Monday, 30 November 2015

Turning Out my Pantry

It's approaching that time of year when I get the unwelcome, but irresistible, urge to deep clean the house, a kind of late autumn spring clean.    

An important part of the ritual is cleaning out the pantry, taking stock, making lists.     It is a large pantry with about four and a half miles of shelving.

The very large kitchen table, a relict of those days when I had to cook and serve enormous family meals each day, becomes the repository.   One shelf load fills the table.

The table was almost full when I discovered that we had had (have) an unwelcome visitor living in amongst the dry goods.............presumably this mouse (click for the story), which two cats, a dog and the humane mouse trap have failed to capture.  

I believe they are keeping it as a pet.

Sunday, 29 November 2015

Flying Hooves on Saturday

My Saturday morning was quiet, some simple pottering, walking the dog, and a little sewing.  Gentle and enjoyable.  

Max continued working on the hen house extension.  

The extension is going to become a garage for Hector's little car, which will be a great improvement on the nylon car cover, which probably wouldn't survive another winter.

I decided to nip down to see Benedict a little earlier than normal as I wanted to go to the Little Bunting Bazaar and I didn't want to arrive there in my dirty old jacket and horse-grubby hands, although I am sure no-one would have noticed.

Because I was early Benedict was in the middle of the field, grazing.   As I went in the yard he lifted his head and looked across, then amazed me by whinnying and cantering over to me.

I didn't know that old horse could move so fast!    

He was all flying mane, tail and hooves.   It was impressive and beautiful.    He finished up with a playful (powerful) nudge of my shoulder, almost knocking me off my feet.

I think he was happy to see me!   Of course he associates my visits with food and company, a bright spot in his quiet day.    I hope he also feels some of the love I have for him, he certainly stands there stoically, as I hug him and murmur sweet nothings to him.

A quick nip home, to wash my hands and change into something a little cleaner, then I walked back along our muddy little lane (wearing wellies, one has to be practical!) and down to the village hall.  

All the windows and doors were closed.   They couldn't fool me though, I knew a 'party' was going on in there!  

I walked in and was hit by a wall of heat and stuffy air, almost turned tail and back into the bracing wind and finger-nipping cold outside.

The place seemed full, but this is a tiny village hall and twenty people can make it seem as though it is bursting at the seams.    Unbuttoning my coat I dug deep into my pockets, purchasing raffle tickets for this and that,  bought tombola tickets, a cake and a jar of  marmalade.     I didn't want to buy tee shirts, or ornaments, calendars  or rather dull books, so  I bought a cup of tea and a mince pie.

I had a dozen quick conversations with people I rarely see, then had a good long chat with Mrs Read who told me a few more snippets about her wedding and reception (Dovecote Dell, 1953) she also pointed out a relative newcomer to the village, to their mutual delight they had discovered that Mrs Read had taught her, many years ago.

She was sitting all alone, probably enjoying some peace and quiet, but I went and introduced myself anyway and we had a great chat and have arranged to do some dog walking together.  

Another flit around the hall, a few more pounds spent on tickets for things I hope I won't win, and then back out into the deliciously cold and invigorating air.   Bliss!

When I got home I was greeted by this lovely sight...

The best part of the day was the greeting that this boy gave me though.   Who would have thought he could still move like that?

Poppy and Miles, we'll be Skyping you later, love, Mumxxxxxxxxxxx                                              

Saturday, 28 November 2015

A 'Bad-Guy' Animal in the Owl Wood

Poor Miss Pinkerton was simply ambling through Owl Wood when something attacked her.

She screamed like a banshee as she tried to escape.

This photograph shows Dobson just before all hell broke loose, he was standing watch over his flock of hens, but had obviously heard the beginnings of the ruckus.

Normally a cowardly-custard, brave Dobson raced to her rescue and soon Miss Pinkerton and Coco (our cats) came racing back to me, through the wood.   They looked twice their normal size, with toilet-brush tails and their fur standing on end.

Dobson was silent.   Usually a rescue event is a good excuse for a bit of a bark, tell the intruder off and get some brownie points for seeing them off.   This time he worked silently and the intruder left.

When my hero re-appeared he went straight over to Miss Pinkerton and sniffed her all over,  checking to see how she was.

Blood dripped from a puncture to her ear and some tufts of hair had come out, but she was otherwise unmarked, although still very frightened.

When the grandchildren came home from school and nursery, they wanted to know what was wrong with Miss Pinkerton's ear, so we told them.

Merry listened, then said there must have been a "bad-guy animal in the wood".   She then went on to say that she would 'get a stick and kill that bad-guy animal'.   (She is only 3 and loves all our pets.   Grandpa and I had to hide our smiles as her schoolteacher mother helped her with the 'correct' response...   I prefer the simple, honest,  emotional response from Merry.   Naughty Gran.)

Miss Pinkerton seems to be content to hang around the gardens although I'm sure that will change in a day or two and she'll resume her usual patrols.  

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

The Old Schoolmistress Tells Tales

Little Bunting school was closed a few years ago.    

image borrowed from internet.

Mrs Read, who was the village schoolmistress,  lives directly opposite the old school yard gate.     She is well into her 80's now and still has the power to make grown men quake with just one look!

When we first moved to the village, almost a decade ago,  I noticed that, apart from a couple of  her contemporaries, people tended to give her a wide berth at village pub parties.    Of course, at the time I knew nothing at all about who she was, she was simply an elderly woman, sitting at a table nursing a port and lemon.

image borrowed from internet

I can't bear to see people in isolation, while a party is happening all around them, so I went over and began chatting with her.     Over the years we have gradually moved onto first name terms and have discovered that we both enjoy painting (she is far more skilled than I shall ever be) and various crafts.

She is also a mine of information when it comes to local history, particularly that of Dovecote Dell, a tiny hamlet across the fields from Little Bunting.    Her childhood home was a large manor house, now demolished, although the moat, dovecote and 16th century hall still remain and are located in the middle of a farmyard.

My daily walks talk me through the farmyard and I love to ponder on the history of the place.

Mrs Read and I were chatting the other day when she happened to mention that back in 1953 her wedding reception was held in the hall which is protected and listed, but now used as a barn.   I know it looks rather a messy patchwork, but those walls speak of so much history and change, I really like them.

For her wedding reception the hall was decorated,  straw bales were installed for seating, and a jolly time was had by all.

borrowed from the natural wedding co.

I'm hoping that Mrs Read may be able to find up a photograph or two, in which case (if she will permit) I'll share them with you.

Her mother used to tell people that clearing up afterwards took minimal work because they simply let the hens in to eat the leftovers.

Old age is relative and I'm sure that I appear even older than Mrs Read did to me, but at village parties I am extremely fortunate, for the two best-looking and interesting young men (who live in Dovecote Dell) are kind enough to come and chat to me.   I'm not complaining!   ;-)

Monday, 23 November 2015

The Stone Tape and Reclaimed Bricks

Little Bunting is a very small village, so small happenings seem much larger than they are.  

Take these beautiful, higgledy-piggledy buildings..

Over the last decade, or so, I have watched as this range of old buildings have slipped from charming decay into down-right dangerous.     I have often been surprised to see that they have weathered the fierce gales and torrential rains of a storm.

Despite their charming appearance, these old buildings were the slaughterhouse and butchery for this end of the village.    Old Oscar has shown me inside - the hooks, pulleys, etc.   It made me feel ill and very glad that I am vegetarian.    

They are now deemed to be very unsafe and are being carefully demolished.    The village road runs directly behind them, so we don't want any accidents with falling masonry, tiles, and the like.

I spend half an hour down there every day, as I keep old Benedict the horse company, check on his water, feed him, and so on.   His paddocks are just across the yard, his view of the road will soon improve.    

He doesn't have any field companions and old Oscar is finding it more difficult to get around these days, so Benedict gets very lonely, to say the least.

So, while I have been spending so much time down there I got thinking about the bricks, tiles, etc from this demolition job.   As you can see, they are being carefully stacked on pallets, ready to go to the reclamation yard.      This set me thinking.

Way back in the 1970's  there was a rather spooky BBC play called 'The Stone Tape'.      (A note for my family, there is a copy on one of the dressing-room shelves.)    The programme put forth the idea that ghosts could be energy which has been absorbed, at times of high tension, into inanimate materials, like stone.    It is possible that this energy, or recording, can be subsequently released, hence the visuals, the sounds, etc. of ghosts.

So, I fell to wondering about these bricks.. any energy they have stored would be truly nightmarish.  

Max has plans to build a large porch onto Parsonage Cottage, these bricks are the same colour, shape and size as those used to  build our home, all those years back when it was the Stables and Cow Shed for the big Farmhouse.

Our home is a place of peace, I never feel the need to put a light on during my midnight ramblings, well, not until I go into the Boot Room, for there always seems to be a pesky slug somewhere or other in there, no matter what we do.     I think that much of that wonderfully peaceful atmosphere comes from the century and a half when the animals were housed in here.

No way am I going to risk adding old slaughterhouse bricks into that happy home, after all, if The Stone Tape theory is even partly correct, surely the same thing could happen with bricks?

We'll use new bricks for the porch, just in case.   ;-)

Friday, 20 November 2015

To Mary Blick Best, 1820, with love from her husband.

This example of penmanship is just one page among many in one of my most treasured books.  

It is a Commonplace Book written by R Best, for his wife Mary.   My book is volume 3, alas I don't have volume 1 or 2.   I bought the book at auction, many years ago, and have loved it ever since.

Whenever I come across a book like this, (handwritten and named) I cannot help but wonder about why it is not still with the family.   Of course the family may have died out, the end of the line reached, but it can't always be the case.      I love the book, the handwriting, the contents, and especially the fact that it was all dedicated to his wife, but it should still be with the family.

R Best - I can't find his Christian name - was a commercial traveller, so he was away from home a lot.      There are business cards from Commercial Inns, a black edged envelope, card and letter written to inform him of the death of an old friend and the date of the funeral...postal delivery was much speedier in those days!

He was fond of lines like this:

You tell old Hugh, to hew the yew
To mask the Ewe with deepest hew...


Thomas Wright
Cannot write
All the Rites
Of the Church; Right.


Let a pair
Pare a pear
For a peer
At the pier

and he wrote lots epitaphs copied from gravestones, some dating back to the 1600's.      No doubt many of them have been obliterated by time,  while others will have been moved from their original location and placed around the edge of a churchyard, in order to make maintenance easier, or because Health & Safety have deemed them to be a danger.  

So much valuable information in one little book, I doubt he realised just how much it would be cherished by one strange  woman, almost 200 years later!

Another entry:

Lines on a Shaving cloth at the Victoria Hotel, Newport, Shropshire:

Should you, kind sir, incline to shave
A favour from your hands I crave
Which would accommodate us both
Pray wipe your razor on this cloth.
The chambermaid.

The book is filled with entries, but rather than ramble on too long,  I'll share some more another time.

Sexy Shoes and Kinky Boots... nothing for me.

Wellington boots, walking boots, ice boots, knee high boots with very low heels however, now you're talking!    I get excited about those, from a purely practical point of view, like staying upright instead of falling base over apex which I'm rather good at.

I have two pairs of Wellington boots, and I wear one or other pair every day.   We live deep in the countryside, often in a sea of mud.    

I've tried cheap Wellies, they didn't last long and I found myself slipping and sliding in the clay mud around here.    So I buy more expensive ones with special soles for noodles, like me, who find it difficult to keep their balance.  I buy them in online sales.   The ones in the photograph are brown, which suits me fine, but they were a third of the price of the same boot in green or black.   It probably also helps that I have large feet, not that this is any help when I am trying to stay upright!

Ice and snow are a nightmare for me, even though I welcome the first falls of snow as eagerly and my grandchildren.     So I have a couple of pairs of snow/ice boots, they help me to remain upright, but on really bad ice I have to resort to some special spikey grips which fit over my boots.  They look like bondage for boots, but they do grip onto ice and compacted snow surfaces, they make me feel a little safer.

These boots are my favourite snow boots.  Again, they were bought in an online sale several years ago.   We were travelling to Iceland for a three week holiday and they shrieked 'buy me', even though they are a size larger than I normally take.    It worked out well, the fluffy lining still fills the extra space, they are a perfect fit and much loved...

...rather like this old boy.    I fear his days are numbered, his real owner has still not collected him from old Oscar, but I guess it won't be long.     It is something over which I have no control, all I can do is visit him daily, feed him his treats, tell him how much he is loved,  and hope...    

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Hens in the Owl Wood

All our previous hens have been saved from a one-way trip to the pie factory, after a short life time of battery egg production.   When we collected them they were almost devoid of feathers and bewildered.  

After a few weeks of good food, and a gentle introduction to the freedom of the Owl Wood, they would feather up and their individual characters would begin to develop.  

The only trouble was, they were all brown, so although we have always named them, identification of individuals was sometimes a little tricky.  We always grew fond of them and I like to think that they enjoyed their time with us.  

Last year, when we had just one remaining brown hen, we decided to indulge ourselves and have a mix of hens who would be easy for us, and the grandchildren, to identify.

This is Susie, the largest hen, very friendly - always gets under our feet in her eagerness to be around us.

This beauty is Frankie, a quiet and friendly hen.   She is incredibly beautiful.

The cheeky girl is Leonie, her golden 'mane' is quite something.

This is Shaggy (named by Hector, when he was going through a phase of enjoying Scooby Doo).   She is the smallest one and always the first one to go to bed, sometimes and hour or two ahead of the others.

This is Queen Mab a speckledy.       Bossy as can be -  and always ready to peck a finger or chase the dog.   The two cats are very careful to give her a wide berth.

...and finally, here is Dreamy Dusty.    Always the last one to come running for treats and the first one to wander off.    I'm rather fond of her.

They have been very productive, apart from a brief spell in the summer when we almost had to resort to buying eggs from the market.     Most days we get five eggs, sometimes six.

They do lead a wonderful life in the little woodland, freedom to roam, good food, plenty of insects, and a daily treat of a small amount of finely grated cheddar cheese.     They are all cheese-monsters, even Dreamy Dusty comes running for cheese.     They also have a daily bunch of spinach, which they nibble at through the day.    It worked for the ex battery hens and it also suits these girls.

Saturday, 14 November 2015

Keeping the Home Fires Burning, Cowslip Cottage Update for Poppy and Miles

Max and I spent all morning down at Cowslip Cottage.    Max had some more wiring to put in before the builders can get on and do the rest of the work.   I assisted by holding wires, pulling wires, writing measurements down...dull stuff, but it meant that Max could achieve a lot more than if he were down there by himself.

During the really quiet times I wondered off into the gardens and made a start on sweeping the leaves - for there were drifts of them, three feet deep in places.

The colours were glorious and almost made the hard work seem worthwhile.

Here's the view over your back garden fence - the parkland looks just as delightful, although I do miss the cattle, they have been moved indoors for the winter.

So much colour, even in winter.     The couple who lived there for so long really did a marvellous job of planting the garden for all year round enjoyment.    By the way, Poppy, there are still some yellow poppies in bloom.

Even the tiny shed has a cascade of gold to decorate it.   Simple and beautiful.   The lovely fucshia is blooming strongly..

and I was really excited to find some winter flowering jasmine...

Back to the cottage.    We worked on the cabling, up ladders and down ladders, ditto stairs.   It is getting there.

 Today is very cold, a seeping, creeping damp cold, so now that the chimney sweep has been and cleared all the soot and birds nests out of the chimney we decided to have a small log fire.      It drew beautifully and definitely helped to keep the chill at bay.    I know the fireplace is coming out and a log burner going in the space, but I thought you may like to see what it looks like with a fire in your hearth.    

It is an old chestnut, but that room is going to be magnificent at Christmas times and delightful at all others.


Once we got home I had a quick cup of tea and then went along to feed my old friend, Benedict.   He loves those pony nuts...eyes closed in total enjoyment.

I also had a chat with old Oscar, he was busy outside (walking sticks propped against the wall) filling a bird feeder and trying to ensure that those pesky rats can't get in to steal the bird food.    Somehow, I think the rats will win, but he likes to keep pottering and to feel useful.

So, my darlings, your cottage is coming along wonderfully...did I tell you that I have painted the exterior in pink............;-O

Friday, 13 November 2015

Do You Use Dog Ears?

I like to have a stash of books ready for the winter,  a kind of comfort blanket  for those long dark weeks when we are snowed in with power outages and only candlelight/torches to read by.   (It has only happened once in the last ten years, and then it lasted just a few days!)

The books in the photograph are all charity shop finds, several look unread.      Stuart MacBride and  Karen Rose are two (of the many) authors I really enjoy, but the others are new to me and I can't wait to get started on them.

The pristine books are, of course, a delight.   They are in such good condition that they could have come direct from a smart bookshop, rather than from a down-at-heel charity shop.  

Their condition is a bonus but they won't be quite so immaculate when I have read them.

I was trained very early on, not to fold the corner of a page over and it is still something which I absolutely will not do.    I wince when I buy a book which has had this treatment.     Much as I love dogs, dog ears in books simply will not do!

Creasing the spine of a paperback, however, doesn't bother me at all.   I cannot be doing with all this prissy nonsense about protecting the spine from creases.   I know, I know,  double standards.

I confess I am often guilty of leaving a paperback book face down...

No doubt this will cause some raised eyebrows and a few tuts.      

I think that creases (not cracks) in the spine simply show that a book has been read and (hopefully) enjoyed to the full.        But then  I often do prefer the slightly imperfect things in life.    Perfection is far too much for me to strive for!

Part of this need to have a fresh supply of books is undoubtedly down to the fact that I never re-read a book.   Again, I can imagine the shock/horror caused by that statement.     I know that many people get a lot of enjoyment from reading them again and again - and that is fine if it works for you.

I  read a book, then move on.     I wish I had understood this about myself years ago.   I could have saved a small fortune for I used to buy hardback copies of books which I had enjoyed.

This flaw in my character only applies to works of fiction.    I cherish my non-fiction books and frequently delve into them.

Old cookery books,  local history, church architecture, folklore, English history, plants and their uses, mushroom identification, birds, crafts and art, etc  these are my real treasures and I re-read portions of them from time to time.    They are old friends and I enjoy refreshing my knowledge of them.

Post it notes are used liberally, bookmarks too, but definitely no dog ears.  

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Live Traffic Feed

Whenever I visit a blog which has a live traffic feed I can't resist having a look to see where I am viewing from.     
It is remarkable how much I flit around.
Somehow I have mastered the art of travelling
from town to town
county to county
without leaving my armchair.

If only it were possible.
I could feed this old boy,
then fit in a visit to see young Ben in London,
have supper with Poppy and Miles in Shanghai
and still be back in time
to meet the school bus
get tea ready for Hector.

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Remembrance Day Parade

This was the first glimpse I had as the parade came around the corner,
it was a long way down the road and the rain was tipping down.

Sunday dawned much chillier than forecast and the 40% chance of rain seemed very optimistic, judging by the sky and the feel of the air.

Max was marching to represent the Royal Marines
so we had to set off early.
Even so, 
by the time we reached the parade grounds
the place was bustling
with scouts, guides, beavers, cubs,
air cadets, sea cadets, army cadets,
firemen, policemen
the Mayor
soldiers, sailors, airmen

It was busy.

This very elderly and frail old soldier found another use for his poppy wreath.
I could only admire his inventiveness, it was very cold and the rain was beating down.

Normally I find a place to stand which is about as close to 
the war memorial 
as it is possible to get,
 without upsetting the photographer from the local newspaper.   
(it was the place favoured by Trent's* wife, Margo, 
when she used to attend).

This year, to my shame,  I found that I found myself wondering whether that was wise
given the number of idiots which seem to have infiltrated
every corner of the world, trying to cause chaos
and mayhem.

My dilemma was resolved

once I found that my young grandchildren would not be attending.

I stood in my normal place, right near the action

at the memorial.

I will not be cowed and have fear dictate to me...

and yet, having said that, 
I know that I wouldn't have stood there with my little grandchildren.

Like it or not, these evil people do tinker with our minds.

Here is Max just walking up to present the wreath on behalf of the Royal Marines.

I have been attending these acts of remembrance for quite a number of years,
the number of old soldiers diminishes every year,
so it was so good to see just how many parents and children 
had turned out,
despite the weather.

This is how wet it was - and don't forget to factor in the bitter cold.
I love the grit and determination on their faces.

After all the formal presentations have been made 
there is always a very poignant point 
when the Parade Master calls
for anyone who wishes to present a wreath for any individual.

This year there were several, 
the sadness and raw grief on some faces told their own story.
I was glad of the rain.

This service is about real people
who had lives and loves of their own.

We will remember.

*  The photographs in this post are for our friend,
He normally participates in the act of Remembrance,
serious illness has got in the way of that this year.

Monday, 9 November 2015

I am Leading a Double Life and it comes so easily!

It is slightly worrying that this new persona of mine,
Felicity Parsons,
seems to be a cloak which I feel so comfortable in wearing.
Does this mean that I am a natural-born liar, a cheat, a fraudster?

Crumbs!  I hope not.
Dishonest, false and shallow people are a pet hate of mine.
I prefer people to be real, warts and all,
I cannot abide the superficial and the glib
the polished and 'perfect'.

So, why am I hiding behind Felicity
and pretending to live in a tiny village called Little Bunting
when my real name is ******
and I live in the tiny village of ******?

It all comes down to the reasons why I write a blog,
I do it because I enjoy it, a form of online diary
notes of things which are happening in my life.
I have family living far away,
who like to see the photographs
and catch up on events back home.
Ditto, friends.

All my previous blogs (and I have had a few) have been on the same lines
foolishly, I used my real name, etc.
Several years down the line,
blog scrapers came along and copied hundreds of my posts
re-posted them on their own fake blogs,
for whatever purpose.

I went through a protracted process of getting many of them taken down,
but Blogger seems less than enthusiastic about helping.
I abandoned my old blogs, put all my posts back into draft form,
so that I can still look back on them
after all,
 they still read back to me like a diary
of my life.

I was furious with the blog scrapers, vowed never to blog again...

Time passed and I found I missed the process.

I came up with the idea of using a different name,
for everyone and everything
and that is how it goes,
it makes me feel a little protected (an illusion, of course!).

So, what happens as I get even older
and, perhaps, begin to get confused...?

Will there come a point in my life where I call my husband 'Max' instead of ******?
The grandchildren by their new names of Hector and Merry?
Even the cats, the dog, the horse have fake names...
though I did draw the line at re-naming the six hens!

People could think I am going slightly mad, whereas I would simply be using their 
bloggy monikers - is that the same thing?

Oh dear, the complications!

Right, I'm heading off to feed ******   I mean Benedict...

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Sister Nellie Clark

Later this morning I will be going into town to attend the Remembrance Parade in a local market town where  Max will present the wreath on behalf of the Royal Marines.  

He normally does this along with his old friend, and ex Royal Marine, Trent but unfortunately Trent is very poorly at the moment.

*      *      *

This is the WWI memorial stone in the small village of Bilsby, just a few miles from here.   It was paid for by subscription from the villagers.     There are just seven names on the memorial, three of them have the surname Clark.  

The village is very small so there is a strong possibility that they may all have been related.     As I prowled around the churchyard I was unable to locate any markers for them.   Then I began to venture deeper into a very neglected and overgrown corner.

The marker for Cpl Leonard Clark is the pinkish one in the middle.  Luckily, that one is also inscribed on this side, otherwise I would have missed it.    The turquoise coloured insignia at the top is the badge of the Coldstream Guards, with whom he served.

When I visited the churchyard yesterday I was pleased to see that someone had at least made an effort to clear around the front of a couple of the stones - someone who must have had very strong cutters with them, for I was able to get round in front of the stones to take this next photograph...

Here you can see the white war grave stone for W Clark, which had been completely submerged in the undergrowth...Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

There was no marker for Nellie, which added to my intrigue.

I decided to see what I could find out about her.

*     *     *

Nellie's story.    

Nellie was born 6 March 1888 and died in Serbia on December 25th 1914, aged just 26 years.

A trained nursing sister, Nellie Clark volunteered to join Lady Paget's first Serbian Relief Expedition and travelled to Serbia in October 1914.     Their mission was to set up a 600 bed hospital on the outskirts of Skopje, to treat wounded soldiers and to help "gallant little Serbia".

By the miracles of the internet, I have been able to find a photograph of her.

Conditions in Skopje were terrible, but through sheer hard work the hospital was soon established and treating the wounded soldiers and local Serbian civilians.

Unfortunately, within three months of her arrival,  Nellie died of septic poisoning, contracted while performing her duty.    She was the first of the expedition staff to die and was buried in Skopje, Serbia.    The admiration and respect for these brave women was such that almost the whole town turned out for her funeral.

Lady Ralph Paget wrote to her parents that 'she was the best nurse we had.   She was so kind and gentle that she was loved by everyone who had the honour of knowing her and the men she had nursed adored her and were terribly upset when they heard of her death'.

Nellie was the first, but not the last, of Lady Paget's hospital staff to die as typhoid and other diseases took their toll.

So, Sister Nellie Clark, a courageous and determined woman for whom the words of Rupert Brooke seem appropriate:

If I should die, think only this of me
That there's some corner of a foreign field
That is forever England

*     *     *

Next year I'll choose another name from a monument and see what I can find out about them.

Image by the guardian.

Lest we forget.