pear tree log: I started this blog to keep my younger son, Jonny, in touch with life in Lincolnshire, while he spent a year working in China. That year turned into five! Now he is home and training to become a physics teacher. This is simply a patchwork quilt of some of the things I enjoy - life in rural Lincolnshire, our animals, friends, architecture, books, the gardens, and things of passing interest.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

First World War Visitors, from Canada, USA, Australia, South Africa...

One of my interests is books, especially if those books happen to be handwritten.  

This particular book is bound in green leather and has been decoratively tooled in gilt and red.  It is a visitors book.  It dates from April 4th 1916 and the final entry is August 1943, although there are still lots of blank pages.

It was used during the latter half of the first world war, and quite a hefty chunk of the second one too.  I can't help but wonder why it ends where it did.   Unfortunately I don't know who it belonged to, nor do I know which, presumably fairly grand, house they inhabited.

It doesn't stop me from speculating on the war time visitors who signed in. 

People like Vernon Brown, R.F.C. - Royal Flying Corps.  Could this be the Sir Vernon Brown, pilot,who "obtained an unconfirmed victory over a Gotha bomber, which was seen to go down in the sea off Zeebrugge"  (I found this on  I don't know, I don't suppose I will ever know, but I do find it interesting to speculate.  For some further information on a Vernon Brown try  if it is the same one he had quite an illustrious career and a long life!

How about R B Bourdillon Lt, R.F.C., or Ian Henderson, R.F.C., did they perform heroic feats; did they make it through to the end of the war?

How about some of the overseas visitors - HJ (or it could be HT) Cooper, Toronto Regiment, he visited on 16th August 1916.  

Or Sydney E Wedd, also of the Toronto Regiment who stayed 1st December 1916.

Did they have a brief respite from the war; did they make it through?

T. Lucovich, 3rd S.A. Inf, I hope I have got his name right.  Whatever happened to him?

C.R.Hogg of Regina, Canada, James .... from South Bay, Canada, or Richard B Munday R.N.A.S.

So many signatures, names and dates.  So many untold stories.   The signatures range from tiny writing through to bold flamboyant ones - just as I am sure the personalities varied immensely too.

They were from Chicago, New York, Sydney, Kansas, Ontario, Canada - and lots without any place name specified.
As the book moves through to the 1920's I wonder whether these visitors were arriving for roaring twenties style house parties and ended up doing the charleston dance and having a whale of a time!  Women with cigarette holders, wearing flapper dresses ...

Certainly the signatures become more like family groups arriving for short stays and longer breaks.  Often the same group many times over through from the 1920's and up until 1943.

It is a lovely book - and although the stories are unknown and the words have not been written here - I do wonder about them.


  1. What a find!The questions could go on forever! You might look into finding someone like on that would microfilm the book so it could be available for geneology. It puts so many people in a place with a time stamp. So interesting. Linda

  2. Hello Linda. I think that is a really good idea, I'll look into it. Such a shame that we don't know where the house was, but even so it is fascinating.


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