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Author Archives: Susie Gutch

A writing class with Michael Arditti

As part of the Ilkley literary festival, I attended a Fiction writing class run by the author and critic Michael Arditti. Although the emphasis was on fiction, there were still useful ideas and exercises that can be applied to family history writing. Michael emphasised how lonely a writer’s life can be, and the importance of … Continue reading »

Categories: How we write, Miscellaneous | Leave a comment

A visit to the Somme

We recently visited the Somme area for the first time. My husband’s maternal grandfather was killed there during the First World War and as the centenary of his death approaches, it felt appropriate to  see where he is buried and pay our respects. In a sense he was fortunate in that he has a named resting … Continue reading »

Categories: Miscellaneous, World War One | Tags: , | Leave a comment

A Change of Fortune

  After the photograph of the Slaughter family taken on the steps of the loggia at White Ness ca. 1906, as far as I know they were never together again – at least, there is no extant group photo of them from a later date. Mihill [Mac] and Connie were married in 1906,and in the … Continue reading »

Categories: 20th Century, Before 1st World War, Men of God, and of Commerce, Miscellaneous, World War One | Tags: | Leave a comment

William’s ‘other’ family

During the early 1980s, my mother saw an advertisement in the Times requesting any descendants of William Capel Slaughter to contact a box number. This my mother duly did, and through subsequent enquiries discovered that her grandfather had had an affair with a governess after the death of his first wife and that a son … Continue reading »

Categories: 19th Century, Before 1st World War, Men of God, and of Commerce, Miscellaneous | Tags: | 2 Comments

Mr Slaughter and Mr May

William May’s background was very different from William Slaughter’s.  Born in 1863, May was from a professional, landowning family in Berkshire. His father was a surgeon in Reading, as had been his grandfather. William was born in the family home at Caversham, a mansion set in large grounds by the Thames. He was educated at … Continue reading »

Categories: 19th Century, Before 1st World War, Men of God, and of Commerce | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

William Slaughter and The Home and Colonial Stores

In November 1882, William Slaughter’s sister Elizabeth married Reginald Drew ,older brother of Julius Drew,the co-founder of The Home and Colonial Stores which was later to become one of the most flourishing food retailing companies of that era. My mother remembers her great aunt Lizzie and her husband [known as Reggie]. Though described in the … Continue reading »

Categories: 19th Century, Men of God, and of Commerce, Miscellaneous | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

Gallipoli 1915

My grandfather, Arthur Slaughter was in the 5th [territorial] Battalion of the Manchester Regiment. On September 10th 1914 they sailed for Egypt from Southampton on board the Caledonia, arriving in Alexandria on September 25th.They were quartered in the Mustapha barracks where they were kitted out for the tropics. By October, they had started training. On … Continue reading »

Categories: World War One | Tags: , | 3 Comments

William Capel Slaughter -his early career

Records of William’s schooling are scarce. In the 1871  census he was  a pupil at a boys’ school  run by James Ward at 116 Clapham Common where,aged 13, he headed the list of pupils  aged 7 – 14. After that it is assumed he was tutored at home. He never went to university, but decided to … Continue reading »

Categories: 19th Century, Men of God, and of Commerce | Tags: , | 1 Comment

William Capel Slaughter – family origins and early life

 My great-grandfather was a significant figure in the city of London as one of the founder members of the law firm, Slaughter and May. It still bears his name, though no family members have been associated with the running of it  since William died in 1917. Born on May 11th 1857, William was the youngest … Continue reading »

Categories: 19th Century, Men of God, and of Commerce, Miscellaneous | Tags: , | 6 Comments

Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain – a review

The red flower for this Valentine’s Day piece is the scarlet poppy on the front of the Virago anniversary edition of Testament of Youth. First published in 1933 by Victor Gollancz, it became a great success both in the UK and the USA, and  familiar to a later generation when reissued in 1978 and a … Continue reading »

Categories: Books we've read, How we write, Miscellaneous, Strong Women, World War One | Leave a comment