Sunday, 6 January 2013

A find in a drawer - Hadden, White, Johnstone and others

You never know what will turn up in a drawer. In a desk bought by our family the following papers were found. The first is a letter from Canada written by a grateful lady in Winnipeg, the wife of a soldier cared for by Miss White, written in 1917.
 The letter reads:

15 Fawcett Avenue, Winnipeg, Canada

My dear Miss White, 

Ever since my husband Corp. Edwin B. Johnstone, told me of your goodness towards him and your splendid nursing, I have intended writing to thank you for all your kindness, but owing to illness in our home and the death of my father I have been kept pretty busy, with not much time for letter writing, so I hope you will forgive my tardy appreciation, which is none the less sincere on that account.

As you perhaps know, I have a sister in the Q.A's, and on that account have great sympathy with all nurses - especially the conscientious ones, such as I know you are, for my husband tells me the boys all call you "Sunshine", and really from your photo (which I have and shall always prize) I do not blame them - indeed heartily endorse their sentiment. In the weariness and sadness you are bound to experience in the course of fulfilling your duty, I assure you, you can take heart and go on, when you remember how thankful the poor boys all are for your cheerfullness and kindness. Such a disposition as yours cannot be anything but a blessing, and I do indeed wish you success in your work.

Perhaps you know that Mr. Johnstone is now at Folkstone seeing what can be done in the way of getting an artificial eye; I don't suppose they will return him to Canada, but give him light duty of some sort in England, and I am content it should be so, as I am proud to say there is not a man in our family who is not in khaki, and my only wish for them if they get wounded is that they should all be as fortunate as Edwin and fall into the tender care of a nurse who is not in the army for the sake of the uniform or what can be got out of it, but is in it for the sake of humanity and love of the Master who said "that in as much as ye have done it unto one of the least of my brethren ye have done it unto me."

Sincerely and gratefully yours, 
Ruby B. Johnstone.

P.S. I have sent you a book of views of Winnipeg, but whether or not the postal authorities will permit it to go through remains to be seen. RBJ.

My mother writes:

After the first world war, Miss White came to live and work in Zambia in an African hospital. Here she met and married a lawyer, Mr James Haddon. They had only one son - James Haddon Jnr, known as Jimmy, whose name is in the register of the old school near the Boma. He also became a lawyer, and later Justice Haddon. He did not marry until after his mother's death (in the 1970s?), to a divorcee. Their house, which was in one of the roads off the Great East Road, running towards the Roman Catholic Church, was sold, with most of the furniture. 

I am not sure if this should be Hadden or Haddon, however, the drawer held more surprises: two newspaper clippings from 1936. The first mentions the sale of a property, (perhaps the house in which these papers were found?) to a Mrs Morton for £450, Plot no 62 Fairview, sold by auction by Samuel Haslett at Counsell's Hotel, Lusaka, "lately occupied by Mr. Hadden", with conditions of sale available from Mr John Barklie, solicitor.

Also dated 1936, an article on work being done by members of the Women's Institute, mentioning Mrs Haddon, sister-in-charge at the Native Welfare Clinic, presumably the Miss White mentioned earlier.

The party were met by Mr Kirk, the manager, who gave them a guided tour.

Before leaving, Mrs H. Rich expressed the thanks of the members to Mrs Haddon and Mr Kirk for affording them such an interesting and enlightening morning.
(The reverse side of this clipping has a fragment of an article about Hitler and the Nazis.)

The auction clipping also has the following fragment mentioning Mr and Mrs Susman and their daughter Ella's marriage to Mr Harry Robinson, as well as some news of the Connaught Cup golf tournament, won by Mrs Morgans and Jack Davidson, playing against Mrs Moore and Mr Misplon. A local team plans a trip to Bulawayo, to include Messrs Jager, Burgess and Maxwell.

And to round things out, I would guess that these links refer to the Johnstones in this post:

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