Saturday 26 November 2016

A Postcard From The Past


I received a postcard this week. It was sent from Oxford on 13th October 1909. It wasn't delayed, it wasn't even sent to me. It was sent by a young man to his sweetheart.

I bought the postcard for a few pounds from eBay, it's my first eBay purchase and I found it by accident. I was googling for something completely different when I came across some postcards described as "for genealogy purposes". I just had to search for the surnames of my ancestors, not expecting to find anything, but this was for sale. Ripsher was my Great grandmothers maiden name, and Miss L Ripsher, the recipient of this postcard, was her sister. Well it sent goosebumps down my back. It was amazing that it survived as postcards aren't kept in the same way as maybe letters and photos are, (just a thought, maybe there are letters for sale too?). Maybe my Great grandmother touched this card, or her parents, my great great grandparents, picked it up from the floor after it was delivered.  



The card reads;

1 Castle Terrace

Dear Lil
Arrived quite safe weather fine rather cold tonight, we have done two jobs in Balliol College. I shall do the Cathedral or Town Hall tomorrow. We are working late to relieve the monotony of Oxford.
Love from xxxxxx Bert xxxxxxxxxxxxx

And at the top like an afterthought, in a pencilled box, is written
How is Poor Coat

Who were Lillian Frances Ripsher and Albert Robert Rashbrook?

Lillian Frances Ripsher was the youngest of nine children and was born on the 15th November 1891. My great grandmother, Emily May Ripsher, was the eldest and was 17 when her sister was born. Albert Robert Rashbrook was the fourth child of five, he was born on 15th May 1891, just a few months before Lillian. They both attended Haversack Hill School in London, where I assume they met.

The postcard was sent when they were both 18 and Bert was an Organ Builder like his father. His father was Walter Rashbrook and worked for Henry Willis and Sons Ltd. I guess the two jobs in Balliol were repairing the organ and maybe that's why he was interested in visiting the Cathedral and Town Hall. His father was also involved in the repair of the organ at Alexander Palace in 1929. The link has a picture of him and he is credited with 50 years service.

The organ at Balliol College © Copyright Basher Eyre and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Bert and Lil married in 1918 and Bert was recorded as being a soldier on their wedding certificate. He was a sergeant in the Kings (Liverpool) Regt. I can't help to wonder why they waited so long to marry. They had two children and both lived to a good age.

It's interesting how some families leave a record of their lives and others are forgotten in time. The Ripshers definitely left a trail and I have written about others from this family.

My Cousin - First President of Tottenham Hotspurs Football Club - John Ripsher

The Battle of Crete - Charles David Ripsher  (Lillian's nephew)

Mick The Amazing WWI Dog - Charles John Ripsher  (Lillian's brother)

Have you ever been lucky and found something like this?



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