HAFS Journal Vol 11 No 1 – May 2011 – Letters from Java


Twenty years of HAFS AGMs, outings, events and Church services

Letters written by EKG Hungerford [E.6.5a.1b] to May Lambert from 15 Feb 1909 to 2 Aug 1910

Descendants of Susan Hungerford [E.2.4a] and their Military Service

The Lady Margaret Hungerford Charity, Corsham, England


I love old letters! Will anyone – expect perhaps muck-raking journalists – keep the emails and text messages which fly back and forth across the ether, with abbreviations, poor spelling and emotions best not inflicted on the keyboard? A hand-written letter is a product of thought, and the choice of paper, pen and envelope offer glimpses of the significance of its message. The handwriting says something of the writer’s character – and to those familiar with it, perhaps affords an intuition of the writer’s mood. And a collection of letters written over some years is of even greater interest to later readers, given the privilege of entering into the mind and heart of earlier generations.

The pages of this, the first issue of the Journal in HAFS’ third decade of publishing, are largely taken up by the firrst instalment of a precious such collection: the letters written by Kenelm Hungerford to May Lambert more than a century ago. Lesley Abrahams has undertaken the strenuous task of not only transcribing them, but preparing a biography of this missionary pair: I will not spoil the story by giving any hints as to its outcome!

Lesley has also contributed a short piece, concluding this issue. She explains the perhaps oblique references to Cobram House (Wiltshire, England) and the Lady Hungerford Charity in the HAFS Newsletter, reporting efforts by Guy Hungerford to have the buildings restored.

But to open this first issue of our third decade, Pauline Richardson has put together a full list of the Society’s events and Church Services – an invaluable, well-researched survey of what we have been up to!

To top off one of our longest issues, Pauline Tyrrell has continued her patient research into military connections of HAFS relations, with an impressively detailed account of the war service of descendants of Susan Hungerford and Edward Tyrrell – with a complete set of their photographs!

Many thanks to these writers and researchers – and apologies to those for whose writing room was insufficient in this issue. This is the first time I can recall that we have had a surfeit of publishable material, which should make readers all the keener to recommend subscription to others.

Charles Sherlock

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