Thursday, January 20, 2011

Today's Birthday

January 19 (yesterday) marked the birthday of my grandmother's sister, Mary Nevard, (born Mary Hall) in Swefling, Suffolk, England 1876. She had already seen a lot of miles by the time this photo was taken about 1918 or so. She married Ernest Nevard in 1901.
Almost 2 years later she bid him farewell as he and brother Arthur Nevard boarded the S.S. Lake Manitoba at Liverpool bound for Canada with the rest of the Barr Colonists. Mary remained behind with their son Bill (young Ernie), just over a year old at the time, to wait and see how they made out in the new land. For the next three years their only communication was by mail. In April of 1906 Mary and son Bill sailed for Canada travelling along with Ernest's younger brother, Horace.
The little log house in amongst the poplars may have been a welcome sight when they finally reached their homestead later that year.
It was a hard life no doubt and it took its toll as Mary died relatively young at age 67.
This photo , scanned from a negative shows their family as it was about 1918 with Mary at left, Ernest centre, oldest son Bill at right and youngest son, Richard front and centre.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Today In Family History

Today, January 6, was my Grandmother (Nevard's) birthday. The grandmother I never knew, she died a few months before I was born.
She was born in 1884 on her parents farm in Sweflng, Suffolk, England. She met my grandfather (Horace Nevard) not too long before he emigrated to Canada to homestead in the new province of  Saskatchewan. They kept up a steady correspondence for years until he returned to England in 1916 as a soldier in the 195th infantry battalion of the Canadian army.
The following letter is one that she wrote him in February of 1916.
Grandmother Alice Nevard at left in photo.

Grove Farm
Feb. 3, 1916

My Dear Horrie
I was so pleased to receive your nice long letter today as it did seem such a terrible long while since I heard from you. I was afraid you were ill again with shingles or something, so I was very pleased to hear you were quite well. I expect the mails get delayed as it was more than three weeks from the time you posted it before it got to Saxmundham.
There has been three more Zeppelin raids over England lately. Last Monday night there was six Zeppelins over and there was 54 peoople killed and 63 injured. I don't think they were very near here but I heard the explosion of a bomb once only it was a long way off. I expect it was at Norwich as they went there. I wonder when this dreadful war will be over.
I think I told you that we had a letter from Herbert before christmas and we have had a postcard from him since Christmas and he was quite well and still in France. I expect you have heard from Emily about your Grandmother's death. She died on Jan. 8th. I have not seen Louie since then as I have not been to Sternfield but Dick told us about it. Thank you for your good wishes for my birthday.Louie sent me three handkerchiefs for my birthday and Mother gave me a nice pair of suede gloves. We have had a lot of windy weather here lately and there has been a big tree blown down up the roadway. I hope you are all quite well and also little Dick. We will soon be a year old won't he? Does he look anything like Ernie, his brother did at that age? I think Mary said he has blue eyes and fair hair.
Now my dearest Horrie I don't think I have any more news this time so I will close my letter as it is bedtime past nine o'clock. With love to all and my best truest and fondest love to you my dearest Horrie, I remain your everloving Alice. xxxxxxxxx

Sunday, January 2, 2011

New Years Day Wedding

I meant to post this yesterday but it was a busy day for me having the traditional family
gathering for New Years supper here. For as long as I can remember we always had all the family
get together on New Years day to welcome in the New Year. An old superstition recommended that
a dark haired man should be the first foot in over your doorstep in the new year to promote
good fortune for the rest of the year. And the Nevards were dark haired, therefore the preferred
first guests to arrive on the day.
New Years day, 1919. My grandfather, Horace Nevard and Alice Hall were married that day in Carlton Church, Saxmundham, Suffolk, England. Horace was only recently returned from his services in the Canadian Army in France, Belgium, Germany.
Horace and Alice had known each other for the past 20 years and been in constant overseas correspondence since he emigrated to homestead in N.W.T. (Saskatchewan), Canada in 1903.
In 1916 Horace and his brother Arthur both joined the army and were soon sent to England. Horace
went on to serve in some of the big battles of WWI and was fortunate to survive unscathed.

After their wedding they returned to his homestead in Sask. in August of that year.
I never knew my grandmother as she died a few months before I was born. Through these old photos and the many letters sent by and to her over the years I have gotten to know her better.