Friday, 21 July 2017

100 Years on

Day 12 of the journey - our heroine seeks an answer to a 100 year old question

I found this delightful little book today. As you can see it is no bigger than my mobile phone. For each day of the year there is a quotation from a Browning poem and space to list the names of friends and family who celebrate their birthday on that date.

The inscription inside the cover reads:
“With best love to Elsie from Bert January 12th ‘17”

Who were Bert and Elsie, I wonder? What was their story? In 1917 Britain was at war. Was Bert a soldier, perhaps, gifting this little book to his sweetheart Elsie before he left England to serve his country?

Elsie has written names on some of the pages: Muriel Macrae, Sid Butcher, Tim Wyles, Ethel Hoare. Some names have been crossed through, presumably when friends died. 

Who were these people? What was their relationship to Elsie? How many of them are still living? 

I will of course never find the answer to my questions.

What I can and will do is use the book, the names and my imagination to create answers and to rewrite Elsie and Bert’s story, 100 years after their true life tale began.

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