Dictionary and flag

A brief midweek post today, a postcard in which a soldier, Len, writes to Glad thanking her for getting him a dictionary – presumably a French-English dictionary – which he says will be very useful. He writes ‘I have really been needing one for a long while & do not know why I hadn’t asked you before’. Can anyone decipher the house name where Miss Gladys Fitch lived (Southborough Drive, Westcliff on Sea [Essex])? Nembiture? Obenlisless?


The picture side offers another conundrum: what is the disc in the middle of the Union flag?


This appears elsewhere in postcards sent in 1915, again with a similar odd arrangement of red and blue segments, proposing the question, how far from an authentic version of a flag can we go while still being able to recognise it? Particularly pertinent in the case of the Union flag, as it sometimes seems that any showing of it will provoke someone to complain that it is upside down.



One thought on “Dictionary and flag”

  1. I did a bit of detective work on the address on the postcard. After a couple of false starts with the 1911 census and electoral rolls from around 1915 I found the remnants of the Fitch family still living in Southborough Drive in 1939. However by that time the house just had a number – 26. One son was still living with his widowed mother in Southborough Drive in 1939 and from his birth registration I was able to his mother’s maiden name – Beaumont which enabled me to find other Fitch children.
    The family came from Camberwell where the father had been a grocer. They moved to Westgate on Sea sometime between 1911 and 1915 when he had retired. When the father died in 1937 he left a will and the Probate Calendar shows the house name in Southborough Drive was Henlulen. This seems to be made up of Hen from Henry – the father, lu from Lucy the mother, I’m not sure where the len comes from.
    I thought that the soldier writing to his sister Gladys was her brother William Leonard ( a Gunner in the Royal Garrison Artillery), who seems to have known as Leonard (and perhaps Len, which I thought was the signature). However records show he didn’t attest until December 1915, and this postcard is from July 1915, so it cannot be him. The Fitch family was large with at least 5 sons, or perhaps it was a friend of Gladys rather than a brother?

    Liked by 1 person

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