Maj. Arthur Herbert GILES 
- Born: 14 Jul 1885, Bhagulpore Bengal India
- Died: 23 Dec 1976, Eadens Hotel Leamington Spa WAR aged 91
Another name for Arthur was Bhainya.
Arthur was educated at Gordon's College in Aberdeen, and privately; entered R. M. College Sandhurst February 1905, served as a Lieutenant with the 1st Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment 24 January 1906.
The following are letters written by Arthur Herbert Giles when he was living at Churchill Court, Aberdeen, Weston super Mare, Paris and India. The majority were written to his parents in India. They date from 1888 to1909 and were conserved by Marjorie Chetham, who passed them to Celia Stubbs who has transcribed them uncorrected.
The letters show a close and loving extended family, and a wonderful picture of Victorian childhood.
Churchill - Feb
My dear Father
Aunt Anna has sent me a box of bricks from clevedon dr . . . . . lox played my revotina and I could not help laughing. Yesterday we had breakfast in the library. Goodbye from your loving son Arthur.
Churchill - June 1
My dear Father
Yesderday we have bin plaing croquet. It is only 43 mor days until my bifday. We have to kittins and they are fiting each other. Good by form your loving Arthur Giles
Churchill - undated
My dear Mother,
A gentleman came to tea and he says his wife is like a fish because she likes to swim in the sea and hehas a little girl, and a dog named Judy and if you put a biscuit on the floor and say trust he will not eat it. Good bye from Arthur
Churchill - Nov 25th
My dear Father
On Friday Auntie took us all to Weston in the carriage. I had my hair cut, and she bought me a new pair of boots. We had tea in a shop. Auntie brought us some puzzles from London. I am making a mat for Granny Now goodbye from your loving son Arthur Giles
Churchill - Dec 30th
My dear Father
I liked the cards very much. Aunt Jessie gave me a shilling. Auntie gave me a box of croquet …, Aunt Anna gave me some drawing paper …bricks, Aunt Sophie gave me some reins, Aunt Nellie gave me some pictures on cardboard to draw, Madeline gave me some sweets. Now goodbye from your loving son Arthur Giles. Laura and Dolly are coming tomorrow.
No address or date
My dear Mother
Tell father my big toe is all right. My favourite game is green grocer shops. I like apple dumplings very much. Good bye. I remain your loving son Arthur
(on back of above letter)
We are going on the 31st of ….to Aunt Isabellas and shall stay. I shall like it very much. I think I can speak French a little and can read it also a little. The lessons I like best are reading, poetry, music. I have nothing more to say so Good bye. I remain your loving daughter Madeline
Churchill - Dec. 9th
My dear Amy,
We liked the transfers you sent us very much. How nice it would be to throw a penny in the sea. Cousin Bina is staying here. Madeline and I have got a surprise for Auntie
But we are not going to tell about it till Christmas. Now goodbye from your loving brother Arthur
Churchill - no date
My dear Marion,
We went to our dancing lesson on Monday and liked it very much. Miss Douglas wants me to give you her love. Auntie says that I have got so fat that there is no room for me in the house. Goodbye from your loving brother Arthur Giles
My dear Mother
Dolly (his sister Dorothy) has a nice mail card and when you come home you will have a jolly ride and I will pull you. I am so tired of writing but another day I will write you one more letter. Good bye from ARTHUR
My Dear Mother,
Mad (Madeline) and I are going to ride with the coachman. Auntie is sending Mr. Schandua (her old German butler) some goosebrys. I have no more to say so good bye from Arthur Giles
Auntie gave this paper to Dolly for her birthday present. Good bye from ……
(on back of above letter):
Many happy of the day returns.
Dear Mary. I am writing this letter nearly by myself from Dolly and Arthur
Thank you for your letter. We are going to ……xmas. Good bye your loving Bhainya
PLease tell Father I will try to be a good carpenter. Good bye I remain your loving brother Arthur
(on back of above letter)
Our coughs are going on all right as we the last few nights we have only had one fit between us. We are going to Folkestone on Monday for a fortnight. Aunt Jessie heard we had hooping cough and sent us a sort of lamp affair which she used for Maud. We cant go to school so we have been having a governess but she has been ill the last few days and has not come. Arthur has become a poet though he doesn't know it. Auntie and Groon(?) have gone with Aunt Isabella to stay for 3(?) months. Good bye.
I remain your loving daughter Dorothy.
No address or date
Please may I leave off music and learn drawing. Love to all from Bhainya
On back : . . . . . so long. Good bye. I remain your loving daughter Dorothy
No address or date
Thank you very much for the 2/6. I put it in the bank, where I have now 5 shillings. Gran sent me a nice book about Queen Victoria. ?any sent me a pencil case with
Ruler pencil pen and a knife that you scratch out blots with. Aunt Isabella sent me stamps. Aunty sent a book. I had also a box of fishes. Mrs. Baguby gave me two little note books. Lena and Laura gave me a battledore and shuttlecock. Jack gave me a little … and an air ball. I remain your loving son Arthur
(on back of above letter):
My dear Marion,
I do like the blue paper you wrote on very much.
I am very sorry that you have to wear a pair of glasses and I hope your sight will be better when you come back to us. On Saturday Mrs. Baguby is going to have some poor children over here to tea. I do not know anything to draw now but perhaps I will draw something next time I write to you. I do not know anything more to say so Good bye. I remain your loving sister Madeline
My dear Mother I can play a duet with Madeline. What are the names of the Indian gods in the dining room here. Goodbye from your loving Arthur Giles
No address or date
My dear Father
We have been having snow and we have been sliding on the duck pond. There are so many Magpies come to eat the food we give them. Good by from Arthur
Woodmount - April 28
My dear Father
We are going to Aunt Jans to tea in the afternoon. We saw aet monks the other day. There are some nuns I am having great fun here. We are going to the castle good bye from Arthur
Churchill - Oct. 2
My dear Father
We had to go through such a lot of water last Monday when we went to our dancing lesson. It nearly came into the carriage. Your pond at the end of the garden is quite full. Now goodbye from your loving son Arthur Giles
I had a nice ride on Mr. Westwood's bicycle last Saturday. I have learnt to play croquet and I am always at one end when the rest have finished. I remain your loving son Arthur Giles
Churchill Court -Aug 27 1891
My dear Father
I hope you are quite well. Laura is going to give me a present. Isn't it kind of her? We had some children to tea yesterday because it was Madeline's birthday. She was eleven and the other was nine. Her mother said she was eight and she said she was nine. The smallest was Ethel the biggest was Helen. Goodbye from your loving son Arthur Herbert Giles
Churchill - Sept 30 1891
My dear Father
We went to Mrs. Jose to-day and she gave us some grapes and we went to Mr. Schandua (Auntie's old German butler) and Auntie sent him some plums which he said were delicious. Now good-bye your loving Arthur Giles
(the following is written on the back of the above letter):
Mr. Bott. had attended the other and ?. I get on very fairly on the whole with the two others - yet is quite satisfied as I make him occassional presents and a percentage on what eggs he can sell. The Dining room stove is quite worn out and must be replaced. I will get the most reasonable one I can - I think about L.3. To open in front -I feel there is some to be done to the heating apparatus it does not click and the frost last year pretty may have injured some part of it but I shall be careful not to ???. I am going to stay 10 days with Gran for Ellen to go to Aberdeen with Raymond. Aunty ? will be still here with Nelly. Love to all from your affect. sister AIDC (Anna Isabella, Arthur Henry's sister)
Churchill - Nov 10
My dear Mother
We went to a party on Thursday at Mrs. Lyon's and we had such fun. First we played "Hide and Seek" and "General Post", then we had tea and pulled a lot of crackers.
After tea there were some fireworks. We drove home in the dark, and saw a Guy Fawkes. Now goodbye with love from your loving son Arthur Giles.
No address or date
My dear Mother
We came back from Aunt Minnie's yesterday. When I get big I don't want to be a bishop may I be a carpenter. I remain your loving son Arthur
(the following letter on back of above letter)
My dear Marion,
We have been staying at for ten days and came yesterday. We have enjoyed ourselves very much. We are having lessons now and Bhainya is writing to mother. Will you tell Father Bhainya has not been fishing with the rod yet. I must say goodbye. I remain your loving sister Madeline
My dear Father
We went to a party to Mrs. Long. It was Sybel's birthday and we had great fun. We had some crackers in mine there was two wooden dolls. Good by With love from Arthur Giles
Churchill - March 16
My dear Father,
No one here calls me Bhainya but when Laura and Dolly come in the holidays they do sometimes. When they come in the Easter holidays Auntie is going to get us a pony to ride in your field. Mr. Jose brought us some chocolate and we both sat on his knee and he rocked us about and said we were in a ship going to India. Tell Mother Miss Douglas is quite sure she could not write a book. Good bye from your loving son Arthur Giles
Churchill Court - October 12th 1892
My dear Amy
Mad. is learning Halma with Aunt Anna. I often play with my bow and arrow. Auntie gave Mad a new game with a tetotum? We have a new servant her name is Alice her heir is red. From your loving Arthur
Churchill Court - Jan 21st 1893
My dear Father
Thank you very much for the nice idles you sent me I have named the one with the turban on "Dyhia" for a joke. When you come back shall we learn to swim. I and
Madeline both hope so. We are going to have a new governess on Tuesday and her name is Miss Bigs. Our crocuses are out and some snowdrops as well. We have a little Dog named Pierrot he is a puppy and very frisky and playful and is nearly always biting something is not that naughty of him and when he is in the kitchen all the cats put up their backs and hiss at him except Moonlight who does not hiss at him so much. Now Goodby from Arthur
In 1894 at the age of 9 Arthur moved to live with Herbert Allen Giles and his family in Aberdeen and attended Gordon's school as a day boy. His parents were still living in India.
Aberdeen - 8 April, 1894
My dear father
I am going to Gordons College next week. I hope it will be nice. Uncle Herbert has hired me a bicycle. I can ride it pretty well and am learning to jump off. I can not get on yet because it is to big. Please send me some Indian stamps to give to Mabel. She is collecting stamps and has now got 820. We have had some more snow is it not funny to have snow in April. Mind you send the stamps. Madeline and Moyna sent me a pair of cuffs as an easter present and I sent Mad two little Japanese dolls. After I have finished this letter I am going to write to gran. I saw a funeral with 85 carriages following it. Now good bye from Arthur
3 Queens Gardens, Aberdeen
I cannot try for a Bursary because I am to young when I wrote you that letter telling you I was trying I did not know that I couldn't but I soon found it out. I should like very much to see a photo of the married group. You will know who I mean by the married group. I have just been trying on a new pair of boots and my hands are dreadfully black. By Jove what a lovely cloth Mother sent Aunt Mina (Elise Giles). Nobody could decide where to put it and at last everybody thought it so good that it had to shut up in a cupboard. There was a boy at Gordons boasting to another boy of how rich he was and the master who heard what they said, said to the rich boy it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of Heaven. Now good bye from your loving son Arthur Giles
PS Congratulations for Marion's wedding
Aberdeen - 1 Jan 1895
Thank you and all the others for the Christmas cards you sent me. Dolly and Madeline just roared with laughter. Tomorrow is Edith's birthday and the day after I go back to Gordons College. Aunt Isabella sent me 2/6 for Christmas and 1/- for Kathleen.
Yesterday I was going to hire a bicycle so were the girls but we did not because it was too wet. The room is very quiet just now for everybody is busy writing. Now I must say Good bye love to all from your loving son Arthur Giles
PS Did Ray shoot anything when he went out on a Boat.
Churchill Court - Jan 18th 1895
We have been out sliding on the duck pond for a few days but it has been raining lately and the ice has thawed. Thank you very much for the books you sent us they are very pretty. Madeline has got the lesson prize called Jackanapes. The Troops are going to give us two little guinea pigs one is a tortoiseshell and the other is a little white one. ?…gave us two shillings and we each put one in the bank. Mrs. Burge will be a hundred on the third of April. Did you put my album back in the bureau because I can't find it anywhere. Good bye from your loving Arthur
3 Queens Gardens, Aberdeen - 26th Jan
I have begun to write my letter rather late today. I realy don't know what to say that would amuse my little son very much. If you want to know anything I will tell you here is a very nice bit of news, yesterday I bought a new cap. It was a bit large but I don't care that, nice bit of news (eh).
Ta ra ra Boom de ay
Ta ra ta boon de ay
I cant think of anything to say
Ta rar ra Boom de ay
Kathleen has got a slight cough and is made a prisoner in the drawing-room. I don't know weather you put a hyphan between drawing and room but I put it for fun. When mother comes home you can tell her to get some French Nougat from Marselles as she passes for ME there's a good old man. Now I must say good bye from yours truly A.H. Giles
Churchill - Feb 7th 1895
My dear Father
Francis gave me a pair of stilts he has a pair of stilts too and we walk about together but are always falling down because it is so slippery. The night before last we heard a shot fired after we were in bed Ethel looked out of the window and saw a man with a long coat on pick up something under the tree and run away he was not a poacher. Yesterday we saw a man shoot a bird in the road near Carter. It was a thrush. We feed the birds every day. Are there any swimming bathes at Aberdeen. I hope there will be. Does Raymond like it in India. We have made two snowmen in the garden. Good bye from Arthur
3 Queens Gardens, Aberdeen - 31.3.1895
I am going to begin swimming in May; that will be nice. I cant write well because Lionel is teasing me. After breakfast the servants always go to make the beds, and Lionel was in his bedroom studying when they came they wanted to turn him out of his bedroom to make his bed but he would not let them because they were too slow so he began to smoke a great deal while he was studying till the room was full of smoke. But he did not like it much. I have made a long line of ink all down my letter quite by mistake forgive me father. We once went into the place where the trams are kept and found a little door so we opened it and saw a lot of water with a large piece of land in the middle of it we found two wheels with a bar of iron between them then we looked and found another so we put them side by side and placed a plank of wood across the iron bars then we took some poles and stood upon it and pushed the holes as hard as we could which made the wheels go round which gave us a ride. Now good bye from Arthur
Aberdeen - 8 April 1895
I have not got much to say but I can say what I know so this is what I am going to tell you Don't you think it is very kind of me to write to you every week and you have not written to me once. Mind you send Mabel some Indian stamps as she keeps a collection. If you don't I shall be very angry. We have a lot of little friends here they are very nice tell Marion I should not like to be called Misses Trotter at all I cant help laughing at it. Now Good bye from Arthur
Aberdeen - 14 April 1895
My dear father
When I first went to Gordons College just before school a boy named Watte came to me with a wet handkerchief and slapped it in my face saying I will anoint you king of peace. In the middle of the school we are sent into the playground for a minute there are some taps in the playground and Watte put my head under and was going to pour water on it when another pulled him away. Now good bye love to all from Arthur
Aberdeen - April 21 1895
Yesterday we bought a lot of fireworks, a Roman Candle, a flowerpot, squib, Devils, Snakes stars Red Reporters, Frogs, Catherine Wheels. We loved it when the Frogs jumped at us. Val has gone to Wollege (Woolwich) to be an officer is not that grand. Aberdeen is not so cold as I thought it would be but it may be a great deal colder in the winter. Next winter I may learn to skate will not that be nice. I hope I shall be able to skate well. How are Amy and Raymond, Aunt M (Elise Giles) has had Influenza. Now Good bye from Arthur
Aberdeen - May 5th 1895
Tomorrow is Bank-holiday and all the schools have a holiday is not that nice so we will have a holiday on Saturday Sunday and Monday. We had a picknick in a wood yesterday. We got a little lamp to boil the water and but it would not boil so we tried to light a fire but we could not get it to burn so we poured all the spirits that was in the lamp on it then it lit and a great big flame flew up in my face for I was looking over it it was great fun. Tell Raymond he ought to write to me. Tell Amy I wont write to her till she writes to me. My dear Father I must now say Good bye from Arthur
Aberdeen - May 16 1895
I am beginning a collection of stamps will you send me some Indian ones. Mabel is sending Amy some stamps and thanks her very much for the ones she sent her. I have 100 and 1 stamps I got them all in 2 days. Aunt Mina (Elise) gave me some so did Mabel and Kathleen. Now Good bye from Arthur
Aberdeen - 24 May 1895
Gran (Anna Sarah Giles) has sent me a clock-work mouse it is very nice. Please do ask Kathleen to Churchill when I go for my summer holidays. She has never been to the country. I was allowed to come down stairs today. I have finished having Mumps. Kathleen got a lot of friends to tea last night. We have got a lot of ferns to decorate the dining room with, they are very pretty. When you come you must learn to ride the bicycle wont you. Please excuse blot. Now Good Bye from your loving son Arthur Giles
PS I cant think of anything to say. Kathleen and I are going to buy a little pigeon perhaps. Tomorrow I am going back to Gordons College.
3 Queens Gardens Aberdeen - 1895
The first day after I had mumps the master at Gordons called me mumpy but I soon found out that he had had mumps, so I called him mumpy which he did not like very much. There is a travelling menagerie it came here about a week ago I should think. There are tigers, lions, bears, wolfs, elephants, and a lot of others it is a very dirty place and there are a lot of rough men. Just after I had mumps I got ill again it was indigestion I think I am all right now at last. It was a great pity I was not well for I have lost a lot of time to try to get some prizes at Gordons. Let me see I have lost a fortnight and five days! Yes I have. A boy came to school at the beginning of term he was very delicate and did not care for cricket, football or any of our games he liked indoor games such as cards, well he got very ill and has been away from school 6 months and more poor boy he is so like a girl. It is getting very hot everyone feels so lazy I mean the boys at Gordons the masters will rarely open the window and there are forty two boys in the room. Please excuse the crumple in my paper I must have done it some way or other I suppose. Gran has got ill from eating salmon and cucumber no wonder at her old age. I agree with you about the names of my brother in law and my future one. Now Good bye love to all from your affectionate son Arthur Herbert Giles. P.S. We planted some seeds in the garden and they all came up weeds. I thought they would
Aberdeen - June 1895
Yesterday we went to the athletic sports they had a tug of war and all of them yelled out go it foot-ball. Then the band race was very nice they tried to play and run at the same time the man with the Drum won the race. Now I have no more to say except Good bye from Arthur. Many happy returns of the day. I think it is your birthday.
Aberdeen - July? 1895
The summer holidays will begin in two weeks wont that be nice in Aberdeen we are sure to have great fun. I always write a letter to somebody on Sundays. Tell Amy I am beginning a collection of stamps there is a great hint for her to send me some. Mabel and Edith have gone to Bath to spend a fortnight with gran. Hurry up and come back to England for I want to see you very much. I have not got any more to say except that I have been to the swimming baths 4 times. Now good bye from Arthur
I like the baths very much
Aberdeen - 7 July 1895
Do not forget my birthday, it is on the fourteenth of July that will be next Sunday if you do forget I shall be very angry. I have just won a 6d prize for Geography because I did it better than Mabel Edith and Kathleen according to my age. Has Raymond been out shooting lately if he has tell me what he has shot. Now I must say Good bye from Arthur
Aberdeen - 17th July 1895
Thank you very much for the ten shillings you gave me. I put it all in the bank. I have now 1 pound 16 shillings and am very proud of it. Now you must begin to call me Arthur you said you would when I was ten. Does Ray smoke very much. Amy has not sent me any stamps yet. I hope she will soon. I have not got any more to say now so Good bye from Arthur
Aberdeen - 25.7.1895
I have been spending some of your birthday money on hiring a bicycle. Please thank Amy for the stamps she sent me they are very nice. Can you play golf well. I suppose you can. Marion says they are a lot of mice in your house but they will soon be gone because of the pups. How does Ray like it in Dargeeling. Tell Marion I will write to her soon. No good bye love to all especially Mother from your loving son Arthur.
Bicycling by A.H.G. - 28th July 1895
When you are on a bicycle you must have a firm hold of the handles. If you want to turn round it is better to get to the very edge of the road as to have a larger space to turn in. If any body wants to learn a bicycle they will not learn it very quickly if they are nervous or frightened. You must press the pedals quickly if you want to go fast. It is more difficult to go slowly than fast. A.H.G
3 Queens Gardens, Aberdeen
I have been to the baths a good many times already but now it is the summer holidays and Uncle Herbert says I can go a great many times more in the summer. Tell Amy that I know that boiling point was two hundred and twelve. Yesterday at dinner time Uncle Herbert said that it was the birthday of one of the greatest heroes of England. He asked all of us if we knew who it was and we all gave the names of people but were all wrong and when it came to my turn he said don't you no so I have the name of somebody but was wrong, then he said it was Arthur Henry Giles (Arthurs father!). Now goodbye from Arthur
Aberdeen - 2.8.1895
I shall go back to Gordons on the 14th August then I shall be able to tell you the ages and birthdays of the boys. I think most of them are older than I am except one. I never play cricket here, I have not got a bat or wickets . Does Ray like it in Dargeling, I suppose he does.
Now good bye from your loving son Arthur
Aberdeen 6th August 1895
My dear Father,
We are just having a lovely feast of plums nice big ones. The letters I write to you are for Mother to. I do wish I had a bicycle of my own, do give me one. Yesterday Edith, Kat and I went and picket a lot of wild rasps, near the quarries, and we stewed them for tea. Once I saw an explosion in the quarries. The stones went up ever so high in the air. Good bye Dear Pater and Mater Your loving son Arthur Giles
ORIGINAL STORY 11 Aug 1895
LOST AND FOUND
She is always away at the public house said a poor boy the son of a widow, she had had two husbands, the first was a cruel harsh man and very soon made her love drink, the second was a better man and tried to prevent her from drinking but he had not time to do it for he died in a few months. The boy had been out all day in the rain, and
was dripping wet, when he came home he found there was no fire lit and everything was the same as in the morning, what was that squeeling noise. He went up to his mother's room, his mother wasn't there but in one of the darkest corners he found a little baby. He called her Gip because she was like a little gipsey. He hunted up and down the house to find his mother but she was gone. In the store cupboard he found a bit of bread which lasted for some time. The next day little Gip was gone too. Tom that was the boy's name, went out to search for her he went on and on and very soon found he had lost his way so he sat down and began thinking what he should do. As he looked about him he saw a boy a bit bigger than him was looking about for something. Tom went up to him and asked what he was looking for he said he had dropped a sixpence. Tom began to look for it and soon found it then told him he was lost. The other boy asked Tom if he would like to come home with live with his mother. Tom said yes. After he had been there for some time his new mother told him if he could find Gip, Gip could stay with them. In a few weeks Mrs. Demmac (that was his new mother's name) asked him why he looked so happy, he said why I have lost Gip and I've found her.
Aberdeen - August 18 1895
My dear Father and Mother
Yesterday was Mabel's birthday she got a little gold pencil from Uncle Herbert and four silver bangles from Aunt Mina and a lot of other presents. There are two little flys on the table very close to me and I am going to smack them dead because they are such a nuisance is not that a very interesting peace of news. There is a stork in the fountain at Victoria Park. It is dreadfully hot here just now and makes me feel very sleepy. Now I must say good bye love to all from your loving son Arthur
Aberdeen - August 25 1895
My dear Father
Val has made a hooker with a lot of tubes and lies down in bed and smokes it. We are just going to have a lovely feast of sweats so I am going to finish my letter as fast as I can. Edith and Kat are crazy on smoking … Val and Lionel have just been wrighting on my collar. I went to play with a little boy called Arthur. We played football and cricket. I found a penknife the other day in the road it was rusty but I cleaned it up with oil. When is Marion going to be married? Mind you give her my best love. Now I must say good bye from Arthur. P.S. How is Mother getting on give her my love.
3 Queens Gardens, Aberdeen Oct 5 1895
Yesterday I went to a bazaar and enjoyed it very much. I spent most of my money in rafling and did not get anything, that was the Nasty Part of it. Can I learn skating in the winter. I suppose I can I don't see anything that can prevent me. We have a holiday each bank holiday at Gordons. I think that is very nice don't you. I am watching Mabel trimming her hat and cant think of anything to say. Edith is peering
About to see what I have put in my letter but I wont let her. Are Marion's dogs all right. Now I have got no more to say except to all Mother especially from your loving son Arthur. P.S. Edith does not want to be inquisitive. She says she tried to look in my letter for fun.
3 Queens Gardens, Aberdeen October 20th 1895
Dear Mother and Father
I have taken a great liking to football I played it for houres and houres one evening with some other chaps. I have a great friend Mamed Anderson who I walk home with every day for he goes the same way as I do but a little further. There is one boy in my class who is an awful baby he cries at everything. I should like to learn to shoot very much when you come home. Please tell Raymond that Lance saw on one of the desks of the university R. Giles carved with a knife. We have electric light at Gordons when it is dark. Now I must really say good bye from your loving son Arthur. P.S. Mabel says she would be very pleased to have some Indian stamps.
3 Queens Gardens, Aberdeen Oct 27 1895
I cant possibly think who spelt those words wrong one of the smallest baby's at Gordons would have known how to spell them. I would spell them like this "grammar" "bridesmaids" "marriage" "yesterday" "cigarette" (does) that's how I would spell them. Last night I went out to see the students torch-light procession and got a lot of little bags full of peas-meal to throw at them. They waved about their torches and didn't like it at all. I thought it was great fun. When are you coming home you wicked naughty manikin come directly or I shall have to be very severe with you. Now I must say good bye love to all from your affectionate son Arthur. P.S. I would like to know what Ray is going to be.
3 Queens Gardens, Aberdeen 3 Nov 1895
What a dreadful lot Dolly and Madeline got through at Aunties Wedding. Nearly as much as Ray would have taken. Dolly is far too fat to eat any more for a Month. Edith thanks you very much for the crests it is Edith that is collecting not Mabel. I have got nothing to say except I wish Ray had come in first in the face and got a butter dish, rather silly prizes eh. I come back on the step of the tram every day from Gordons and I don't have to pay. Uncle Herbert gives us a sum to do every one day in the week; he is going to give us one today. Send my love to every single body that I have heard of that is in India Wallace to. I mean to do better in record card next time. Now I have no more to say except good bye from your loving son Arthur. P.S. Now I must do my sums.
Aberdeen l7th Nov 1895
Dear Father and Mother
I am very fond of foot-ball and cricket and all other games like that … I
would not be afraid to fire off a rifle or a gun or anything of that kind that I know of. Kathleen has had a very bad cold and was not allowed to go out for some time. I don't often catch colds am I not lucky. I really cant think of anything to say and I am in a dreadful hurry. I like Gordons very much. I often wish I was there on a rainy Saturday. Today it is very fine and I want to go out but I cant leave this letter because you wrote to me. Please thank Marion for the crests she sent they were very nice. Uncle Herbert has given us all a sum to do and I am trying to do it right. Now I have no more to say so good bye from your son Arthur
3 Queens Gardens, Aberdeen 24.11.1895
Dear Father and Mother
My great chum at Gordons is a boy named Anderson. He is the jollyist boy I ever came across. Yesterday after tea Lance wanted some books for college so I went down to buy them for him, the shop is a long way off but lo and behold when I got there the shop was shut, and Lance was very dispirited. Thank Marion very much for her letter. How nice it will be when Dolly and Madeline come here I want to see them so much. I really cant think of anything to say there is no news this letter will be very drole I am sure but I cant help it. Give my love to all Marion Amy Ray Mother and yourself. So good bye from your loving son Arthur Giles. P.S. When are you coming home. I was trying to write like Uncle Herbert with Big dashes.
3 Queens Gardens, Aberdeen 1.12.1895
Dear Father and Mother
I have not got much news to say but I may be able to scratch up a little. It has been very rainy lately and I have not been able to get out except to go to Gordons. I was asked to a party but I don't want to go because it is on the same night as ours. I am learning to play chess and like it very much. I really am quite tired of thinking of things to say. Give my love to all as I shall soon say good bye but if I say it now it will be to soon. There is not much frost now and I doubt if there will be any skating. I really cant think of anything to say so I am getting into a scribble. Now good bye
love to all from your loving son Arthur Amen. Please excuse this blot
Aberdeen 15th Dec
Next week it is the Christmas Holidays we have 18 days. For the summer Holidays we have 7 weeks, for Easter we have a week. Kathleen is writing to thank you for the bangles Mother sent her. They are very pretty. Val has been very ill at Woolwich and had to do his exam in bed so he has not got a very good chance of passing. Has Ray passed his exam I hope he has. I have to look forward to two partys the Murrays and our own. Please excuse these blots, the table is rather shaky. Now good bye from your loving son Arthur Giles. Excuse this blot it was there before I began.
3 Queens Gardens Aberdeen 1895
A few days ago the Christmas holidays began. I am very delighted. Tomorrow I am going to the Pantomime with Lance and Val in the evening (it is Blue Beard). Kathleen has been to the Pantomime already with some friends of hers in the afternoon. So Marion is going to be married soon. How does she like it. I can scarcely get through my letter because a friend of mine has come home from school and I am so much taken up with talking to her. Now good bye from your loving son ARTHUR
P.S. When Marion is married will she come home from India
3 Queens Gardens, Aberdeen 1895
I am very glad to here that I did not make any errors in your last letter from me. Madeline and Dolly enjoyed Charley's Aunt very much as far as I know. I liked Blue Beard very much indeed it was great fun. Lance has only just come down to his breakfast and it is a quarter past nine awfully late is he not. We have not had scarcely any ice yet it is a most remarkably warm winter. I thought we were going to have a great many hard frosts from what I heard of Aberdeen being so cold. Now good bye love to all from your loving son Arthur Giles
3 Queens Gardens Aberdeen 1895
I forgot to write to you this morning so I do it this afternoon. Dollie and Madcap have been learning the bicycle just now. Next Wednesday I am going to a party with Edith and Kath. We have not had any skating this winter. I hope we shall later on. I cant think of anything to say to you. Please excuse the writing of my letter or rather scribble but the boys are making an awful row. Please excuse the smudge at the end of the letter I did not notice it till now. Now good bye from your loving son Arthur.
P.S. How old is Mr. Troler Father
No address or date
It is very nice at Aberdeen. Uncle H says that every body has to eat a lot that stays in his house. Please not to mind my writing as I have a very bad nib. My toe nails are getting better now but are still very nasty. I can not say very much as I have to go out. I like them all here very much. I cant think of anymore to say so now good bye from your darling loveing Arthur. Amen
Aberdeen 19th Jan 1896
Thank you very much for your last letter. Yesterday Dollie and Mad went away. a (I mean this for a capital) little time after I came to Aberdeen we (I mean by we Edith Mabel Kathleen and I) became mad on bicycling at last Edith made Uncle Herbert Promise to give them a bicycle if Vall passed his exam at Wolich and Vall has Past so now he has got to buy them one. My record is a bit better than last time. I have not been very well lately and have been in bed. Now I must say Good bye from your loving son Arthur P.S. Isn't funny how just after Ray Passed Val Passed.
Aberdeen 23 Feb 1896
Yesterday Lance went to a conversazione and did not come back till twelve. It is getting colder just now there are a great many cold winds but I Don't think it will last long. I think the summer holidays will begin about 22nd July but I have not the slightest idea. Kathleen and I had dinner alone last Night because everybody else was out. Uncle Herbert was at his Chess Club. Mabel and Edith were out to tea and supper. Lance was at conversazione as I told you before, and Aunt Mina (Elise) was at a reading club where they read any piece they liked out of Shakespear, Aunt Mina said it was awfully dry. You can tell Marion that I don't waste my time to send her any Congratulations on her Marriage. I hope she likes my Brother in law. I should very much like to see a photo of the Married Couple. Now good bye from your loving son Arthur H. Giles esq.
Aberdeen 15 March 1896
I have been asking everybody what to say to you and nobody knows, so all I have to say is that Uncle Herbert read me a lovely Poem called THE OLD WOMAN OF BERKELEY. A boy at school gave me a ticket for a concert yesterday so I am going. I did not expect he would give it to me Our Master at school once spelt yesterday like this (Yesturday) that is wrong is it not. Lance is working hard to pass his exam and so am I Lance stays up nearly the whole Night working. It is very windy just now and is very cold. The other night we had some girls in to dinner and afterwards we Played Up Jenkins. Uncle Herbert played also. Now I must say Good Bye from your loving son Arthur Giles. P.S. Kat and I have got a lot of plants which we call our greenhouse.
3 Queens Gardens, Aberdeen 22 March 1896
Kathleen, Edith and Mabel have got a Bicycle. Uncle H gave it to them. Isn't it jolly for them to go and ride about when ever they like. I bought a foot-ball the other day and have had lovely fun with it. In the next week the Easter Holidays will begin and I shall be out all day if it does not rain. Today it is lovely out and I expect to have a fine time. I am very angry because I don't know what to say. I am going to say Good Bye in a minute. But I will say this first I am almost sure that my summer holidays will begin on the 22nd of June not July on the 22 of June. Now Good Bye From your loving Son Arthur Giles.
Aberdeen 29 March 1896
Yesterday I Kat and Lance went to a Pantomime it was Aladdin and the wonderful Lamp it was very nice. I am only writing a half sheet today because I have just written to Gran. It is a lovely day but it is to hot. I am just grilling and will soon be roasted and will soon have to say Good Bye. I have got a foot-ball and have lovely fun with it. Now I must say Good Bye from your loving son Arthur Giles
Aberdeen 3 Queens Gdns 1896
This week for homework I have to draw a map of Scotland. It is just like Summer here now but it is not yet Spring. How does Marion like her new home is it a large house. I suppose Marion is very pleased to have Amy with her as it might be rather dull. How is Mother. Send her my best love. Excuse me but I always begin to scribble in my letter to you I always forget what I am doing. It is Saturday today and I want to get out that is the reason why my letter is not so good as always. And another reason why it is not so good is because I haven't anything to say that you would care for. Now I must say GoodBye from your affectionate Son Arthur Giles. Amen so be it
3 Queens Gardens Aberdeen 1896
Edith and Mabel were acting in some theatricals at Silver St Hall for the organ fund of a Church Lance Kathleen and I went to see it. I have been writing rather crooked I don't know why. Yesterday I had to draw a map of England for our Master at Gordons. Is Mr. Troter an Englishman and Indian a Frenchman or an Italian. Please to tell me which. We have just been putting the dining-room in order and there is a lot of dust about all over the room its an awful nuisance. This week is a horrid week because there is no news to tell. Edith is cleaning out her desk and she says she likes doing it a thing I would never take the trouble to do. Please to excuse this smudge you can see it was done with my finger. Now I must say Good bye Love to all from your affec. Son Arthur Giles
3 Queens Gardens, Aberdeen 1896
Dear Father and Mother
My Easter Holidays will soon be over and I shall go back to Gordons. HURR AY,
Mother is coming home soon and so are you and then and then I shall go once more to Churchill Court. Today is Easter Sunday and two days ago was Good Friday and had hot cross buns. Kathleen went to tea the other day and brought home a lot of flowers she had picked. We have been having most lovely days lately it seems to have been because of my Easter holidays I really don't know. I shall never forget the way you taught me to swim at Bath. When you come home of course you will learn to ride the bicycle as everyone is mad on it. Now Good Bye from your affec.son Arthur Giles.
Aberdeen 12 April 1896
By the time you get this letter Mother will have started for England I believe. You will start for Churchill a little after Mother I suppose. It has just been hailing so much that I couldn't get out so I thought I would begin to write to you so here goes. Please to tell me Marion's address she wrote to me and didn't put her whole address so I have not been able to answer her. Has Ray got any moustach yet, Lance has and is very proud of it, he twists it and pulls it and tries to make it grow but he cant do it and we all laugh at him, (he grows very red). When we laugh at him Mabel Edith and
Kathleen are giving their bike a grand cleaning polishing, shining, rubbing, and now it looks as good as new and I think it very nearly is. I have to go out in a minute so now I will be say Good Bye from your loving son Arthur Giles Esq Amen.
3 Queens Gdns Aberdeen 19 April 1896
Yesterday I went to the Grammar School to see the Athletic Sports. There were all kinds of races. There was an obstacle race in which they had to pass under a cloth tacked to the ground when they went under this you could near them talking to each other and fighting who would get out first, the last man who had to pass under this cloth was so fat that he bust it. I have nothing else to tell you except the sports and I am tired of telling about them. Is'nt it a pity I cannot try for a bursary at Gordons. I am very sorry I cannot try I should like to try. Now Good bye from your loving son Arthur H. Giles
3 Queens Gdns Aberdeen 27 April 1896
Yesterday I went to see a cricket Match, and when I was looking about I saw a real balloon high up in the air beneath it hung a parachute and holding on to the parachute was a real lady when she had gone an awful height she pulled a string to let the gas out of the balloon then she unhooked the parachute from the balloon and the latter came down like a large umbrellar with the woman hanging from it by one hand, the balloon was left to come down by itself when the gas had gone out of it. You asked me if I would like Mother to bring me some native made sailor suits. Well Mother can bring me home some but while you are packing up the parcel you may as well put in with the suits a gold watch and chain and a ball bearing bicycle. I cant get on a bike very well because all the ones in Aberdeen are a little too large but the ones in London you can get all sizes. Now I think I must say Good Bye from your loving son Arthur H. Giles esq. Don't chaff me again on sailor suits I am too cunning.
3 Queens Gardens Aberdeen 11 June 1896
Yesterday I went for a little trip to a little country village by the sea with some friends. We played hide and seek on and about the boats went and looked at a lot of little fish that were swimming about in pools among the rocks. Raymond must be disappointed to hear that he cant go home for his holidays just because of his drill. Amy will be sorry wont she. Val and Lionel are coming here next week for their holidays. Mine begin on the 24 July I shall be very happy when they come. Gran is very ill just now and so is Kathleen she is not very well. What kind of dog is trilby. There are a lot of grand cricket matches against W.G. GRACE. Kat and I go into the garden every Sunday morn and look after our plants. Now dear Father I have no more to say, love to all from your affec. Son A.H. Giles
Aberdeen 16th June
Do you no that I write to you every week is not that good me of so please to send some Indian stamps to me nice old ones if you can get them. We made a bonfire under a wasp's next yesterday to try to get rid of them but could not so we sent a lot of water at them with the hose pipe then they few out of the nest in such a rage and we ran away. Now I have no more to say so goodbye from Arthur
3 Queens Gdns Aberdeen 21st June 1896
Many happy returns of the day, I know it is your birthday because it is on the longest day in the year, is it not. I hope you have found Trilby, is he or she a nice dog. My holidays begin in 3 more days, that is on the 24th May (?), a Wednesday. Lionel is coming home from Oxford today, and I am going to the station to meet him. I hope I shall get some prizes from Gordons College don't you. We had a thunder and lightning storm the other day, it has not been very nice since. I am taking in a magazine and when I have got 31 numbers it will be complete and I shall have it bound. Yesterday I went for a row in a boat, the Father of a boy at Gordon College took me it was lovely fun. I shall be going to the baths soon, by the time this letter reaches you, I shall have gone. I am going to try bathing in the sea this year, I think I shall like it better than at the baths. Now I must say Good bye love to all, your affec. Son A.H.Giles
3 Queens Gardens, Aberdeen 28th June 1896
At last prize day has come, I got 2 prizes. 1st recitation 1st reading, but you only get one book, mine was Robinson Crusoe. It is a large book with more than 1 hundred pages, it's cover is red cloth. The Lord Provost of Aberdeen gave us our prizes, directly he came into the room there was a lot of cheering. My record card is much the same as last term, because this term there was such a bustle and fuss about holidays and prizes that we could not do much. Our holidays end on the 25 August. It is very hot just now. I have got on very thin clothes yet I feel the heat tremendously. I have just got my hair cut and my head is quite bald. Oh ha how hot I am I shall soon be roasted or grilled. I can assure you Val is still a little ill and Kathleen is nearly well, she can't go out after supper. We I mean Kat and I, planted some seeds we thought they would come up weeds but they have come up pretty little flowers. Kathleen and I are going to try and weed the garden but it will be a great deal of hard work before we get it done if we ever do. Now it is time to go out so good bye from your loving son A.H. Giles
P.S give my love to all, if you have found trilly give my love to him also.
3 Queens Gardens Aberdeen 6th July 1896
I hear that Father is coming home soon and then going back to India again and then coming back for good. When will you come home? 2 weeks of my holiday have passed but I have 6 and a half weeks left. I am going to the baths some time this week if it is warm. I hope it will be. I have been playing cricket with the boys a great deal, it is fine fun. Do men or boys play cricket in India. I suppose it is too hot. My prize at Gordons College is very nice indeed and very nicely bound. I hope Father's beard has grown. Marion made him shave it. I think by the time you get this letter Father will have started to come home. What is Raymond going to be when he is a man. I cant find out. It is very hot today. I feel it tremendously, the others don't seem to so much as I do. The girls seems to be rather tired of their bicycle. Now I must say good bye love to all from your affectionate son A.H.Giles P.S. We have a lot of sweet peas in the garden.
3 Queens Gardens, Aberdeen - 9th August 1896
The name of the prize I got, you say you do not know it, is Robinson Crusoe. In your last letter you asked me if there was one or two in double barrelled, there are two I just found out in my dictation. Now about the gun or watch I think I should wait till I can see you, you see if I am going to a place where I can't use it I would rather have the watch, if I go to a place where I can use it I would far rather have the gun. My holidays end on the 25 August. Comming is certainly a very funny word, it is a new word, I suppose you made it up. Now good bye from Arthur. I write you a short note because I write to Mother. I forgot to say Thank you for the gun or watch.
In 1896 Arthur was sent to a private boarding school in Weston Super Mare. He later became a day boy which he much preferred. His sisters Dorothy (Doll) and Madeline were already at Mrs Fry's boarding school in Weston Super Mare.
No address or date perhaps Weston Super Mare 1896
I like the school pretty well sometimes I feel as if I hate it and will write and tell you that I loth it. I don't like it half as well as Gordons, all the boys are here now. The food we have is rather nice plum tart is a common thing. Mrs. Duckworth is very nice.
I can't find my prayer book anywhere I must have left it behind please send it on. I do so want mother to come home and then I will be a day boarder, the boys who are not day boarders have to learn a chapter of the bible so as to answer any questions on Sunday. The church that a boy told us was not Christ Church perhaps was wrong because a boy told me it was Christ Church. We go there. Can Vic find biscuit when it is hidden properly. Now good bye love to all from Arthur
No address or date
It is Sunday afternoon. We generally go out for a walk but we cant today because it is raining hard. I want next summer to come and then I shall see the old rifle again. I should think the duck pond would be nearly full of water with this hard rain. Have you had much rain. I have not seen Doll or Mad yet but expect to see them soon. When shall I see Marion, Amy and Ray again (then living in India). We are taught uclid, just what you taught me at Churchill after supper. Laura told me that … could find buiscuit quite well. I have got my eton suit but not my tall hat. Yesterday we were taught chemistry it was lovely fun. I like our lessons awfully here somehow. Madeline told me she shook hands with you when the two trains passed. Our masters are all very nice. It was rather strange at first but that has all passed away. Now good bye for just now perhaps I shall write some more soon. Arthur
No address or date
I am getting on all right it was not a shirt that was missing but my prayer book. I am in the 3 class. We have a half holiday on Wednesday and on Saturday. The day boys have to come on Wednesday and Saturday to play football. The boys call you a policeman and a pigsticker. My prayer book is not in the church. I do so want to see Doll and Mad. I am in the second form for latin because I have not done much before. We learn Greek. Thank Laura for her letter as well as Doll. Now good bye from Arthur. I just got your postcard. I have not got my prayer book. I know nothing about the shirt.
No address or date
I am all right and happy, do come home soon, did you receive my last letter. We went out for a walk yesterday it was awfully windy. The sheets and pillow cases and socks are all right. My walnuts are getting mouldy. I am in the third class. I do so want mother to come. The Books you have to buy me will amount to about 4/-. I no more to say so good bye from Arthur. Mrs. D only teaches us botany. I met the girls at Hunlles(?) We had great fun.
No address or date
I have not been asked to Mrs. Frys yet. We have just been playing football but it is awfully wet. Are you having a good time. I am longing to see Doll and Mad I saw a school passing as I was playing and two girls like Doll and Mad, I do not know if it was them. I waved my cap to them. I had a lovely time with Aunt Ellen, Laura and Mad and Doll when they came to Weston. Laura bought me some sweets. When I say my walnuts are getting mouldy I don't mean that I eat them all myself but give to others as well, they are nearly all done now. Good bye from Arthur
P.S. (on the other side) I just found out that I have more time to write but I don't know what to say. When mother comes home, are we going to stay in Weston for the holidays or go to Churchill. The boys play conquerors a great deal one boy has a chestnut conqueror of 325(?), is not it a good one. Please send Mother home soon. Our Master often says that I and two other boys are best in the class. The master that stays in the house I stay in is awfully nice, he has a dog and he names it Peter after St. Peter's school.
Weston super Mare - 4th November 1896
Just look what a funny way I have made my D for Dear I mus
t have thought that I was making a B this is the only paper I have got here at present a boy gave it to me. I think that the school breaks up on the 18 December there are only 7 more weeks next Wednesday exactly. The school is awfully nice. The other day as I was going to play football I met Doll and Mad and the rest of their school. They were out for a walk. It is a long time since I first began this letter. Tomorrow is the 5 of November. Mr. Duckworth gives us a half holiday and do no preparation. In the evening he takes the whole school down to see a torch light procession of course there are lots of fireworks, it goes once round the town. After that an enormous bonfire is lit on the sands the fire-men make it I think. It is very nice of him to take us to see it. When I
see Doll and Mad next I will ask them if they have been to the dentist if not they must remind Mrs. Fry I think it is only Doll that needs to go. It is getting cold now, I have just begun to wear a few warmer clothes. My watch is awfully useful and keeps perfect time. I wrote to Aunt Isabella and Aunt Ellen, they both wrote back, Aunt Isabella sent me six penny stamps wasn't it kind of her, Aunt Ellen sent me two penny stamps and some 2 1/2d. to write to you with. I wrote to Laura and she sent me some envelopes to write with. I am writing to uncle Herbert. In my next letter I will enclose a letter for Ray and for Amy. Perhaps I will in this one. I just found out that we break up on the l9th Dec for certain. What a lot of corrections I have made. Now Good bye special love to Amy for her wedding and a colder love for the rest except yourself and Mother, I don't suppose she will be with you Arthur All the boys go by my watch and by no one elses if I am near. It is an awfully good timekeeper
Weston super Mare 1896
I hope you have fine weather. It is rather rainy here. I like the school very much. Mr. Duckworth is going to get a new master and have a lower 4 class which will be a upper third as well, some of the boys in the third class are going into the lower fourth. I am one of them and some of the boys in the 4 class are going down into the lower 4. Will you let me learn carpentering next term there is a house where the boys learn not all of them, a carpenter teaches them. I think it is too late to begin to learn this term.
Mother will soon be home what fun. I have been to tea once as yet to Mrs. Fry's. Last Sunday Cousin Giny Francis and Mrs. Drake came here to ask if I could go to tea, Mrs. Duckworth said yes. Francis has come from Cleavedon he is at school there. Cousin Giny and Mrs. Drake came for a little trip, Francis came to Weston because his mother was here. We all went to see Doll and Mad, we saw them but not for long. This is the first time I have written to you on notepaper. I like all the masters very much. What was Amy's wedding like? I hope mother will come to see Doll Mad and me before she goes to Southampton. The holidays will be pretty near when this letter reaches you. My watch keeps perfect time it never sticks like it used to I never forget to wind it. Laura has just sent me some more stamped envelopes I have only one more stamped envelope that I can send to India. I wrote to Laura and told her. The old dog Idris is quite blind Laura wrote and told me. I am writing this in pencil because I can do it quicker. On Sunday evening which is today, Mrs. Duckworth has all the fourth and third form boys up in the dining room and she reads to us, some stories are awfully nice stories. It is awfully cold this morning. Now Good bye from Arthur. I am going to write to Aunt Isabella and Aunt Ellen and Uncle Herbert. We have splendid baths every Saturday night. I hope to see Doll and Mad again soon.
6 Jan 1897 Churchill Court, Churchill
Lexie came over here to spend the day, Laura, Doll and Mad went to meet him at the station. Mother wanted to take us to some plays at Wrinkton, so she consulted Mrs. Jose who said that she was sure we could get no seats or flys as they had all been snatched up. But Mrs. Jose said that Winnie was acting at some tableau vivants at Banwell on Monday so we shall have plenty of time to get tickets and fly, and as Winnie is going to a rehersal on Friday Mrs. Jose says she will get our tickets for us. Dolly the pony will eat bread and sugar out of our hands, she was awfully frightened of us before, and if we go in the paddock she will follow us all over the field. Brown is making the garden very nice now. GJ? gave me five shillings at xmas all the money I got altogether was nine shillings or eight shillings and sixpence. Lexie is coming here again next Wednesday. I shall soon be back again at Weston with Mr. D. Dollie is mad on you bringing back some bannanas and mangoes, although Mother told her that you could not bring back any mangoes. The dormer windows look awfully nice and the attics are splendid so is the bathroom but it is rather small. I help to chop the wood for the fire. I like the photos that mother had very much, it is a pity that the wedding cake came out so large, but it could not be helped. We met Walter Jose at Bristol when we came here from Shirley he said he was going to play at a hockey match at Winscombe. Now Good bye love from Nimrod your son Arthur.
Nimrod is an actor at the theatre we went to at GP, which Doll likes very much.
7 Victoria buildings Weston super Mare - 20th Jan1897?
I went back to school today and I have been moved up to the 4 form. Uncle Knightly has presented us with his girls bicycle, they are tired of it, and when we got it we found awfully dirty and covered over with a mouldy green stuff, we rubbed it with bicycle oil and now it has all come off and shining. The Dormer windows are a great improvement and Bose? has divided the rooms very nicely but we think the bathroom rather small. We play foot-ball every afternoon. My watch is all right as yet I think Laura is reading us the days of Bruce it is very nice have you ever read it. My greatest friend Thomas has passed for the Navy, he is fifteen. We all want to go to London for the Easter Holidays if you are home in time lets all go (Mrs. Anderson) it wont be long before we go away for our Easter Holidays the time seems to pass so much sooner when we are day boys. Now good bye from your affec. Son Arthur
Dolly particularly wants you to bring home some green Bananas.
No date or address
Yesterday as I was going to play football I met Laura, she had come by train with Winnefred Jose and had gone to Mrs. Fry to ask of Doll and Mad could go out with her. Mrs. Fry said yes, another girl, a friend of Dolls came too. I was awfully surprised, they were coming to ask if I could go out with them. Just then one of our masters passed by and I asked him if I could go down town with them he said I could so Doll and I ran on in front of the rest so that I could get to my room to change from my football clothes without keeping the rest of them waiting. Doll thinks my room a very nice one. Well we all went down town and Laura bought us all some sweets wasn't it nice of her, she got us some apples as well. We had tea at Huntleys. After tea we took Doll and Mad back to Mrs. Frys and I went down to the station to see Laura and Winne off in the train. Thanks awfully for taking me to some of the best amusements in Weston. I will make friends of the best boys. I am very happy. I have been to tea to Mrs. Frys. Arthur
No date or address
I went to tea to Mrs. Fry the other day, I met her in the garden, she took me in and called Mad and Doll. Mad, Doll and I had tea alone. We had Doll's birthday cake. I only saw two or three of the other girls. I am in the fourth form for arithmetic. Will Mother come into Weston for a day I hope she will. I don't seem to meet Dol and Mad out for walks but I will in the winter because I heard Mrs. Fry say that their walk should be that way. Mrs. Fry gave Doll Mad and me some sweets. I am very happy here just now and hope to continue so. We play football a great deal, I must say nearly every afternoon. Mrs. Duckworth only teaches the fourth form botany. I have not got into a row yet and hope not to. The other day one of the stupid boys did not know how you got two from twelve. I like chemistry very much. The boys are just asking me the time all round my watch is very useful the hands never stick now it keeps perfect time. Good bye from Arthur.
I have just been having a game of football. It is a pity that you will not be home till a week before the end of the easter holidays. I have just bought a big coconut. I send you that paper to look at. Doll and I like it awfully but Mother says it is disgusting, please send it to Ray when you next write. Mother says I can go in for the sports, she will have to pay 5/-, we get lovely prizes but I don't expect I shall get any, all the boys are awfully good runners. The time seems to pass awfully fast when I am a day boy. Ashley our old coachman (I suppose you remember him) he is married and is living in Weston, I saw him the other day, and he showed me about his house, he inquired about you and Ray and hoped you were not in the part where the famine is, he is coachman at a house in South Road near the school. I have just heard that our holidays begins on the 9th April a week before Dolls and Mads. Five girls at Doll's school have got measles and at our school most of the boys have got them. It was Auntie's birthday last Sunday and we all gave her some flowers. Mother gave some lilies of the valley, Laura some narcissus Dolly and Mad some violets white and blue, and me some violets. Now Good Bye from Arthur. Send my returns of the birthday to Ray.
Arthur and Madeline spent a few months in Paris from August 1900 to improve their French.
Paris - August 1900
Dear Father and Mother,
I've arrived at Paris. After I had left St. Malo station, M.Pallot telegraphed to Madame and told her when I would arrive at Paris, which was a half past 5. But as Wednesday was a fete day excursion trains were run on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, and so I got in to Paris at 4 o'clock, much earlier than I would have ordinarily, and so no one was at the station to meet me. I looked for my box in the room where everybody elses were but couldn't find mine, so I took a fly and drove
with my bag and fishing rod to 43. When I went in I knocked at all the doors on all the flats and at last found Madame, M. Madmoiselle and Edmund (Arthur's cousin, who emigrated to NZ at age of 15 with his younger brother) in the drawing room. Edmund and Madmoiselle were just going to start to meet me. As I hadn't paid the cabman, and he was at the door, Edmund and Madmoiselle went back in it to the station and after a long time found my box and drove back here with it. It's jolly here, but I don't like the way Madame does lessons. She's awfully funny, every day they are at different times. We went to Sevres yesterday and saw a lot of china vases and nothing else. We were told we were going to see glass-blowing. Edmund came with us. We have also been to the Exhibition and went on the moving platform and all round the show and the Rue des Nations. I think I shall send some films home tomorrow. They are St. Servan photos. I also have some of both St. Servan and Paris. On Wednesday there was a procession at St. Servan and I went to see it. It was rotten, only a lot of priests, confirmed kids, crucifixes and any amount of statues of the Virgin Mary. There was also a regatta etc. on last Sunday. The fruit here is very cheap and Madame always has a lot of peaches but they are quite tasteless. Its awfully hot here today and was frightful in church. A bridge fell in at the Exhibition yesterday and
killed and injured tons of people. It's jolly here except when we go for sticky stuck up
walks in the Bois. Edmund is coming to dinner tonight. Fatima. I've got a coyn for zu
It's Brazilian, 100 reis, silver and bronze or zummat mixed. The Hoyfro? On my Etons has turned to adult brown. Madame has been jawing M about the dress.
For Dollie - Tell me about Maz 'ow be you agettin' on Miss Dollie, wishin you plenty o' appiness. I speck mi offerin to Miss Larra ul make a sparke o color on her table o weddin' gifts. O well now do ee look at Tarfy, that be 'ow I do like to bee un. Me eyes be summat drefful chramie bad this marrin' Miss Dollie, o ginger welly now 'ow be you. As I waz sayin' Miss Dollie the cold in me eyes be drefful bad, it do run a sort of run all through me 'ead and right up to the brain. Tarfy 'e bin an broke down arl the calliflowers in the gardin. I must stop to you now methinks with respectful regads, yars ever forthfully Mistress Packatoo ----
Two American girls below us don't know how to pronounce any words in French and so spoke them as they would ordinarily. They asked their way to Champs de Mars and for Vin Rouge. We are going for a sticky walk soon I think. I want to know what the Chaplain at St. Servan said about the College Principal. Ask Dollie if she and Bush will have any "Printemps" soup? How are the Prims? Taffy wants to be short like a poodle, a la Edmund. Has Ginger's hair grown or is he still like a rabbit. Kiss him and comb him and brush him and the same to un autre homme. My crayon has broken. Bye Bye Arthur.
Westwood - 21st August 1900
Dear Father and Mother,
We went to the exhibition on Friday last and went into a large ship and had a cup of Menier chocolate for nothing. It was lovely and made with cream, but there was an awful squash to get in. We also saw a whole lot of different engines working and went into the Salle des Illusions. It was a large octagon shape made of plate glass and electric lights were switched on, and then changed colours and you thought you could see for miles, because of the reflection and suddenly bumped into a large sheet of glass. This is not the same one as Dollie went to. On Thursday we went to the Louvre and up the Tafus Boulant. Bella (Isabella) wrote to Mad about her birthday present and then put "what did I send to Arthur"? Haha! We play Loto with Madame very often and only about once in 6 times is there any winning to the game, I cant see any fun in playing a game if there is no winning. Went for a stuck up walk in the Bois yesterday and saw lots of Exhib: balloons floating about. I want to go in for a sort of raffle at the Exhib, so does Mad and Madmoiselle. You buy a ticket and put your ticket in a slot and draw. Then you get a number and take that to a person who gives you the thing that has your number. You always get your money's worth; though it may be a very funny thing, and you may get awfully good things. Lots of people have got grand pianos and automobiles, and others land, and any amount of bicycles, and tickets to go up the Eiffel Tower and see lots of paying things at the Exhib. Ladies get 10 fur and feather boas and 4 dresses to be made at some swag dressmaker in the town and 4 watch springs or Clara Butt? or sands's. You asked what Mad.looked like. Well alright but 1 haunch higher that t'other and looks rather lanky at first, but I suppose that will go off. She does her hair right on the top of her head and pulled up straight behind you know? We are now going to the Jardin D'acclamitations or …? or other. I've got a runny place on my left little finger. I think it is a spider bite, it is horrid, swollen and shiny. Madame says it is gout. Are the pears ripe yet and the tomatoes and broccolis. I forgot to tell you that Mrs. Hopkins got a letter from her daughter in India describing Hornet's wedding. She told me that Jacky wore a top hat. I've just found my fountain pen in the possession of Miss M. Giles. Yesterday after supper we went out with Madame and the Exhibition was all lit up and Madame walked right up to the gate and then went away again, we were awfully angry. I should like my other coat sent, it isn't cold now but may be soon as it blows and rains, but is better today. Mad bought Madame a rose tree which is put with the rest of her plantation. Madmoiselle's brother came to tea the other day and wanted to go to New Zealand for farming, so Madame asked him to stay to supper as Edmund was coming, and then asked Edmund if he could do anything for him, but Edmund only said "well when he has thought about it, he can write and tell me, and then I'll see if I can help him." Are Mrs. Anderson's films coming as heaps of Exhibition things must be taken. She might send the tin as I can buy them here and that would save the postage. Madame's got two people to tea and we are going to be shown to them as freaks but they mustn't touch us! I don't know what to say now and must write to "Watchspring" so good bye form Arthur
P.S. Brioshes (how do you spell it?) for tea.
Paris - 2 September 1900
Dear Father and Mother,
This morning Madame said to us "do you always go to church when you are at home". I said I never go and Mad said sometimes, so Madame said then you need'nt go and can go to the Jardin D'acclam: so we went and saw the balloon, but Madame wouldn't let us go up in it. We saw all the animals however and one jolly white parrot started talking to us and called us cookooes or rather himself a cookoo and then said "talk to cookoo" so we did and when we went away he said "au revoir". I picked a lot of feathers out of the birds out of the cages I mean, some are awfully pretty, Mad has just bagged the two best peacock shes over which I bust their cage and bust the skin on my hand. She's sneaking them away now. We saw a lovely giraff too. The monkeys were darlings and we gave them acorns which they loved.
Madame has got a book in which Laura has written some verses, she's carefully pasted a picture over the ones L wrote. We went to the proper Louvre the other day and saw the pictures and people copying them. Some were huge and some awfully pretty. I's like to give something to Horn for wedding. You might get it, then I'd draw for it with Laura's. She's a lucky one to get a watch, isn't Auntie I (Isabella) going to give her Uncle William's one when she's 21. Mad says she thinks so. Tell Fatima I want an allied cockatoo and Annie letter? I believe Madame is going to take us to the Exhib. Tonight as it is illuminated, but she's sure to want a long time to think over it. You asked about rowing, well Madame would go mad if I asked her. I want to fish in the river as heaps of people do, but I don't like asking her as I asked if I could post a letter, the box is just over the road, and she said who's going to post it for you, you certainly won't go over there by yourself. She's been rather snappy. Yesterday as a great friend of hers a cousin died and she wasn't told in time to go to the funeral, and she wouldn't let me play cards in the evening but made me read a silly book to her in French. We're learning French poetry one of Aesoppes fables, but it doesn't rhyme a bit We saw the outside of the Morgue and Notre Dame when we went to the Louvre. I want to go into both. They are getting tea ready now and I can see croissons and brioches. Haha! Snubs fatty, jealous thing. I've seen heaps of fox terriers here and not a single dressed up scarecrow and only a few well cut poodles. The men were making an awful row at the Bourse yesterday, sort of gambling or something. Mademoiselle has got an awful dress on, I can see right through it. Let's hear about Horn's wedding as we've heard nothing. Any Chinese news? Now Good Bye from Arthur
Paris - 9 Sept 1900
Dear Father and Mother,
Thanks for letters.The day before yesterday we went to a sort of garden parkish place called Bouts de Chaumont and saw a waterfall that wasn't worth seeing. I've got the films, Eastmans at an ironmongers and without thinking asked for them in English and then I thought "how silly," but he'd gone and got them. He spoke English jolly well. We had a holiday on Saturday because the Mademoiselles went on a trip and Madame was busy with her money affair and Priest business. There have been two accidents with the new steam tram outside the house lately. At one time the tram ran into a horse and killed it, and another time a cart was crossing the line and somehow the tram didn't stop in time and a gendarme who saw the tram wasn't stopping, rushed in between the cart and tram and held up his arm, but the tram driver couldn't stop the tram for some reason and the gendarme was knocked down by it just opposite the chemists, but the cart escaped. He was taken into the pharmacy just opposite and was looked to and is doing well they say. There's absolutely o to say. Did you drive yourselves over to Churchill? Tell Mabel I'm her gooseberry. I've got a horrid washing stand here. If any water gets on it it goes through into the top drawer and spoils things. It spoilt my poor red tie and the rouge coming out of the red one got on the others and it's a shame. I cant make it out as its got a solid marbletop. I've found something running in my room when I was in bed. It was in the corner. I found the name Linyzie Malcolm written very badly in pencil fairly large and the date underneath on the wallpaper. Have you seen my book of photos anywhere as when I left Weston I couldn't find it. Jean, Mademoiselle's brother came to tea with his hair cut quite flat on the top like a plateau or elevated table land. I'm sick of Loto, we play every evening and she's got heaps of other games. Marion drove away in her tandem, awful horn of hers, and how Dollie could have plastered down wedding cake into a box, ugh! Mad ate it all except 1 crumb of cake and 2˝ of almond paste which was my share, and quite enough. How old was it? How's Mrs.Ham? Still co. . . . . more sings. I saw a gent and lady in church today, and jumped like anything when I saw them, I was sure it was the godfather and dame we saw at the A and H. It was exactly like the G.F. but not very like the other. Tell Dollie we weren't even thinking of getting her a present for B.D. here so snubs but I have seen some awfully pretty little fans at Bon Marche like Maggie Wintons; I don't know if she'd like one for ship they really are jolly. I've got a D bell for Yin Kin or Taff, but I don't think gogous would like it, if he does he can 'as. Now good bye from Arthur. Love to Dollie, oh yes and all the rest. What a coup for D.
Paris - 43 Rue des belles Feuilles - 16 Sept 1900
Dear Father and Mother,
Thanks for letters. The other day we went to Mont Martre, a hill where the pilgrims used to climb up, but now there is a funiculaire - I don't know the English word - and a large church has been built on top and sacrament always exposed. The church is supposed by the French, to have the biggest bell ever made in its tiny dome. There were any amount of wax candles to be sold, in the church, to people, some cost a 1d and as they get sacreder and sacreder they run from the 1d to 30F. It's rather funny they sell them in the church. We neither of us bought one. Madame suddenly started up at tea and jawed about the war, and said Kruger was at Portugal or somewhere and they (the Portuguese or some other people) might give him up to the English, and then in her wrath she sung out lustily "It'll be very silly of the English, it wont do them any good" and then she gave us a long lecture and afterwards brought up Dreyfus, and said it was the English who saved him and that he was 30 times guilty, then another jaw, and all the time we of course had to hold our tongues, and at last she ended up by running down old Vic and was fairly done up at the end. At present she's covering all the slices of raw meat with tomato sauce, she thinks that is a fine trick. We have also been to "Les Invalides" and saw Napoleon's Tomb and hair, handkerchiefs, camp bed, bust, clothes, leather cockade hat, pieces of wood of coffin and all sorts of things and all the flags they had captured, most of them like this one, absolutely nothing on them. Then we went into the exhib. and saw the English house and the Eng. Policeman would talk to us. We saw other things too. The Invalides at "Les Invalides" wee jolly old men, no wonder Dollie liked them.
Aunt Isabella has just sent us a L.1 note between us and a long letter. I suppose we shall get 12˝ F each. It was Uncle John's birthday not long ago and their wedding day. Aunt Isabella said they all went up to the top of the mountain picnicking. They stayed there from 11 to 5.30 and then went and picked blackberries. She also made some bad jokes. We've just had rum omelet for dinner. It's awfully runny. That's her kind of joke. Madame has taken the bank note and is going to change it herself. We are going by train to Pere la Chaise or somewhere to see a large cemetery, rather a funny idea. We are going at once so I shall have to stop in a minute. Its Madame's P fault as they kept us all Sunday jawing about the war. It was Uncle John's 82 or 83 birthday. Madame has thrown away a rose plant that Mad gave her, I can't make out why, as it was perfectly good. We've had at last a change and play dominoes instead of Loto and sometimes Mad and I play Halma. We haven't seen Exhibition Illuminated yet. I picked up lots of chestnuts in the Bois and lovely ripe beech nuts.
Arture! Arture! You must get ready at once and not write any more.
So goodbye from Arthur
Wacking big Jam kiss for Taff Man and Gin.
Arthur entered R.M. College Sandhurst Feb 1905 and became a Lieut. in the Ist Batt. Gloucestershire Regiment 24 Jan 1906. He was stationed in India.
(Insignia on writing paper reads : Egypt XXV111 Gloucestershire)
My dear Father
We are just back from 4 days more manoeuvering known as the "Kitchener Test"; it is really a test of fitness in the battalion and is very hard work day and night; this year it was exceptionally so as we have a new General who sweeps clean.
We are all over the shop at present as the right half battalion goes to Drolali in a fortnight and the left half goes to Bombay about the 18th of next month; this means a lot of work getting everything ready.
Wethered will be out of the Regt. for a good long time now as he has just got Staff college at Quetta; Goldney and Parnell have both got their full lieutenantships. A rumour has reached me that I got "distinguished" at the Musketry class but as this is very different to my usual style at exams I am not too sanguine.
I and Thompson had a very good shoot last week end and got 93 brace (duck and snipe) and Tweedie got 2 tigers in Nepal during Christmas week.
Thanks very much for your offer about a tour around at Xmas but we are too busy to get leave just now; I have been to Delhi. I went there for a week end from Ambala and the Taj I shall see on my way down to Bombay. We have just been beaten in the semi-finals for the Punjab Hockey tournament by the Munsters who scored one goal to nil - not too bad as they are certain to win the whole show. Au revoir, love to all your affec. son Arthur
(part of this letter missing but believe it is to his father; same insignia on writing paper)
Colaba Bombay - cir. 13 March 1909
We had quite a cool journey down from Lahore but took a very long time over it - when going on service the whole line is cleared for a troop train and the best engines used, but at other times you get busted about all over the place and wait for a "goods" to pass you". We have very fine barracks here and our bungalows are right down on the beach so that generally there is a very fair breeze in the evening - during the monsoon there is a great deal too much of it.
The Mess bought a yacht so as to join in the yacht races and the Yacht Club. The very first race we entered for we won! So have been handicapped; we lost the next race but won again today and the best of it is that none of us know anything about the game! We now buck about spinnakers and balloon canvas as though we knew all about it.
The result of the Musketry Course is out; I got a "special" alright and the Colonel got a letter from Bodham who runs the class saying that I passed out top! So that's alright. The last week or so there has been a great show here - the siege of Bombay - and Men of War, torpedoes, garrison gunners, cruisers, infantry, ….
(same insignia on writing paper)
Colaba Bombay - cir.1909
Dear Mother and Father
I have just had an "invite" to Raymond Morris' wedding. I think he's getting married is about the limit. Didn't I tell you that I got a "special" or "distinguished" or whatever you like to call it at the Musketry (incidentally I passed top of the class as our Colonel was told so privately!). This might prove useful some day but not at present.
Am now working up signalling preparatory to going to Poona for a signalling course which begins on August 7th. Did you see some time ago that Vanity Fair had a paragraph about Uncle Herbert's Chinese "taxicab" which registered every "li"; "Vanity Fair" said "li" ought to be spelt with an "e"! We had a most exciting time in the yacht yesterday; it was blowing half a gale and we were going along at a spanking pace when suddenly the bobstay under the bowsprit gave with a bang; the bowsprit of course jumped up and snapped like a reed; the mainmast which was raked forward a bit then jumped back and one of the mainstays gave! We had a grand time of it! We couldn't steer without a foresail so drifted for miles before we could rip up anything, soaked to the skin and fed up to the teeth we at last managed to get back to our moorings just in time to see signals flying about for boats to go out and tow us in! And all because one small iron rope gave"
I nearly peppered a "Messagene" boat with a machine-gun the other day! It came round a corner of a fort right into the line of fire, taking no notice of the signals telling it to go the other way; a few shots must have whizzed pretty close to them as they went about pretty sharp and came into harbour behind us!
I was awfully sorry to hear of Mrs. Anderson's death; she had been ill for some time hadn't she? Must stop now and write to Raymond Morris.
Love to all, your affec. son Arthur
Club of Western India
Telegrams, Services, Poona
Dear Creck (nickname for his father)
Am in hospital with a touch of malaria but am all right now though they still keep me in bed and starve me! Won't let me write any more. Just heard I got a "special" at signalling" Love to all, your affec. son Arthur.