A Social & Family History

Going to the Front

Mater. Edith Hilda Scaife née Hanson

Mater. Edith Hilda Scaife née Hanson
On the front of the photo she wrote
“From Mother to her son to bless him

Back of post card

On the back of the Post Card she wrote
“Leicester Scaife with Mum’s love Sep. 6th
1914. Fight the good Fight with all your

Arthur Hodgkin Scaife (1855-1934)

Arthur Hodgkin Scaife (1855-1934)

1915 April 20th Tuesday

Left Blyth Northumberland for Folkestone via Lincoln and Liverpool Street. You know about the break between my father and mother. (ed: note His parents had separated acrimoniously in 1904) When we got word that we were to go to France we were told that we not to inform anybody by letter. We left by train on Tuesday April 20th, and we went via York and Lincoln to Liverpool Street. When we got to Lincoln the train stopped and Red Cross nurses were on the platform with telegraph forms and they came and told us that we were allowed to send a telegram to any relations or person we wished, giving our time of arrival at Liverpool Street and the departure from there to Folkestone. We would have about half an hour at Liverpool Street. So I sent a telegram to my father and to my mother. When we arrived at Liverpool Street I got out of the train and I found my father and Queenie (ed: Kathleen Knight, older cousin of LCPS who had been surrogate mother after separation of his parents) standing by one pillar and my mother standing by another pillar about 15 yards away, and I spent that half hour which, as far as they were concerned, might be the last time in which they would see me alive, walking between them having five minutes with mother and five minutes with father and Queenie and back again until the train left. Even in that moment they were not able to speak to each other. I suppose it is understandable and in actual fact gave us more time to speak intimately to each other than we would have done if they had been together, but it did seem sad at the time.

We sailed from Folkestone to Boulogne that night.