HUGH FAMILY EMAILS - DISCUSSIONS - DATA CAPTURE File opened 8th April 2008. Most recent material at the end. 9th January 2008
Hi Winkle Here is the address of the Fletcher Archive/website in progress............ Love. Neil FletcherHi Neill I think that must be the first email I've ever had addressed to Winkle! Lovely to hear from you - and I think the site is a great idea.
I'll send on some info and pictures to you in the next few days.........
Dr Jean Fletcher
School of Biochemistry and Immunology
Trinity College Dublin
tel: +353 (0)1 896 3574
fax: +353 (0)1 6772086
==================================== 12th Feb Hi Neil Sorry for the delay - its a good thing you are relentless, nagging is the only way to get results!
Attached is some basic info, CV and a few photos of my daughter. Will send some childhood/old photos later as I need to scan
them in still. Would you be interested in any of Dad's short stories if I can get my hand on them?
=============== 12th Feb Hi Neil Good luck with extracting anything from my siblings - they are all very bad at replying to emails! Do you have email addresses for
them all? Let me know if you don't hear from them and I can at least supply you with names and DOBs for the tree.
Unfortunately I don't have many pictures from Drummnond, Mum has most of those. Next time I am visiting her though I will try
and scan them.
It was great to see the Perth picnic picture - somehow everyone looks just the same. I haven't seen a picture of Allegra or Serena
since Drummond days but would have easily picked them out.
I have met the relatives over here - when Mum was here last we went out to visit them in Meath and spent the day.
Will keep sending you stuff as I find it.
Thanks for doing a great job for us all!
=============== Winkle > It would be a great help if you can provide the details for you siblings. I > still have a lot of work to do locating relatives with
whom we have lost contact. Like Robbie's family. You can probably remember them from Drummond. > She was Terry. Do you
have any details of the kids? Even just names? Also > your cousins from Elizabeth's side. Do you have any names or other
clues? > Their close cousins here from Aileen's side are out of touch too.
> Have just been badgering Richard, but he does not have days and months > details. But he sent stuff from Debretts.
He is off to the farm for a week.
I would like email addresses of Julia and Diana. Its her birthday this > month.? Afraid I have not been much of a godfather.
Also Anne's. I might be trying an old one. But Elwyn got mail from her on her computer recently.
Re trying to read Hugh's short stories: I think he also gave me your PhD thesis to read, as well as lots of wine, and Annette lots
of food. I just > didnt get around to it.
Also! the photo with the cheetah . Why are you not looking at the camera?
============== Hi Neil I'll work on the sibling and other family details...Anne's email addresses: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
- will find out Julia and Diana's emails
Re: Cheetah picture - that is the cheetah minder and not me! Will send more picures...
Can't think why Dad wanted to inflict my PhD thesis on you! I have to give him credit though for faithfully wading his way through
the whole thing.
Will be in touch. Jean
=============== Also a link for anyone who wants to buy fletcher tartan - http://houseoftartan.co.uk/house/tfinder.htm
============= 20th Feb.
I will consider it a great achievement if you reply, and stay in future contact.
Am looking for stuff for the Fletcher website, and in particular the update of the African side of the family tree.
Could you please for a start send me full names, dates and places of birth, marriage and death for Old Hugh and Bessie if you can, your details, have got from Diana, need Julia.
Winkle has promised to help re Celia and Doozie if necessary......................... have got stuff from Richard,
Please send what you can. If I get a reply from you I will badger you later about other stuff.
Have tracked down the Fletchers in USA . I was under the impression that contact had been lost in the Fifties, but they tell me your Dad was in contact a decade or so ago. But contact was again lost. Where exactly are you.?
When Annette was here she provided quite a lot of old anecdote, and promised to look through things when she got back.
What suggestions can you give me re Elizabeth 's family. The were Viljoens, not so?. Do you know any of her kids names,
or any other details about them. ditto for the Robby and Terry branch. Do you know what any of the kids were called?
Tell me about your life. here is the website address ......... It is a pity Hugh could not have done all this stuff directly onto computer.
=============== > Winkle you are my last chance I think....> Got from Diana, no reply from Anne, Doozy.....> Please can you supply as much
as you are able for Hugh-Bessie/Hugh_Annette downwards.... Already have for you and Diana
> Full names, dates and places of birth, marriage, death/ ditto for spouses.spice?.
> Where is Anne , Carolina?Virginia? Tennessee?
> did I mention we have found the Angus family in the US and also the > Kenneth-Robby-Terry family in RSA?.
> attached is Allegra's first, Nina. To me she often looks like Saoirse in the > photos you sent. Nina has been her own person since birth....
> Please send some of you. I still think of you in Hillside?Townsend uniform....
================= 20 Feb Dear Neil and Elwyn Sorry I have been such a terrible correspondent! I always mean to reply, and then never get round to it and the days just slip by! In
academia, we live by deadlines ? it is worse than homework at school! I have two deadlines looming, and I am way behind
with a report for my sponsors, so need to get on with it or I may lose my funding! I promise that I will write next week once I have got this in! Lots of love Ann
============= 26th Feb.
I'll do my best - just give me a day or two...I agree that she and Saoirse look a bit alike - I recognise the determined set of the
mouth/chin. Saoirse also has been extremely strong willed and determined (mostly to disagree with me) since birth!
Anne is in Lexington, Kentucky (banjo land I think!). Will get back to you soon
============= From Neil
Sent: Tuesday, March 11, 2008 5.30 am
To: linda; Jack, Anne M; jean fletcher
Subject: fletcher stuff
this is the state of things............please supply all full names, maiden names. dates of birth, marriage, death etc etc
I really don't wish to publish it in the form below, but if nothing is forthcoming what else can I do?
Consider: ..your father was the main contributor to the family history until now. By surface mail....
=========== Dear Neil
Telepathy ? just last night I sat down to make a list of the birthdays I know! Here is what I have:
Mum and dad ? correct details, I need to check Dad?s date of death.
Me (Anne Mary) ? born 24.08.54. Mike ? born 28.6.46. Married 24.5.80. Divorced ? need to check
Julia (just Julia) ? born 18.08.81 (wrong on your sheet)
Diana (Diana Bettine) ? brown 8.02.84 (wrong on your sheet ? ironically, she was due on the 14th!)
You have Sue?s family
And I have just realized that I have left my list at home ? I am at work and supposed to be working, but you sent me on such a
guilt trip that I had to reply immediately! I have Celia?s and Doozy?s family on my list ? got all the birthdays, just missing a few
years of birth. I will call and get those and send them on. Will also check on second names. I am sending this incomplete list now
so that you don?t feel neglected in the interim!
Doozy?s second name is spelt with a ?z?..... not an ?s?........ Jean is known as Winks.
All six of us were born in Bulawayo . Both my kids were born in Harare . Mike was born in Malta , but is English. Both Sue?s
kids were born in Perth . Celia?s kids were born in several different places. Doozy?s kids were born in Worcester . Saoirse was
born in London .
I don?t have any details of Dad?s siblings, but in addition to Angus, who you have, there was Aileen (died of cancer a few years ago),
Elizabeth (committed suicide ? we?ll have that date, because it was the day of Celia?s wedding) and Alan (died in a fire). The only
names of Elizabeth ?s kids that I can remember are Sandra and Malcolm ? can?t remember the other girl. Name was Viljoen.
And now I have to go to the farm and grade tobacco! Will get you those details. Will also answer your first letter, sitting in my
?immediate attention? folder.
Love to everyone. Anne
============== 19th March
Dear Neil and Elwyn
I am sorry that I have been such a terrible correspondent ? it is one of my great failings! Finally answering your original letter, after
just sending info.
I don?t have any of my grandparents? details ? asked Mum and she doesn?t either. Each of us kids had a copy of the Fletcher
family tree, with all that stuff. Mine disappeared years ago ? never knew what happened to it. Mum is trying to see if Dooz or Celia
still have theirs. Have sent you everything for our family. I have a lot of Dad?s letters, some from many years ago. If those are
of any interest to you, I can scan and send them. I also have his stories ? Mike and Julia have put most of them into electronic files.
I am living in Lexington , Kentucky , working at the University of Kentucky . Still on tobacco. I have been very fortunate ? I work
with a really great bunch of people and have a wonderful boss. I am nearing completion of my PhD ? done all the classes and the
exams, collected all the data ? just have to write my thesis now! Lexington is just my sort of city ? big enough to have everything,
small enough to still be nice to live in ? you can be out of the city in 15 minutes. I would be delighted to get in touch with the USA
Fletchers (didn?t know that there were any!) ? where are they?
Tell you about my life! I arrived here in early 2002, and didn?t know a single person ? pretty scary for someone who couldn?t go
to the supermarket without seeing at least a dozen friends or acquaintances! I settled down pretty quickly ? America (or at least
this part of it) suits me. After spending the first couple of years on my own, I took up with a guy I have known most of my life ?
we worked together at Kutsaga. His wife had run off with someone else several years before. He was in North Carolina (8 hour drive
so we had a long distance relationship for several years. He moved up here at the beginning of last year, and we bought a town
Very happy. Mike has remarried ? very nice woman who gets on very well with me and with the kids. Both kids happy and well, with
very nice boyfriends. Julia doing a part-time masters, Diana graduating with a masters in engineering in June ? jammy little bugger
has already been offered a job earning more than I do ? before even graduating! Got my green card last week, so as long as I can
hang onto my job in this fragile economy, all is well. I don?t hanker after Zim ? I thank my lucky stars to be out of all that, and I don?t
know how people there manage ? but I really do miss the people, especially family. I really miss you guys.
Lots of love, and love to your girls
=============== : Sent: , March 19, 2008
Many thanks for your news. Got a phonecall from Sue yesterday about Richard's mother, but I suppose she has also been in touch
with you.......Do you keep in touch with Callen? Emailed her yesterday but so far no reply. Elizabeth 's family might take a bit of
tracking down, but you never know
What is your bloke called, and do I have to enter him on the Tree. If so, As/under what ?
=============== Dear Neil
Quick reply with a few things. Dad?s stories attached. Mike says he has only done a quick edit and there may be errors ? I haven?t
had time to go through them yet. Not sure if this is all of them ? I will check when I have a moment. Will try and scan some
letters this weekend. He also sent me this link ? probably you have it already.
I had a quick look at your website ? very impressive. Having set up a website myself (with a LOT of help from our IT guy), I am a lot
more appreciative of what is involved. Great thing about working at a university ? there is an expert for everything ?
you just call them up ? IT experts, stats experts, pathologists, entomologists, you name it.
I have Callen?s phone number ? I speak to her and to Tony very sporadically. Keep meaning to get them to come and stay. I have
both their phone numbers ? do you want me to call and ask anything?
My bloke is called Colin Raymond Fisher, ex Bindura. You don?t have to enter him ? we aren?t married and don?t intend to go forth
and multiply ? we just shack up and live in happy sin, much to the horror of the bible belters. Same basis as Serena?s
Michael I guess ? enter him if you enter Michael.
Lots of love to you all, and Mike sends love (I asked him to look for my family tree, and he said to send his love when I wrote to you).
I might try to call you sometime ? Mum gave me your number.
================ From: celia cox , To: elwyn fletcher, March 31, 2008
here i am. I took a 3-year holiday from writing letters. thank you for all your unanswered ones.
i am fascinated to hear that neil is making a family archive - tell him i have (among other things) a piece by annie fletcher, written
from a farm which i think must have been mimosa woods. it is about her daily routine and mentions old hugh (who is about to
depart for the war the next day), kenneth and a dog called toby who has got mixed up with the cheese dye. you want it, neil?
send me your email address. There is a bunch of other stuff too.
before i get to news, neil asked for the following birthdates/ places: howard richard cox, lusaka, 10.02.1956; celia fletcher, byo,
13.03.1957; hugh fletcher cox, jhb, 05.07.1980; rory fletcher cox, jhb, 16.07.1982; adam fletcher cox, middelburg, 23.10.1984
ben fletcher cox, middelburg, 18.04.1987; daniel fletcher cox, middelburg, 19.12.1995 - 19.07.1998
================== 2 April
i have lots of old photographs.
all the ones of the dam being built.
many of the old rondavel house when we lived there; some of us playing on that remarkable tree which served very well as horse/ camel/ giraffe, depending on the game and on where exactly you sat along the trunk. [That old trunk's branches at the end used to scrape against the thatch when the wind blew. For many years I put an old tarpaulin
over the damaged area. Eventually decided to rethatch the whole house and the buildings around it.
Unfortunately the Fingo thatcher chopped off some of the branches at the end. I suppose there was nothing else to be done.
But I was a bit annoyed about it. The trees were beautiful specimens of msehla. They did have yellow flowers, did they not ? N.F.] some of Bessie and old Hugh outside their house.
some of umvutcha, woodville and the people who lived there.
many of life on drummond.
some of my father on the john deere tractor, some of the massey ferguson and some of the fordson (these are the first long words i
learned to spell, doing correspondence school on the farm; had a thing for tractors then and now) old written stuff -
i have a letter from old Hugh as a very small boy, written from boarding school in England, in which he thanks his mother for sending
him a little purse and expresses regret that it is empty. [ See a number of letters regarding school in Eastbourne on the site. In the Catalogue look for Letters/ ..and then look for ones
sent by or associated with Kenneth_Rosalie_Wendy in the columns. There is a letter Annie_ida in which the baby with sore eyes is
Hugh I suspect. There is also a photo of old Hugh in cadet/army uniform. Winkie says she has photos of Kenneth (and H?) in SWA
during WW1, and Peter Fletcher, son of Angus, in Florida told me he also has photos of both(?) from SWA, where Angus also first
went in WW1. newer written stuff - i will have a look.
there are a couple of anecdotal pieces about my father that i wrote - one about giving him a haircut while he convered with ants. that any good? [ It is a website for the family, and not just for me!. If you have material that you wish to publish on it, then send it in and
tell me to do so, whether I think it any good or not. Would like to see it in any case...N.F..] most of the photographs were taken by me as a child with a brownie box camera my father gave me, but they're not bad. [ See the Ida Fletcher Collection - many of the photos in that were also taken on a box brownie in 1905 or so. Also see Kenneth's
letter from Eastbourne re photography. He probably had a Brownie box camera too.] the dam series he took. [I have for some time hoped there would be some photos of the dam being built..}
adam has just given me a scanner but i am ignorant about how exactly to scan AND email, and i am temporarily fresh out of kid to
frogmarch to my office. one or two will blow in at the weekend, but that's a few days away. i will go to the copy shop in the mall just
now and get them to send you a scan of Annie's piece and old Hugh's letter so long; maybe they will show me how it is done.
I saw Abe in the Christmas holidays, and before that, a couple of years ago. we talk on the sms usually but having just acquired
internet access i have emailed him and had a reply. writing to him requires patience on both sides as i am an erratic correspondent
and he is a nomadic one. [ I have put a link to some recent Abe stuff in the Endnotes to this file. N.F.] i am very happy that you're collecting all these things together. when we lived on the farm it was me who pounced on them and
hoarded them so that my family teased me about being resistant to change or to the fact that time passes; i had grandad's old
2nd WW steel trunk a old and there i stashed my loot (to hoots of unseemly laughter from the family). now i have a whole bunch of
distinguished sisters but i alone, my dear, can claim the distiction of being the family museum curator... or at least the one who dusts the cabinets.
i was born too late..
[what happened to it, do you know? I have a steel trunk from Drummond here in Aus. We kept all the purple label insecticides and other poisons in it at the farm. I think there should be a file called The Drummond Collection. - By the way most people now don't know that Drummond was a late name for the farm. We always called it the Bottom Farm, and Peter in his diaries called it Mbetchu. The blacks always called it Ara = RA. I only heard the name Drummond for the first time when I returned from England. And I recently received letters from John by RA and by oldH in one of which it is referred to as the Bottom Farm. Here is what Mercy Murray says
about the origin of the name: ] "In recognition of their services, and after the British occupation of that area, and the founding of Queenstown in 1854, Donald and
his sons were granted farms in the district. Donald and his eldest son, Donald William, settled on the granted farm in the Whittlesea area, which they named Drummond, after Donald's birthplace in Scotland". ["The Family of Donald & Eliza McDonald"] ====================== 2nd April
i've just found some things. a 28 pg document typed by my father and headed 'the macinleisters of achallader in the braes of
glenorchy". you probably have this... [Don't have]
there are some typed letters to My dear Mother/ Dear Mama from P. Fletcher/ Pat/ R. A. Fletcher, written from Duoquodales/
Millwood/ St Andrews College/ Grahamstown and dated 1884 - 1889. although quite old and dirty they are probably transcripts?
[For the moment don't send. Prob already have these from Hugh, and JP has sent scans of originals]
there is a pile of correspondence/ documents passing between my father and Graham Ross about Patrick Fletcher and roads/ geology:
Let's dec ide about these later. Some we might already have
a sample, Die Bou van die Messelpad/ Hondeklip and Springbok Rd/ Namaqualand Rd
a piece describing a young man said to be known as Berghlooper - at the bottom is a handwritten note: "unsigned but obviously P.F."
The content is a rather conceited self-portrait written for for his 'Dear Mother' . [Have from Hugh. Flick has original -
not yet sent. Bergloper = Patrick called Peter. Ditto for Orange River letter below. ]
a letter from P.F. (no salutation) written from "The banks of the Orange River, 25 June 1854"
a letter from Graham Ross to my father in which he describes how one can access documents on NAREM, a computerised database
compiled by the State Archives Service of the Dept. of National Education, containing the holdings of all the archives in the
country as well as the document collections of the libraries and museums around the country... "you type in Patrick Fletcher, and
voila! there you have all his works, such as diaries, listed before you, together with where they are."
you probably have all this. i will continue telling you everything that turns up just in case.
neil. i can't find the annie letter. i have spent four days searching for it and didn't want to reply before finding it. think i'll go drink hemlock now.
i never lose things, except for unimportant things like keys (daily) and my glasses (hourly). i have carried that letter with me for 30
years and through 20 different houses and know exactly where it should be, but it's not there. i am so sorry. i will keep looking.
doozie has just got back from holiday and says she has a typescript of it. i'm going over there later today to see. in the meantime,
3/4 of my sons are home this weekend and teaching me the jpeg stuff. so watch this space.
i have also found: some more old H eastbourne letters; a photograph of mimosa woods with this written on the back: "a very ugly
photo of mimosa woods. it is a better looking place than this."
a 1917 letter from old H to his mother from 'granelli's place'. italy? talks about watching the allies' seaplanes landing.
a rhodesian farmer mag article called "330m. gallon farm dam" with an aerial photo of the dam being built, caption 'a view of
mr. fletcher's dam near bembezi, showing the earth wall.'
all the stuff i've told you about so far is among my things - i haven't finished going through it yet, and i haven't even started on my
father's pile. i would like to send you the originals for safekeeping but don't know how, as i have a large family and am cheerful but
impecunious (quote from beatrix potter book about rabbits).
if you want me to lay out these lists in a manner that makes it easier for you to gather information, please say so. i just type like this,
to go faster. do you want capitals for names and places?
i had already found the photo of a ruined farmhouse a couple of days ago, and can easily lay hands on the rest of the series.
there are also a couple of the cave herenslogement which are interesting but i think irrelevant to you. xxx
Celia, all the stuff you mention I hope to receive sometime. Keep on typing as you like. No lists necessary.
All your stuff for safekeeping. If you are ever really worried about safekeeping I am sure something could be arranged. One of the
reasons I started this archive thing is so that there are copies of everything, so that if this house here goes up in a bushfire it will
be a pity but at least copies will be available...Dont send things in the post. They are too valuable.
The ruined farmhouse. Is there granite around it, Is it with others? I am desperate to see a scan of Hughs stuff at Keerom. You will
see why soon - next week maybe. the cave - everything is of interest .Drummond dam building photos - look forward. Keep looking
through everything. N
================== Dear Celia
I have received some photos from Peter Fletcher in Florida which make it important to see if at all possible the photos that Hugh took
when he went on a trip to Namaqualand with Annette in the Eighties?.
He showed me the photos when he came up to Zimbabwe once and I regret to say I did not pay at the time all the ettention to detail
I now wish I had. He had a few of the Keerom yard, one of which included a sort of drift/water in a rocky pool, and maybe there
were others of a ruined farmhouse. I am very anxious to see any of these photos and especially of the surrounding rocks if there
They must be somewhere with you. Please keep looking for all old stuff. Also the details of how to see catalogues of state archives given by Ross. N XXXX
================== 7 April From Celia
answers to your questions in the last few emails:
the ruined farmhouse - looks like there is a sort of low granite dwala in the background. it is a fairly close-up shot, so i can't see if
there are others around it - there may well be.
the old 2nd WW trunk - i still have it. it's at the end of my bed and i still keep things in it. to my infinite regret, i painted it when
i was a teenager and had no brains. it was olive drab with his initials & surname on it and it is now red oxide (you see that i spare you a
description of the intermediate paint job).
the 28 pg document ' the macinleisters of achallader in the braes of gleonorchy and their descendants in southern africa' was
composed by my father; in the first paragraph he explains that it was in response to questions from 'young relations'. you want it?
'die bou van die messelpad' is by kotze and has a bibliography attached.
the ross letter about NAREM is very faded so i am retyping the relevant bit for you. it is dated. october 27 1995. "dear hugh, it strikes me, when you say that there must be more of patrick's diaries somewhere, that if they are registered in some
accessible location they should be referenced on NAREM. herewith from my bibliography:
national register of manuscripts (NAREM)
a computerised database compiled by the state archives service of the dept. of nat. ed., containing the holdings of all the archives in
the country, as well as the document collections of the libraries such as the south african library in cape town and the cory library for
historical research at rhodes university in grahamstown, and of museums around the country.
for example, the moffat collection (qv) is covered. on-line computer facilities available "in the state archives depots in pretoria,
cape town, bloemfontein and pietermaritzberg, and also at various other institutions". hard-copy printouts generally available elsewhere (e.g: s.a. library, cape town).
i am not a confident user of these modern gimmicks, and usually ask the most attractive assistant at the desk to help me, but i think
that, having got someone to access NAREM for you, you punch in PATRICK FLETCHER and, voila! there you (in theory) have all
his works, such as diaries, listed before you, together with where they are. or maybe, like me, you push a few buttons and jam the
whole works up! the archives in roeland street seem to be your best bet. good luck!" (the ross letter goes on, but it's just smalltalk
here's a request. i have the greener 12 - bore from drummond and the licensing laws are very stringent. it is signed over to me, with
the correct paperwork, but i haven't processed the transfer because the laws changed just then. now, before i can get it into my name,
i need to pass a stringent and expensive course. in the meantime it is safely stored but the whole thing is a bit dodgy and on shaky
ground legally. my sons don't want me to disable it. do you know of any nearby relative who already has a license and would/ could
keep it for us or advise me? i tried asking at a gunshop but they looked at me skeef and i felt wary of telling them too much. can't get
arrested till finished bringing up kids; i'm all they have; they find me batty but satisfactory in other respects.
i'm now going to try sending you some of the things.
====================================== The photo from Namaqua is very important, as it helps to re-inforce an identification of a photo from USA as being of Keerom. The
photo from Peter Fletcher, Florida, is amazing and valuable. I will put it on the site soon. The building in Hugh's photo is not of the
actual Keerom homestead, but is an outbuilding on the western side of the main building.
The photo of the Fordson with the Steyns(?) dam scoops is very nostalgic. Esp. the trees on the side of the hill. Did you know that
those trees can be milked like rubber trees for a latex? We used to make a tasteless chewing gum from them when we were kids.
The other photo is a mystery. Scouts hat?
Hope you can find Annie's letter. The farm is called Mimosa Park. Does she use the word Woods. By the way do you know the story
of the trees which Annie chopped? Also do you know it was largely because of Mimosa Park that Pat and RA fell out?. Recently
somebody (maybe Mickey or Sue when they were over here a few months ago??? said RA lost Mimosa Park because of being late on
payments when he was out surveying... Did you ever hear that story? I am going to write a Mimosa Park file sometime.....We had
lunch with Peter Cook from Byo who lives about an hour away from here in a forested area where he manages a retreat. His father
Cran Cook was well known in connection with the Byo Museum, and the work he did on copying the Bushmen paintings in the Matopos.
Peter had quite a bit to say about Mimosa Park and I will get him to write it down, if I can. Pip and Sally Longden who were here
stayed with the Cooks a week or so ago. The Longdens are in McGregor down your way. How do you wish me to attribute the material you send.? To you/your collection/Hugh Fletcher Family?/Collection?/Papers? and if to you how do you wish to be called? There must have been more than one trunk because we have one here which I am almost certain came from Drummond. But it might
have also come from Zimbile and housed the old PF diaries mentioned in the Ross archive stuff, and which I have written about elsewhere.
The Archive material is very good to receive. If you have time I would be most obliged if you could investigate further. I was a little
surprised to learn that UCT had bought microfilm of Pat's diaries. I have his actual diary of the Occupation 1893-94. It was not given
to the archive.
Maybe I will find and send you Ross' phone number. I tried to email him several times last year, and JP spoke to him. I could not get
email contact, and phoning is expensive and difficult with the cheap times and the 6 hr difference.
re the Greener: It is very difficult for me to do anything else from this end than to make suggestions. I would try all of these, beginning
with those closest to you. Adam F, also might be a help legally.;, Flick., ; Danae and Garrick in JB; in Byo I would seek the advice of
Tara and Troy Maidwell, as they are in the shooting world and have just been down South on a competition: also of course you must
ask John, who has the Umvutcha Greener. (The Zimbile Greener, and all the other guns, were confiscated from an armourer where they
were stored before we left.). Owen in PE had the same sort of trouble you mention registering what he already had when I tried to get
our guns out, - so I dont think he will be able to help. It is not inconceivable it could be brought over to Aus. It would mean me trying
to get written permission from a landowner to shoot on their property etc etc, and the other alternative over here is Bruce F who has
brought over a rifle and so may very well be able to help.
Please give more infor about the Kotze article. Is it big/be scanned? Maybe I should put you onto Annelize Erasmus in Springbok.
She is a young relative of Kotze and she told me about the article. Annelize was very helpful with stuff about Keerom. Her emails are on
the site. Her father was Jopie Kotze who has the Springbok Lodge (formerly Cafe) and Hugh met him on his trip, and I in 2003.
Keerom is now part of a national park and I have been unsuccessful in actually finding an individual (as opposed to a computer) to
write to about Keerom homestead. It would be nice to have more pictures/info about the farmyard. Annelize said she would look out
for somebody, but she has not been in touch recently.
Ditto about Hugh's achallader article. How could you send it? N.
================== 8th April
the dam: i have the negs and they seem to include pictures which i don't have in the photos. i will print and send them when i can.
mimosa woods/ park: in the annie letter it is referred to as mimosa woods. on the back of the photo of the house is written in faded
ink: "a very ugly photo of mimosa woods. it is a better looking place than this." my father told me the story of how mimosa woods
was lost; he said that ra was away and the payments were not made when they should have been, ra having left instructions to that
effect. he said that the inhabitants at mimosa woods were mad about the place and ra never forgave the losing of it. i don't know the
story of annie chopping down the trees.
the UNKNOWN file: the problem i have with boxes of unlabelled photos is that i don't know what iam looking at.
the keerom pictures: my mother has not read your emails and had her recollection coloured by anything in them... she says that the
building in the photo is definitely a little house because it has niches in the walls inside where things were kept or there were
muurkassies once; that there was a pool the size of a small room in font of it and down a slight slope. there was a dwala in the
background and there is now a modern house right up against the dwala. (?) the rest of the keerom series are temporarily inaccessible.
i took an album of namaq. photos to school to show my pupils herenslogement and left it there. school starts again in a week.
graham ross: i have his address and phone number. there is a heap of his correspondence with my father in my desk drawer. his
letters look typewritten; maybe he is not into computers and email?? i can contact him for you if you wish. tell me what to say or ask.
the kotze article: it is 6 X A4 pages, the last one being a bibliography, and it is called "die bou van die messelpad 6 Februarie 1867 - 31
Maart 1871". i can scan and send it to you easily.
there are photocopies of: old articles/ letters on roads etc. by various people; also plan of the hondeklip bay - springbok road;
handwritten namaqualand road report April 1867; cape copper mining company report of the roads and systems of transport from the cape copper company's mines to
the coast in namaqualand by mr t hall december 1865.
there is an extract from the bibliography of ross's book.
there is an inventory of tools and their value on the namaq. rd by patrick fletcher.
i can scan and send achallader article too, if you can receive it. please tell me whether to send it as an attachment. (yesterday i didn't
even know what an attachment was.) i can do it now. attribute the material to the hugh fletcher family collection. it really isn't mine, i just like it and save it, and am delighted that there is
somewhere to send it. i'm going to scan and send more photos over the next couple of days. we have rolling power cuts now, which are maddening; you will
need that waiting kind of patience, which i hate.
===================== 9th April From Celia
herewith a list of the more interesting documents found among my father's papers. i think you will like and admire it. xxx Typescript of THE ANNIE PIECE !!! i know it by heart, so can see it's the right one.
Annie's death notice
Deed of transfer no. 723 re hilton and other properties
Collected correspondence with peter s. fletcher of florida
Various van der hum recipes
Copy of matabele times newspaper article by r a. fletcher 1896 re the geographical position of byo
Article 'how the columns were saved' by m. e. weale
Share certificate, trace o' gold mines, 1935
Piece by p. f. from banks of the orange, 1854
Old hugh's pilots log book
A handwritten account of rhodes's funeral, unsigned, undated
A handwritten article: from invenstown free press, march 1868, the late w mcdonald, in memorium [is hard to read the writing;
I may be inaccurate]
[Donald McDonald b. 1792, founded the SA clan when he arrived in June 1817. He died 24 Feb 1868 in
Queenstown. I would say he would be the most likely candidate]
A thick wad of correspondence with graham ross, containing many references to other sources and many snippets of other writings. Original letters: to annie from r.a., a postcard with grey-blue one-penny stamp replica
to ben from hugh at bembesi 1963
to r. k. fletcher at que que from att. cecil roberts & letts of byo re farms mananda, upper nondwene & hilton
to hugh from ben re division of hilton, with hand-drawn plan, 1956
to ben from young hugh at saldanha, 1944
to ben and dolly from hugh, duncan docks, c. t. , 1945
to ben from hugh, a long way from tipperary, 1915
several dipped - nib letters from hugh to mother, written when very young, no date
to mother from hugh, nyamandhlovu, 1939
to mother from hugh [old h]
to mother from hugh, alexandria, 1919
to mother from hugh, royal flying corps, oxford, 1917
to father from hugh, callander [old h]
to father from hugh [old h]
to annie [unsigned], king edwards house, wimbledon, 1918 [has drawings of aeroplanes in between the writing]
to uncle ben and aunt dolly from Angus, 1946 [Nephew Angus? - N.F.]
to ben from Angus, 1945
[nephew ditto - N.F.]
to ben from Angus, 1943
[nephew ditto - N.F.] Typescripts of letters: from agnes fletcher in rondebosch to annie fletcher, 1899
to mother from pat, millwood, 1889
copy of signed letter from r. a. to dr sauer, jhb, 1903
to dr kotze from hugh, botha, 1994
====================== From Celia 12th April
i've been reading it [yHugh's achallader typescript. N.F.] and it's fascinating. he explains at the beginning that it is "not intended to
be a comprehensive history of the fletchers. it is my personal account of my family's history, seen from my rung of the
ladder of time. if i have written more about some members of the family than others, it is because i know more about them
and am therefore able to write more."
so it is obviously subjective and therefore, perhaps, questionable in parts - a blend of family tree and many reminiscences about
various family members - annie, r.a., tom, alister, lorraine, kenna, rory, and others, also places - mimosa woods, hamba gaghle,
umvutcha; speaks of annie erecting 2 huts on our farm in her old age and ida walking over from zimbile with her fishing rod to visit her.
could that be the 2 huts in the unknown file, and could ida be the woman? he describes family funerals and other occasions and talks
about lorraine as a young bride at umvutcha and rob's locked room full of glasses of milk and ox hearts, the brandy bottle, the greener
shotguns, etc, etc.
another sudden find:
a school exercise book with a piece of writing on 'The Cow' by peter fletcher, glasgow, 1844 - in beautiful copperplate script.
also a studio portrait picture of r.a.
also the negatives of the keerom series, some of which i can't find in photo print form. please tell me which you want most urgently.
======================== 12th April. Dear Celia
I look forward to seeing everything you have so far mentioned. Send what is easiest first.
The exercise book with PF's essay on The Cow sounds like a companion book to the two the Zimbile family have (see scans in the PF
Biography). Some scans of the book you have should go with the ones already on the site. Valuable book - keep the rats out.
If you are able to get the keerom negs printed some scans of them would be welcome, since the subject is topical now.
RA portrait is also topical with the stuff that has come from John
hughs achallader material - how do you think you could send it? Re where Annie lived: Rosalie who spent a lot of time at Umvutcha
with Patty after Connie died told me a little while ago that Annie eventually went to live by herself at Hamba Gahle in a hut, and RA
was not inclined to be be with her there. I do not know if they had actually fallen out. Will ask Rosalie again. I did not know about two
huts at Mbechu. The story from Peter was that Ida bought Zimbile A with money she had inherited when their father died, and later
the RA family got Zimbile B from F&E (?) because Annie "wanted to be close to her sister". So it is quite probable that Annie built
huts there and Ida walked down to see her. She was very keen on fishing and even in her Seventies regularly walked to a pool on the
sandveld on Zimbile. Your road from the drift to Fletchers Rd - if instead of turning left to Bembesi you just continued straight through
the veld and slightly to the East until you met the river - there were decent sized bream in those big pools in those days. With the
"climate change" in the Eighties, they became dry.
If you have Graham Ross' phone number maybe you could get in touch sometime and confirm his email number. I have sent several
times but not had a reply, although JP spoke to him last year.
============ 11th April i haven't opened the tree yet; i have to got to the vodacom shop first and sort out a problem with my data bundle. this is just a quick
note in the meantime.
i can scan and zip the achallader piece, or post a copy, or do whatever you think most practical. i very badly want you to see it.
i have also found a geological map of southern rhodesia, printed on paper that looks like linen - where the folds are worn, you can see
a net of fibres - revised edition, compiled in the geological survey office, salisbury, 1936. hugh mentions this in his achallader piece. we had the original f&e map of rhodesia which was treasured by my father and which i was single-handedly responsible for losing. it
grieves me to this day. i was travelling by train between laingsburg and middelburg (like an umfazi on the way to the transkei,
according to my father), with a string of little children and an array of curious luggage, and i left it on the train. he had urged me to take
it with me and get a copy made, instead of which i lost it for ever.
it may strike you that i don't have a very good track-record when it comes to the safekeeping of family treasures.
i will print and scan the keerom series and the picture of r.a. xxx
======================= The geological map. I think I also have this map somewhere, or did have. There was also a map from this time of the Bulawayo gold
belt area - the Greenstones cutting through the old granites from the Turk Mine area down through Zimbile on the eastern edge and
as far as Bushtick or thereabouts. It was part of a report by Frank Amm given to Peter , which I had but I think it got left in Byo.
Frank Amm stayed on Zimbile with Peter when he was doing the mapping in that area. He later became the head of the Geological Dept during the days
of the Federation. He had a son called Derek who went to Canada, and another son whose name escapes me for the moment, but wh
was a big friend of Garrick when they were at P. E. school together. Frank Amm's map was updated soon after Independence
as part of those funded things at the time by a Dr Garson from overseas. He was based at the Mines Office/Survey Dept in Byo.
I once went in to see him and in one of the offices there were numerous old maps of small workings in the early days made by Fletcher & Espin
strewn all over the floor. He obligingly spent many more days in the Zimbile area than was probably necessary, walking up all
the dry river beds in about 1983, including Drummond, pointing out to me features on the geology, and also hydrological features,
as it was the time we had just had three droughts in a row and I was busy doing resistivity surveys looking for borehole sites.
His report was published and available. A friend of Clara's, Jacob Raath, son of Jan Raath the well known correspondent (Times?) in Harare,
generously gave me a copy after we left the farm. I gave it back to him before we left for Australia. Wish I had a copy of it now. I did not know that Hugh had a F&E map. I have one called F&E's map of the surveyed properties of Matabeleland, or something like
that, published in London in 1897 I think. It is in two sections and needs the carpet of a fair sized room to lay it all out. Since being in
Aus I have been accused by the Chingoma family of selling family heirlooms on the internet. Maybe it was the one you lost that they
saw on offer? Bill & Elizabeth McKinney had a photocopied version of a F&E map of the Mat farms as well, but it was different to the
one I have. Maybe there were several editions?
Have just received a CD from Adam with an RA election poster scan/photo. There is a portrait with that too. N
=========== From: N.F. to Peter Cook, near Manjimup, WA. 11 April 2008
Have become caught up a bit in material coming in for our website on Mimosa Park . When we came for lunch we spoke about the
subject, and you seem to have had a lot of anecdotal stuff. Please could you send me all info you have on the subject, cutting
the trees, previous owners and the mis/fortunes, anything on Ian Forbes etc etc...
You don't have to make a literary essay. Just jot down the bits and pieces as they come to you, in any order....
Seems like weather for hot curries is on its way!
========== 13th April
Herewith a few bits and pieces that I can recall . .. My folks were friends of the Forbes clan and we went out to Mimosa as kids, the
two boys , I think they were Ross and Stuart , Ross being the younger one . Ian at that time was married to Anna , having recently left
his first wife Isobel Ian and Anna didn?t have kids. There was also a daughter from the first marriage , I took her out on a date
but buggered if I can remember her name. The boys had an old Vanguard which was cut down , basically had front seat and a flat bed,
they and me had great fun on the farm skidding around , especially after the rains. Apparently the boys had just washed the car
spraying it with the hosepipe , they at the time had a garage that was concrete base and was on a bit of a slope, Ian was standing
down against the back wall directing the car in , the brakes were wet and whoever was driving pinned Ian against the wall and
crushed his legs very badly . He used crutches and sticks after that but apparently never really recovered fully and it wasn?t too
long after that he died. Anna was a qualified nurse and ran The Princess Margaret Creche in Borrow street for a long time
after that. I presume they then sold the place . The Cummings were after them I presume . I went out there when Bruce Ehlers had it
but they were not too successful at cattle farming, Dr Kok and his partner bought it but I am not sure when or what happened to them
Hope this helps . Pip might remember as he I think was a friend of Dick Cummings ?????
============= Did you ever hear the legend about the cutting of the trees though? Or anything about the early family murder-suicide?
Yes, Pip is a friend of Dick Cummings. I also knew Dick when we were quite young in the days when he was a day scholar at
Fairbridge and I was boarding with the Cranswicks there. Dick went to USA a long time ago. His father Harry had a farm in the
Heany area - it might even have been Springs.
Do you know anything about the murder by the dissidents during the Dr de Kok_Ehlers era.?
I can remember that Ian Forbes seemed to appear like a sudden comet out of nowhere in the Byo farming sky. He was going to
teach everybody how it was done. He was very energetic and enthusiastic about everything. My parents saw a lot of him.
He even cut some teak I believe, and was going to make things. He borrowed a folding three legged stool with a leather seat my
father made. Ian was going to commercialise them. But he suddenly disappeared from the sky. I had forgotten about his accident
In the early Nineties Mimosa Park got bought to run ostriches. Young Peter Cunningham (his mother was a Connolly from the
Figtree-Kezi family) was involved with Indonesians there.
Dear Celia - after scanning and sending the Annie letter about Hugh going off to war, I recalled that Syd Longden in his memoirs had
a story, and one which he often recounted to us, about the return of the brothers from the War. I thought it would make a
contrasting ending to Annie's reverie, and dug out Syd's book to have a look, - only to find also a number of anecdotes of interest
relating to stuff already on the website, and in particular to the Mimosa Park legend of the cutting of the trees. Like often happens, there is now a slightly different version of the story.....
Endnotes: Link to Abe Smit - in the next few days Last Modified 21.04.2008