I am taking yours & Gracies photo out with me

Fondest Love my little one.

Your Loving Daddy

You used to look for

the kisses didn’t you

x x x x x x x x x x x