NOTES TO THIS TYPESCRIPT    Young Annie    Annie    Annie

The following typescript of letters from Annie to RA were recently sent by John(e) as
scans made by Phee. The images will later be put on the site; meantime for convenience
of reading and annotation etc I have typed them out as well, so that they can all be read
with a single download. Here are those received so far. They are not in definite chronological
Many are undated with the year and I am uncertain about the dates of the letters in the
+- 1905 period. While there is speculation in the Notes, and it is an easy matter to find a
calendar for the period, everything depends on whether in each case Annie had the date
and the day of the week correct. Also was RA away at the same or a different place over
this entire period.?
The mystery of the "Not Umvutcha House" photo, and some of the others in the Ida Coll.,
seems to me not to be cleared up, although there are new people in the story. Annie speaks
of a "paper house" they lived in. Apart from this, where else did they live in the period up
to circa 1905 or so? This would include the time when the Not Umvutcha House photo was
taken. I have pointed out in another webpage that the children of both Annie & Ida can be
seen at this house.
It seems there was something of a problem between the sisters as well as a (later?) falling out
between Pat and RA. The precise story of Mimosa Park and F.E. Woods is still unclear.
"The Split" so called (JPF) only finally took place in the mid Twenties. The final letters from
RA to Pat are linked at the end of the page.
Square brackets in the text [ ] are editorial. I have changed or corrected as little as possible,
save for here and there where it would be silly not to, and have not always been entirely
consistent with capitals, which Annie often omits or writes unclearly. Her writing is quite
easy to read. For lack of skill in typing and html page making I have also mostly omitted to
indent paragraphs.
The Footnotes are casual working memos to myself, as well as for the attention of whoever
might have some answers. I have made the annotations as I have typed the letter, and have
not gone back to correct them when letters later received might have provided the answers etc.
A lot things and people mentioned in the letters are of Rhodesian interest, but probably
unknown to just about all of us now. The right hand half of this webpage is for details
and links about them. Sometime.
I have included some links to other letters by Annie, and to some of the people mentioned.
Comments and explanations etc are invited.


Annie to RA 8p 26a-h

Queenstown, Jan 10th 1895

Dearest old Rob
I got your wire this morning & you can't imagine how much happier I've
been since. And am just longing for your letter on Saturday. I meant to have
spent the evening writing to you when Lex [? Tex?=Long?] & his wife arrived.
Now it is so late but I must write a little before going to sleep as it is the next
best thing to talking to you. I've been very low spirited ever since I've been here,
perhaps it is because I've not been well since I arrived. Then not hearing from
you made me miserable, as I've not been anywhere at all.
The children have got around their illness wonderfully & are looking so well.
Kenneth's spirits are so good. And he is positively jocular at times you'll be so
pleased to see the good the change has done them.
I wish you could get away for 2 weeks Oh Rob I feel as if I'll never leave you
again. I am no good without you. Life is so short too and we ought to try and
make each other happy I feel so full of good resolutions & am looking forward
to living alone with you again. I wonder what will be in your letter on Saturday.
It is very late Rob & I'm so tired & I don't know what I have been writing But I
only know I love you & why aren't you here. Annie

Wednesday Morning
I have resolutely folded over what I wrote last night. Because if I read it over
I am sure to tear it up
Lots of people have been to see me Mrs Beswick yesterday. She is sad
beacuase one of her beloved sons have got engaged to John Ryan. She[?]
tailor's[?] daughter.
John Bailey the [ ? ]. Cousin of Henry Bailey spent the afternoon here. He is
a most interesting man My father knows him well to be very truthful etc etc. He
has just sold out of the Transvaal & has bought two or three farms in the Bongolo.
He has been in Bulawayo & knows the country well having hunted about there,
Gaza [?] land etc. He says he would not have anything to do with farming there
are only patches that are good and free from poison. He says Bulawayo is
placed just on the boundary of good & bad veldt. Other side the ravine by the
brick fields where "sucre bosh" & syringa grow is no good. I could not attempt
telling you all he said but you know how interesting yarns are about places
vegetation etc you know is. He has given me a positive cure for "tulp" poisoning
I am quite anxious to begin operating [?] (not a case of pip[?] this time)
I saw a lot of the Judhopers[??] before they left. Ida [?]used to invite me. She
hired a cab one Wednesday & took me out to Brown's At Home. Then one
night I went to tea there. They also were here several times and invited me to a
farewell "drink" at the hotel on Monday night but I felt so down in the mouth I
couldn't go.
Talk of me being a bad manager & extravagant etc etc etc etc. You should see
Judhopers[?] home. Naughty sickly fat children that have macaroni cheese &
coffee for supper at 7.30. She does nothing but call him "darling" and he does
not seem at all impressed by it. They nearly had a squabble at supper. I feel
so sorry for him. I don't believe I'm as black as I'm painted. Wait until there is
a 2nd Mrs R.A. I hope she leads you a dance and you'd "wish for the old one
I've done piles of needlework for the children. Your friend Jack Garcia [?] visits
the house frequently but I have only met him once as I usually retire at 7. 30.
The papers you send I always like. Why are there none of the old volunteer
officers? Spreckley, Mainwaring, Napier etc. Fletcher & Espin seem to be
very peaceable individuals. I never see their names mentioned.
Mr Judhoper expects to be employed for 2 years. He is not sure what railway
he will be put on to but he hopes Sir Lowry Pass & Caledon.
Where will we be in 2 years? Bankrupt.
Have the [ ] arrived. If not please write to Isaacs & turn up your cheque
book to see when you posted.
I hope our affairs are not bad I am just dying to get back. Do you think if I
find a suitable servant I should take her & make her pay off her travelling
expenses (little less than £5). I have been looking out. As yet not a single
one is willing to go. Let me know.
There is no fruit at all here. Our peaches were very very early. All in
town are hard and green yet.
How is Ida [hiatus?] She even has only written me one note. It has indeed
been a case of "out of sight out of mind". I can tell you I have a very humble
opinion of myself. You all seem so glad to be rid of me. I am hoping for a
letter contradicting all this so it will be a pity to disappoint me.
Heaps of love you wicked old sinner.
your angelic wife

[Where is Ida? Also the date . Something puzzling]

Mainwaring: Married Murray Fletcher in Byo 1895?

Bill Napier, Pat Fletcher & 21 others



Annie to Anon.

Letter from the Bulawayo Laager

=============== Annie to RA 4p 27a-d

Thursday June 10th. 1897 Queenstown.

My dearest old man I am sure you have forgotten what agonies we went
through this day six years ago. It is high time we were sensible married
and stale old buns fancy being married six years & having any sentiment
left_______However_____We were all very pleased to receive your &
Mr Simms wires: All but my father he has been very quiet ever since poor
old chap. It is hard lines making him fond of the children then taking them
So you are going to hire a house. Do you know it is wanton extravagance & I
should not encourage you in it. But it is hard to stay away & I'm longing to get
to you again.
You must have received the wire about me preferring to live in town. I do for
many reasons so hope you will be able to get a cottage. I am not above the
paper house we first lived in. As long as we are out of it when the dust comes.
I have tehe greatest difficulty in getting a servant & don't think I'll be able to.
I was thinking of leaving her and the piccanin at end of rails[?] with fowls to
come on by waggon to save coach fares.
I suppose you are booking the seats.
I wish you could witness the terrible excitement in town - the volunteers have
been ordered to Bechuanaland & all the ladies are running about crying in
each others arms. I found Mrs Mager[?] crying & said "What are you crying
for Mr Mager isn't a volunteer". She said "I crying because Fratie [?] (Peacock)
is crying". And so it goes on. They stand in groups at each others back gates.
Mrs Joseph cried because "Arthur is so big & will just be a target".
Mr Bate[?] has asked me to take a dog up for George. But I am not anxious.
Eileen met me with a cake. I do not mind that so much & at a push we can
eat it.
I got a letter from Chicken she is so anxious to stay longer.
Ida is waiting to post. We leave here next Thursday morning & in the next week
I'll have the agony of meeting the nicest person I know.


Mr Simms: Son of the Cook, Troughton & Simms firm of survey equipment makers.
He was sent out by his father to work with Fletcher & Espin, so the story goes, to
gain experience in land survey in the Colonies. See the anecdote about animals
grazing over Byo again, and photo with Bob McD. in Byo laager. Also mention of
him in Jean's letter in CT.

Simms & Bob McDonald in Byo Laager 1896

"the paper house we first lived in" "As long as we are out of it when the dust comes.
" The dust comes in August-September. So it was to be a short term arrangement?
Annie "preferring to live in town": as opposed to where, at this stage?
The excitement of 1897? Jameson Raid 30? Dec 1895. London enquiry 1897?
Where is Chicken (Kathleen)? She is not in QT. Stay longer where? Who is Eileen?

Memo: It is unlikely(?) Annie travelled to SA during the Boer War.

Letter Kenneth to RA: "Oh you should see Ben he has got rosy cheeks. you shall be
surprised when you come to England he can speak so well. Miss fynn was lying in
her bunk croaking like a froge on the steamer. Tell Mr honey. We had to tie Ben up
by a rope. one day he climbed up the cupboard over the life-belts and put his head out
of the port hole. .........lots of love for you for Christmas from Kenneth"
Ben could be in his third year. Born 8 Jan '01 (?) He would be two in Jan '03. Surely
Ben (of all people!) would have been talking before he was three? = Jan '04. Kenneth
talks of Christmas, suggesting it was on the horizon. Not so? I would say sometime
about September 1903 might be the date. I would also say Ben on the steps of the
"Not Umvutcha" house could also be about then.
Note the link of Bliss and Mr honey! See Annie's other letters "Miss Honey couldn't
come" Letter 51; and Letter 41 a row between men (at F.E.??)

Annie, Kenneth, Hugh & Ben in a sailor suit



Annie to RA 2p 50a-b [Before 21st June 1905? NF]

Thursday afternoon.
The baby's cold is very bad & I'm staying in with him. I am afraid of bronchitis.
I don't know what you will think of me sending you this bill but I intended paying
it out of the Dairy cheque only the beastly a/c was so overdrawn. I'm not doing
anything rash. We'll save over this Caledonian Ball & Bliss & I have decided not
to go to the masked Ball either on 21st June. The tickets are £1.1. & the masks
& Dominos £1.5 each for you & I. then the supper So it will mount
up to £5 without extras like gloves & shoes.

Come home soon Rob dear. The Pat Fletchers will be here in two weeks.
Much love from your affectionate wife.

Bliss has not got the billet. The work is too "broad" for a lady in the magistrates


If Alister was born Sept 1904 (although I did not know he was almost a year younger
than Peter), then this letter was likely written in 1905 & before 21st June masked Ball.
In 1906 Alister might not still have been referred to as "the baby". Caledonian Balls
can be held all times of the year?
If Ben was born in January 1901, what year could it be when the "Not Umvutcha" photo
was taken with Ben (& Sheila) on the steps with Bliss Fynn?
"The Pat Fletchers will be here in two weeks.". From N. Tvl.?? Check the NTvl. job
attendance records again for a fit. / OK would fit Jan-Feb in 1905. If they were returning
from the Tvl survey. The only problem is that the Ida Tvl photos look like winter.! On
second thoughts, maybe not returning from Tvl.


Annie to RA 4p 28a-d

1st November '05 Watts[?] Hotel

Dearest Rob
This is my last letter. Home by next mail. Isn't it lovely. I've been very homesick
all this trip.
I asked Alister if he was ready to go home yet. He says "no" his box of shells
isn't full yet. He is really quite a little character the way he looks after his things.
He knows most of his own shells & won't have Bens even if they are better
than his. He likes his own & no one elses. He won't wear any of the other
childrens hats. They grab anybodys. They are all white limbo and all look alike.
But when Alister has to put a hat on there is always a fuss. He turns them about
& talks & refuses any but his own. When we take cushions out he never will sit on
the Rogers. He wants one of ours & so it is with everything & he "puts me in mind
of someone else I know"
It is so cold we can't bathe. It is such a pity.
I don't think I could stand this hotel much longer. Mrs Roger has got the hump over
it but as her husband is coming & Gordons Bay itself is a pretty & nice place she
must stay.
Ben is now this minute putting on his boots for the first time since we came to
Gordons bay & he has just remarked that they feel as heavy as stones tied on
the end of his legs.
My habit [?] skirt is a great success. Idas cost £12 & as I do without a coat mine
only comes to £4.4. A shirt blouse is just as good.
My luggage will be a most unsightly collection everyone has given me a parcel &
my own collection is bad enough. I am trying to get the blends [?] smuggled up.
Heather brandy [?] & all sorts of things so do have the truck at the station.
We (Mrs Roger & I) are taking the children to see the fleet next Friday or Saturday.
Then I leave here at 4 am on Tuesday with the children & get to Cape Town at 9 &
leave there again at 11.30. Our return tiockets to Sir Lowry are wasted. There is no
train from Sir Lowry on Tuesday to catch the mail. We have to leave from the strand
to catch the mail at Belville & wait there three hours for the mail so it is better for the
few pence to go on to Cape Town & start from there. I am going to try & humbug the
C. G. R by booking luggage through from the Strand & the next from Cape Town.


If Alister was able to talk at fourteen months as Annie suggests ......was this 1905?
C.G.R. Cape Government Railway.

Annie to RA 10p 33a-j

[Estimate 1905+] Thursday

Dearest Rob
I have been wanting (is that grammar) to begin a letter to you ever since I returned
but haven't had a quiet moment. After leaving you that night I rolled all the children in
rugs & then tried to sleep myself. But I couldn't being over tired & the baby restless.
We got to the Halt & found the boys there with the truck & it was so convenient but
Tiddliewinks would not be carried by anyone but me. He yelled himself into fits nearly,
so I had to carry him all the way.
During the day he got worse & I felt sure it was fever (as Kenneth by that time also
developed a temperature) so got Strong - who said it was fever. However after a liver
powder that night the baby recovered straight away so I don't believe it was fever.
Kenneth is also alright today so I am giving the other two rousers [?] in case they get
sick. Half of the fever they get is pure biliousness.
Pat left this morning . He has been a perfect bear & hardly civil. Swearing & growling
& sulking. Frank[?] made mistakes & he's hired another man but never said a word
to me. Ida tells me. He never openened his lips to me & if he wanted to know anything
he sent messages.
He tells Ida he feels sorry for you he thinks I must have run you into debt over the house.
(Mr{s?] Webb told them it cost us £1500 to build 3 rooms)
He is not going to paint his verandah even, he tells Ida. So I said "quite right, after all he
is only cutting his nose to spite his face".
Parpenfus spent the evening with them & he then was not such a bear. He is evidently
going to do something with his claims with Parpenfus from what I could gather.
Ida is very subdued & quiet. Sheila ordinary & Bill grown into a very fine boy.
Heany [?] is very glad Pat came up because they've talked things over.
I got your parcel without any difficulty. Promptly asked the clerk for another
label. Readdressed it to you under his nose & made no bones about anything
passed no remark and consequently the clerk did not either.
Do write & tell me if the belt is a success. Ida says Mr Espin is ruptured on one
side (that is the time he was laid up). He was measured for a belt by Dr Fitzgerald
And is warned about riding. Riding very quietly is alright. He never goes out of a

Pat F. & Bill Espin. N. Transvaal. 1905

The Missionary there is ruptured both sides & the German specialist told him
never to cross a horse. I do wish you had proper advice.
Miss Wilson on my arrival told me that her agreement with us terminated on the
1st. June. I felt mad but luckily didn't say a word. Of course I thought that it didn't
terminate until the middle of this month when the schools break up. On thinking
over it I find that by paying her off up to the 1st June we save £7.10. If she kept
school during June on the 1st July I'd have to pay another £7.10. Do you see &
I'm sure two weeks of her teaching isn't worth £7.10.
However she says she wishes to give them lessons during this month for nothing.
I wouldn't hear of it . She insisted so I am letting her have her way. It comes to the
same thing in the end because if she didn't teach she'd have to pay her board.
There is a rumour in town that the Marshall Holes are getting a separation or
divorce. He is going to England for a month.
I quite forgot to ask you to put money to my credit to pay our debts. I want to clear
I got home & sacked Lena[?], the garden boy with one hand & Eleanor. The place
gets over run every now & again. The garden boy is very good but as there is nothing
for him to do I sacked him. He says he'll come again in the Spring.
I'm going to make Sixpence cook. The house & grounds are as clean as a new pin.
The cows look as fat as butter but alas! the revenue does not meet the expenditure.
Bob's butter is in great demand. The beast of a guard charged £2.19 for tickets
instead of £2.3 as I bargained for. That comes of reserving carriages.
I forgot my saddle. Do take care of it for me. And sell the black horse. Ida has a
beaauty of her own coming up. Pat says is worth £60. There is also a blue horse
that I think is the firms coming up. So there'll be too many horses.
I'm looking forward to a letter for a letter from you. I must set about arranging for
the boys kit for school.
Parpenfus says the red bull is a pure bred Africander. Do hurry up & come for a
week end we should arrange at once under what head to exhibit cattle. What
about the blue. We must not waste money by entering late fees.
Keep me posted with your address & I'll write twice a week. Much love dear old
Rob from your loving wife.


"the baby restless.....but Tiddliewinks would not be carried by anyone but me". Alister
might have been so referred to in about 1904, to 1906 at the latest.[?] But further on
Annie says "Bill grown into a very fine boy." Peter was called Billy, after Espin, and
was almost a year older than Alister it appears. At what age would he have been
called a boy rather than a baby? Say 2+, so Aug 1903 + 2 = 1905 etc.
"fever" = often a reference to malaria in those days.

"thinks I must have run you into debt over the house.
(Mr{s?] Webb told them it cost us £1500 to build 3 rooms)"

"the house", - ? 'on to which' ? they "built 3 rooms"? This is interesting for
anyone seeking a solution to the Not Umvutcha house photo, & the different shade
of roofing material. See the file "Archive workspace1" on the site front page. It was
written a while ago, and needs updating. In one of the photos linked the different
shaded roof material can be seen. On the link "New files - temporary" further links
links to Annie Rebellion Letter/her letter(musings) before Hugh went to war/Fynns etc
pertinent to these letters can be found

Webb: Very faint recollection of a "Granny Webb" in connection with a house in
Byo. Connection with buying/renting/selling. N.F.
"Parpenfus" = Papenfus. In later letters Annie spells his name correctly.
"...very glad Pat came up..." Came up might refer to Pat returning to Bulawayo from
or during the northern Transvaal survey. If this is the case it would date the letter closer to
1906. According to what I have always been told by Peter, Pat sold his Pioneer claims
(= Fletchers Farm, Filabusi) to finance the Transvaal survey. He however retained his gold
claim, the True Blue, situated on the same farm. I have never heard anything concerning
Papenfus in this connection. He was a lifelong friend of Pat's, & the previous owner of
Zimbile [A?]. I have a dim recollection[?] of him visiting Pat. NF.

Ludovic Napoleon Papenfus.

"Miss Wilson" - was she the governess?? also in the Not Umvutcha photo?-But Peter
used to say "Ben had a governess called Bliss." See also letter of the bridge party. But
the girl with Ben is also wearing a uniform(?). Would Bliss be wearing one?
Marshall Hole. see Ida's autograph book also.


Annie to RA 4p 41a-d

Friday night

Dearest Rob
I have sent your note over to Gapper never less than twice a day (some times four times) but
he has never been there. I think he must be sick as the place is locked up. Yesterday morning
I was in town myself so went three times before lunch but never found him.
I hope the boys get on alright. Send them back as soon as they are a nuisance. They've turned
this place inside out.
The letter in their basket I found on your desk unopened, evidently overlooked.
The front gable is up pretty high & no ventilator. I'll ask Mr Douslin about it tomorrow.
Lalombre[Salombre?] & Honey [?] had a terrible row this morning & such names flew about
I don't know what it was about.
If you are near Bembesi do you think we ought to get in another cow? If quite a good one I think so.
I've paid the boys. Jim & John say they had not been paid for 2 months but George had.
Do write to Gwelo about the fowls. I don't know the man's address or anything. Kerrs are going
to shew one of our brown hens also one of our halfbred cocks.
I've got a man to fix up the run & he'll be there on Monday I think.
I''ve sent out my bills & gone through last month's & am getting things straight . Jim has whitewashed
the runs very nicely and only one thing is wanting & that is the old man.
much love A.F.
"Tiddlie winks is a different being."
See that the boys look after their clothes & bring them all back.


This letter is difficult to date
The boys = Kenneth &Hugh. ??
"sent ..note over to Gapper.." Sent over does not sound as if from Mimosa, or even Umvutcha. From
Suburbs perhaps.? Or from Agency Chambers? But maybe Gapper was in AC working for F&E?
"I was in town myself...." So she was not sending from AC? Would she refer to "town" from Suburbs.
Quite likely? I seem to recall the name Gapper. Maybe in one of Pat's letters in the duplicate book from
the Tvl survey. Check

Agency Chambers

Lalombre[Salombre?] & Honey. The terrible row. See "Miss Honey"
"Tiddlie winks is a different being.": Annie not used to the Fletcher Ears yet?

Annie to RA 12p 51a-l

Wednesday 7th Bulawayo [June 1905.?? See notes below]

Dearest Rob
It was very nice getting your letter last night>but I was disappointed to find you were
not coming back just yet. I expected you tomorrow. sixpence got here last evening.
and leaves tomorrow morning. I sent your letter down to Mr Webb just after I
receeived it. I will send all your post & things you want by the boy first thing tomorrow
morning.You evidently forgot the p.o.key.
I have not heard any news in connection with our lawsuit.
Imagine your having rain. It is very hot & dry here.
I got such a fright on Sunday night>About 12 I woke up conscious of a voice outside
my door - Miss Wilson's - and the first words I took in were "I can't get him (it) out"....
"I've been struggling for half an hour" etc.
I flew out & thought of the pistol - however I left it & opened the door saying "Where
is he". Miss Wilson answered "right in under my arm". I turned the light on & there
stood Miss Wilson with quite an excited state with her night gown half off and I
couldn't understand it. "Whatever is the matter I asked. A tick she answered.
Good gracious I said I thought there was a kaffir in your room. However she was in a
great state of mind & said she had been struggling for half an hour trying to get it out
& that her arm was swelling more & more (!!) & she thought a Dr would have to cut it
out etc etc. I was not going to grope about under her arm for ticks so I got a
feather & some paraffin & soaked her well (putting a little extr on for disturbing me).
Finally she got it out shuddering & gasping went off to bed.
There have been tea parties in galore.
I was asked by the Archdeacon to attend a church meeting & take the tea stall with
Mrs De Smidt. It was so unexpected that I had not time to consider if I had I would have
said yes but let me choose my own helpers. However it is too late & I must the best of
it. Mrs Issels & Mrs Michell are helping as well as Bliss, Miss Honey & Eileen Webb
& one or two others. Mrs Michell put herself in. I cannot get over her brass. I have
never heard two women go for each other as she & Mrs DeShmidt did & yet she won't
go out. This is how she got in. She asked me if she could help. I said "as far as I am
concerned yes but go & ask Mrs DeScmid" ( I knew Mrs DeS would refuse as she
hates her for many reasons.) So Mrs DeSmidt told her we had fixed up everything &
didn't want her. I was very glad principally because I knew you didn't like her ( I suppose
you don't believe I thought of you. I did) Well the meeting proceeded & everything
was arranged & the Archsdeacon stood up and finally read the names of the different
stall holders out & it came to us he said - "The tea stall - Mrs R,A, Fletcher, Mrs DeSmidt
& Mrs Issels". Mrs Michell to our surprise jumped up & said " And Mrs Michell"M
"And Mrs Michell" the Archdeacon added. What in the world could we say! So there
the thing rests.
Mrs MacKenzie (who is most friendly) came & wanted to know if she, Mrs Crake[?} &
I could take it together. I would have given my head to as I don't care for Mrs DeSmidt,
but alas it was too late.
I felt quite sorry for Mrs Michell she tried three people in my hearing and they
would not have her as she bounced us. She is very low spirited now. Mary has been
in bed five days with fever & somehow people have not beenm very kind to her lately.
I came upon her unexpectedly yesterday & found her nearly crying. She wound up
by saying "People wasnt me to go to the El dorado & I could for some things. Hear is
is Mary in this healthy house with malaria, my husband writes he say he is worked
day & night as 5 out of 20 men are down with fever and it is very often a miserable
thing to be without ones husband".
T To change the subject Tiddliewinks has another tooth & is very fit. He's really an
awfully nice little chap. You'll have to bring Ben a lion. He is telling everyone N'tombi
is catching him a lion. It is to sleep beside his bed.
Miss Fynn asked me if she could ask a ferw people to bridge so I said yes if she
entertained them, & you should have seen how she & old mother Wilson danced
around getting things in order - 4 packs of cards, some cake & sweets were arranged
in no time.
So last night Frank Fynn, Norman MacLeod, Steenie[? Stuna] & Mrs Myburg arrived
& the rear was brought up by Miss DeSmidt. Miss Honey couldn't come. They had
some music& I talked to Mr MacLeod (about our wedding, he was there in Q.T {?] at
the time but not grown up.) Well the music was getting stale so I brought out
"Tumblein"[?] and had it on the verandah. The noise that went on. I sat in a corner
& talked to Steenie.

Miss Wilson was umpire & they thoroughly enjoyed it. Not any of them had ever seen
the game before. Finally we wound up with bridge. F Fynn, Steenie & I with dummie
made one set. Madeline Fynn, Myberg, MacLeod & Miss DeSmidt the other. Miss
Wilson would not play.
Steenie was naturally bored to death but Madeline is full of tact & as soon as the
rubber was over she asked him to help her with the refreshments. He was all smiles.
She treated him so confidentially that he went home awfully pleased. It was nearly
twelve when they departed so I presume they enjoyed themselves.
Miss Wilson was quite gay telling fortunes with cards. These two girls (Fynn & Wilson)
sat in their bedroom after everyone had gone discussing the evening. Icouldn't help
thinking "What it is to be young". To me it was not exciting, but I really enjoyed
being able to do it for them. Ben was quite excited & came out in his nightgown very
curious to see "Bridge". He watched solemnly for some time & in a very disgusted &
disappointed tone asked "is that all, does that go on for ever where
is the bridge! [I couldn't] help laughing it did seem very stupid.
The milk trade is falling off dreadfully. The little white & black cow Pullen brought in is
sick & has been since Friday. I got the vet. & he says she has eaten poison. I don't
know. She's no better yet & consequently no milk. The dairy owe for Feb.
I've got 13 1/6 customers for Bob. Asserman takes the rest for 1/3 lb.
I'll write again tonight so goodbye old man.
Wed[?] night
I wish Sixpence could carry more I could send you more but he already exclaims.
I am going down to Webbs in a few minutes to see if there is an answer to your letter.
Ben tells me when I die he is going to try very hard to die too. I asked him why so he
said "because Melville says I must try hard to die too because I'd have a step mother
if I didn't die too". I am glad he too objects to your marrying again.
Bob's butter has come twice a pound short. I think Klempner must jump[?] it. Today
I sent a padlock out.
I hope the mackintosh will suit it is the thinnest I could get. The apples might be better
but no others are to be had.
I wish you were at home. I hate the evenings without you & strange to say I always
sleep badly when you are away.
The boys want to go out to you.
I must close now> I wonder if you will read all this rubbish.
Heaps of love old man & do write as soon as you can.
your affectionate wife
Ben tells me is going to breed lions.

Sixpence: Umvutcha family - please elucidate
"p.o. key. " Box 71, Bulawayo.
"our lawsuit"
"Imagine your having rain. It is very hot & dry here.." Only June had Wed 7th in 1905.
But would June be "very hot & dry here"??? 1904 had Wed 7th in Sept & Dec. Annie
might remark about early September rains. If the vet said the cow had "eaten poison"
then this would tend to support Sept (slangkop in the Spring). In Sept 1904 Ben would
have been a little over three and a half years old, enough to remark about the bridge.
But on 7 Sept 1904 Alister would not have been born, let alone had two teeth. He might
not have had them in December.(? don't know, what's the story). So we might be back in
1905 after all. In a hot & dusty June. But with slangkop? So looking at 1906 - it had a
Wed 7th in Feb, Mar. & Nov. It would not be remarkable to have rain in November, but
Feb & Mar "hot & dry"? Sending a thin macintosh in Feb/Mar?. So where does it leave us?
Nov 1906 when Alister has 2 teeth, and Ben more than 5? Ben is not 5 in the Not Umvutcha
photo, but now has a teacher/governess in Miss Wilson. See letter re MIss Wilson's fees
" turned the light on" Byo got electricity when?
"Miss Wilson" Surely not the celebrated Mae, daughter of Matabele Wilson.?
Bliss - still on the scene
"Tiddliewinks has another tooth & is very fit. " So Alister is more than eight months or so old.
"Miss Fynn" - Bliss Lilian Fynn was born 6th July 1877; and she had a "cousin"
Amy Madeline Clare Fynn b. 4 Apr 1885. She is a candidate?
"old mother Wilson" of Miss Wilson of the tick?
"on the verandah." The "Not Umvutcha" house had a verandah. Revisit. But what
about Agency Chambers? All the (almost)definte references to living in A.C. are
from a much later period?
"Madeline Fynn" gets complicated.
"These two girls (Fynn & Wilson)sat in their bedroom after everyone had gone "
"going down to Webbs in a few minutes" Webbs = maybe lawfirm (ie later Webb,
Low & Barry) On Wed night?. Where is Webbs?Annie must have finished this
letter next morning. "going down": It could mean downstairs, as in Agency Chambers,
or down to town from the higher ground in Suburbs.
"an answer to your letter." re lawsuit?
" I am glad he too objects to your marrying again." A similar comment in another letter


Annie to RA 4p 32a-d No clues

13th Sunday night
Dearest Rob
I got your wire yesterday at the Bembesi & Mr Judson sent this one he got
over to me so I concluded there was bad news from Pat. I sent at once over
to the office & got all the wires but it turned out only to be a business wire from
Pat that he is evidently anxious for you to get so I am sending it on to you tomorrow.
I felt very lonely after you left I even took a loathing to the lumps in the bed. Lumps
that before I felt quite an affection for because you were there to share them. After
you left somehow they (or I) seemed to be aggressive & I hated them. The next day
Bertie & Tempie arrived & stayed to lunch. They were sorry to have missed you. They
talked "fence" most of the time. They had a look at the cattle and expressed surprise
at seeing such a fine lot. They think their bull the best & that yours is not heavy
enough in the hind quarters. But strongly advised your putting it on the show as
judges would perhaps think yours the best. They did not see the young one. You can
get a Persian from them for £5 or £6 "being a neighbour".
The women folk did not come over to see me. Bob drove us to the station
this morning & we only had to wait a few minutes for the train. The cart was at
this [?] siding to meet us so we came home comfortably to find the whole place
nice & clean. Bliss did her best. Bob wants to come back I hear. I should like to
take him ( if I thought he would not be spoilt through taking him back) Lena I am
afraid I won't keep. She steals food for her husband & I detest a thief.
The cows here look well enough considering. Tom cuts grass I think without
humbugging. There were 10 full sacks of his own cutting when I got back (perhaps)
he expected you too). "Stoffel" was "very pleased to meet me" & drove me back from
the station. He sat very far away from me and cleared his throat very often so I think
he was glad when the journey came to an end. He approves of the farm.
We all stood on the kopje behind the huts & Polly asked him what he thought of
"de veldt". He answered " Dit [?] mak my skarm dit is so karl". It was so quaintly
said that we all laughed. It somehow does not sound a joke in English.
I must post this in the morning.
Monday afternoon.
Have been so busy all day & am now in the office to direct your letters. Please return
the stamp on this letter. I am wiring to Pat saying I've forwarded his wire to you.
Much love dear old man from AF
Am not going to the Ball [?] without you [?? faded writing]


In 1905 only Aug had Sun. 13th. In 1904 March & November. In 1906 only May

The talk of showing cattle, seeing such a fine lot, the Ball?, suggests pre-Show
season. So 1905 would seem less of a choice. But if "karl"= kaal then why would
the veld look bare near Showtime?. Locally overgrazed.? But Tom had cut grass,
more likely near Showtime, aikona?

It seems from the lumps in the bed that RAhad only recently left
Nothing of the kids. no dating clues? Link servant theft & letter
of Kenneth fixing rabbit hutch - he is a kid. 1905 say?
"at the Bembesi" : The Bembesi river is close to Queens Mine. She might
also be referring to Bembesi Siding which was an important railhead in those
days, with a telegraph office. Hamba Gahle (=Queens?) is about 30 miles from
Bulawayo. F&E had a lelegraphic address = "Safety" [?] . In those days Zimbile
was also often referred to as Bembesi.
Bertie & Tempie, the Fynn brothers, Annie's cousins. Tempie = Tempest

Fynns: see "The Queenstown Gang"

Persian = sheep
Bliss Bob = servant? Lena "wont keep" see other letter.
"the station": could be Suburbs Halt. Was Annie in town, and returning to Umvutcha,
or had she been at Zimbile and Bob had driven her to Bembesi Sidiing and she had
returned to Byo, probably getting off at Suburbs Halt? etc etc
Bliss = Bliss Fynn, Annie's cousin.
Bob. A different Bob? Or the one that drove them to the station? A servant?
Stoffel: who was he?
"approves of the farm" "the kopje behind the huts": Umvutcha could hardly be said to
have a kopje near the house. Are they at Mimosa Park? Might she be referring to a
siding on the Falls line? There would be no siding at Queens. I would say most likely
Mimosa Park & not Bembesi option. But the other letters, more definitely 1919, refer to
them being well rid of Woods (& Mimosa Park?) so this might suggest an earlier year,
as well as calling him Pat.
Polly. Aunt Polly, Bob's wife?? She was Afrikaans?. link Stoffel?
"Dit mak my.....". Dutch, rather than Afrikaans. "It makes me shy it is so bare"


Annie to RA 7p 49a-g

[1905? NF] Saturday
Dearest Rob
don't forget to put some money to my credit to pay my bills. Everything seems to have
gone astray since I was 3 weeks away from home out of the month. I'm sending your post
today.; How is the belt. I havn't had a letter from you yet.
Ben is just splendid & so happy. He & Sheila are the greatest chums & he never worries
to leave the place now. Sheila is so improved & altogether I [ ] for him to have a companion
to keep him at home.
I am sending the papers. Look through it several will interest you.
What do you think of Rodney's paper.
Kenneth spent the whole day fixing up his rabbit hutches for the apes & we all decided
they couldn't get through the wire. Two did in the night & the squeezing killed one
It was found dead near by. The other has not been found & the 3rd had its head through
the wire & nearly dead when Kenneth found it. He is so distressed & kept saying "What
will father say". But when you see the wire I am sure you will be surprised at its getting
I'm getting on quite well with Sixpence in the kitchen. The relief of getting a thief out is
worth all extra work.
I want you to think over sending Hugh to a boarding school. He is hardly 12 & could
easily stay here another year. It might be the best thing for him & also give Kenneth a
chance to get a footing above him.
I met Doddrell again & dislike him & think the Fathers school would be the one.
Mr[s?] Whitmore is so enraptured with Bob [Boo?] Mullins. Her son (11) is in the
preparatory & says he is such a fine man also his wife. Kenneth would not be in the
Preparatory. His age forbids. Perhaps Hugh would be.
Mr Espin sent word we must send the boys to St Andrews - it has gone ahead so. I feel
quite satisfied we have cjhosen the best. Unfortunately every step we've taken I've felt
the same. However perhaps it has to be proved yet whether we've done wrong in what we
have done in the past.
Ida brought me a few very good stamps made by the Boers in Pietersburg during the war.
I met Tottie Hay & he asked about the horse. I told him it wasn't suitable & he'd better
change it for another. He told me of a long wire he had from you for show entries which
he could not make head or tail of. What waste to wire all that. He says Hepburn also had
yards of wire from you.
These cows are in splendid condition. They've got a man up to judge cattle.
I can't put jam on. There is nothing to make it of.
Do write. I'm longing to meet you & talk over schools & show.
Much love dear old man
from your affectionate wife.

Mrs McKenzie says Nicholes is a splendid firm and the most work in Salisbury


Ben & Sheila. This could be the time of the Not Umvutcha photo
"Hugh to a boarding school. He is hardly 12..." So letter before[?] Nov. 1906.
Mullins = headmaster/s of St Andrews ?? check.
"Mr Espin sent word ": possibly through Ida from the N. Tvl.. See below
"Ida brought me a few very good stamps made by the Boers in Pietersburg during the
war.": Ida , Sheila and Peter spent some time in the winter (?) of 1905 (most likely)
with Pat and Espin in the Northern Transvaal during the big farm survey. It is quite
probable she brought stamps back when she returned. See the file Ida Fletcher Coll.
on the site front page. It needs updating.
"cows are in splendid condition" Surely only in this condition at Byo Show time.?

Annie to RA 4p 38a-d Heaps of rain & mealies & potatoes quite fine Thursday 22 [Feb 1906? NF]

Dearest Rob
Of course I haven't any news for you as I have'nt been anywhere, The baby is up and better but
very weak and has slight dysentery. However Strong is prescribing. It is quite pathetic to see how
Dr Strong is trying to "make up." One day he drew his chair up & made me sit down & have "a chat".
It was such a farce on both sides & positively to me a painful chat. Yesterday in a casual sort of way
he wanted to know if I "would like a persian cat his wife would like to give me one" etc etc. I really did
not ksnow what to do but accept.
I told you I was going to have bad luck my cross falling off. Doyle & Manson have also stopped milk &
here I am landed with oceans of it. I've gone the rounds of the town again but milk is a drug in the
market. I went to Philip & bought a churn for 15/- My heart longed for a beautiful little "Crown Churn"
but it was £2.10 and beyond me. I don't thinkl the one I have got will be a success as I am surer the
butter will taste of the wood.
I am sending 8 bottles a.m. to the market. It fetches 4 & 3. I'll go on till I've exhausted the neighbourhood
of bottles. I'll tell you something about Sawkins but you must not lose your temper & be rash because
you'll let me into trouble.. Sawkins told me he was doing piece work for Schmidt in office hours & had
made a "quid". I asked what work & if it was Schmidts private work & he said no "work F&E had given
I brought to his notice that if you found out both he & Schmidt would be sacked so he told me - promised
he'd stop. I am sure he has because Pat gave him a tracing & after finshing it he found a great mistake
so now is hard at it doing it over before Pat returns.
I feel meanm telling tales but perhaps in the end it is right. Sawkins did not seem to think it anything
so perhaps he was exaggerating.
Much love Rob dearest write soon to you affectionate wife


Heaps of rain & mealies & potatoes quite fine. June 1905 had Thurs. 22 But heaps of rain?? & crops??
In 1906 there was February and November. It sounds more like February. Also because of "before Pat
returns". Pat's last month on the N. Tvl survey was April 1906. There was a Thurs 22 in Sept 1904, a few
weeks after Alister was born. But heaps of rain potatoes fine? Not impossible. Check old Byo rain records

Sheila letter about kids at Umvutcha [?]

Annie's musing before Hugh left for war




Annie to RA 2p 34a-b

This is the old letter I lost
Monday 30 June [1919 NF]

Dear Rob
I posted to you yesterday but forgot to tell you about houses. I went to Mr Redrup
and had a good talk to him. I mentioned Wallers[?] house & before I said we
thought of buying it I mentioned that we were told it was a bargain at 950.
He at once said well I do not consider Wallers house a bargain at 950. It is not a
good buy at even less. It is quite a relief to me to me to hear him say it as I quite
believe him. I then told him that in desperation we thought of getting it and adding
on. He advised not, & said by the time you've paid for alterations at war prices we
could get a better property for less. Now there is an eminently suitable place
for sale. It will suit us in every way excepting as to the price £1750 or £1600.
It is situated in Park Road opposite the Zoo and next to Popkins[?] double
storied house not far from Hopkins. It is near schools for the children. Near
your office a full sized stand. Almost or quite a new well built house that
cost £2000 without land or improvements. It is valued in the municipal valuation
at £1400. Bri[???] says municipal valuation is low & he thinks it a fair price.
Redrup says municipal valuation is generally high but he does not know the house.
The house is just big enough for us & only cold water bath but I like the house &
valuation. The people that are in it hqve it on lease for another 6 months. If
Umvutcha is sold itthere would be a hope of getting it I think. We want a place for
survey waggon & a bit of a yard.
Woods wants £12000 for his farm & if his is worth that Umvutcha is worth it too.
McClellan has an enquirer from the O.F.S. for a farm so I said £12000 you had
better give me short written particulars as to price per acre etc in case of enquiries
during your absence.
Kenneth has bought a motor bike £75 and is going the round of Queens, Bembesi,
& Umvutcha. He won't use the motor but so far has hired a push bike to go to
Umvutcha. I think he will settle on Queens because it will hold more cattle but I
am just leaving him to think for himself. When you return we will make a will & not
put it off.
love AF


Redrup. Austin[?] Redrup. Was it him who had a red curtain in his office with a
rip across it? [Peter's anecdote] Also Jane Meikle and Redrup castle.
Tom Meikle. Redrup was his future(?) son in law?

Annie to RA 2p 29a-b

To RA 6th Sunday [1919 NF]
I find I have lost the beginning ot this letter it was about a house that is for sale in a
suitable place. Park Road opposite the Zoo. But the price is unsuitable £1600. I saw
Mr Redrup about Walkers house & he does not think it at all a good buy. I am relieved
as I also think so. If I find the beginning of this letter I will send it on as it is about houses
& I can't write it over especially as I am worried about myself. I think I will tell you altho' I
made up my mind not to. But it is so hard to have no confidant & I am so worried. It
is this - for a little time I have known that in one of the places where Ashe operated there
was a small sort of hard spot that has been there all along which I think was a stitch. Now
that place has considerably enlarged and is as big as a dove's egg. I must have it examined
& if necessary removed. Now this affair the other night may mean chloroform cannot be
taken - & can I take it safely. What is going to happen & what kind of lump is this & who is
going to remove it. Eaton [?] or Ashe. I hear Ashe is going, or has gone to England and I
must make a will before I undergo an operation and how am I to make one? I want Kenneth's
farm secured. He wants to settle on Queens & can that be freed ? and is it safe for him to
begin there before it is free?
I don't know how you stand with regard to me. I often feel your affection for me is not deep
and I am in a rotten state of health and I have no business to write like this to you when
you are roughing it.
I am going to see Dr Eaton tomorrow if possible & end this suspense. If it was not in such
an impossible place perhaps he could disperse it by pain ting something on. But we will
see & I will let you know . There is no pain so I feel sure it is nothing bad. I wish you were
here today it is one of my blue days probably tomorrow I'll be quite cheerful
your loving wife



Annie to RA 7p 40a-g

5 July {1919 NF]

Dear Rob
I am sorry I wrote as I did about myself last week because I have now quite
recovered myself and am going to make myself well. I went to Dr
Eaton & made up my mind to go through everything & clear up all the doubts.
So I began by giving him Ashe's letters & he was quite interested & said he did
not agree with the method Ashe employed but the same case presented to him
he would have employed other methods etc etc. Then he sounded my heart &
passed no remarks & I asked no questions but from his manner I gather that
its alright --- anyway nothing to bother about. Then that damnable lump that has
been a nightmare for weeks he says is nothing but a small cyst filled with fluid
& it can be removed with a local anesthetic anytime. It may or may not get larger
and that it is nothing at all. He says I am very run down & should go away but I
said I didn't want to go ---- yet anyway. So now I am going to try & rid myself of
tiredness & depression.
Walker sent the enclosed telegram and I sent the enclosed answer.
I wanted to hear if there was anything going on & I was curious to know if
Tom Meikle had bought Mimosas (as Mrs Low said she thought he had) so
I made the excuse to pretend I wanted to have his advice on how I should answer
Walkers telegram --- so I went down to see him (T.M.) and as soon as he read the
telegram he said "Oh! this is the man Woods thinks is going to buy his farm". So
I said "Well he isn't, even if he does not buy Umvutcha".
Then he told me how he thought I should answer. ( I followed his advice)
Well he told me he had been out to Woods & again insisted on how lucky we were
to have got out of the place even at a loss. He says it is the worst laid out farm he has
ever seen. The only thing any good on the place is the house. The house, the garden,
the stables. the lands, the cottages scattered all over the place, no water but
underground water - a most expensive place to run, he heard the cattle weren't in
good condition those that were sold & he put that down to the water. I said the cattle
were well cared for & got what water that there was. "Oh! he said I wouldn't have the
place" Then he told me that he knew that Woods was jolly sorry he took
it back from you. He did not get what he expected for the cattle & the farm was hanging
on. & he would have done better if he had forced you to stay on. and he was more sure
than ever since you had the place that you were well out of it.
So there's Tom Meikle's opinion & now Woods will hate him more & find a greater
difficulty in selling the farm to anyone in Rhodesia.
I hear Major Gordon, Mr Walsh & Tom Meikle have bought Hodges farm for a bull
breeding farm. I think Tom Meikle must have inspected Woods farm for Mr Walsh &
Gordon (altho' you'd think both those men would have been capable of judging for
Mrs Low says she heard Tom Meikle discuss machinery.
I felt a damper on me when T.M. spoke of a farm with only uinderground water in so
slighting a way. I thought of Queens farm. But if cattle get thin for want ot water what
about P.F,'s cattle that are thin with plenty of water.
Kenneth went out to Bembesi but P.F. has decided to send cattle to Wessels Block
instead of Queens. Kenneth is to go & help castrate next week. Tomorrow he is
taking blankets & is going to sleep at the Queens & go to the Queens mine sale.
The waggon wheels are being mended then he is to take the Haytor [?] hut to
Queens & shift the stuff from Umvutcha. It is best to be clear out if Walker buys.
I hope you have asked enough for Umvutcha. Would it not be wise to reserve
Tabas Induna camp & not sell it at all? Tom Meikle says if he had the choice of
Umvutcha & Woods he would choose Umvutcha.
I think you would find Thabas Induna camp very useful from town & from
Queens. Think over this well.
You must answer Walkers wire at once. Don't talk too much when you write.
I think Woods dangled Walker in front of Toms eyes just as he dangled Henderson
in front of yours. How lucky we are to be out of it all!
I've had big bills to pay. £21 to Mason [?] £17 for Zeta. Your survey outfit £15 &
living here. But I am doing my best.
What about de Beers commission. It is a rotten position as you corresponded with
Walker before. However you must sell Umvutcha it is not right for you to be worried
with such debt. We'll get on again quietly.
Wednesday 9th.
Your letter came this morning & we've sent off everything but the table and gun.
They will follow. I sent one of the supposed best make of cheese in Rhodesia
as they guaranteed it to keep a long time. Cheese is good food.
I also sent some snoek. You soak it the night before. Fry onions for breakfast .
Boil the soaked snoek & pull it off the bones with a fork & mix with the fried onions
& rice that is already boiled. Eat.
We will send our Mauser altho' I begrudge giving it to the dutchman. Can't you keep it.
Miolee[???] says the other day he sold a Mauser like ours only a second hand one
for £20 so he says there is no hope of getting anything worth having for less.
The fluxite is in a bottle as the tins leak. But I put the empty tin in the parcel because
of the directions. You have a snake lance in the gun pull-though.
Kenneth has gone to Queens. Sawkins wired to ask if we could put him up from
Sat to Tuesday. So I said yes.
Tidly is going camping with the Rodgers at Balla Balla.
If I could join you till the heat comes I should like to. The only thing that pulls the
other way is Hugh's possible arrival. Kenneth is bossing me up & won't let me
look at houses & says we must stay here until you return. It won't cost so much
when the boys go back to school. They eat so much all day. Go to tennis
in white clothes & want so much. Ben got hard up & found an old bicycle wheel in
the office & sold it for 15/-
Those tinned cheeses were supposed to be something extra special & cost 2/6
each. [???] said the dutch boy devoured everything. Do look after yourself. The yeast
cakes are supposed to be A1. Follow the directions carefully.
Much love Rob dear


"the boys go back to school". Almost certainly refers to Ben & Alister. If "Mason"
refers to RBHS then "Hugh's possible arrival" very lkely refers to his return from WW1
(after staying on and flying in the Middle East?). So the year might only be 1919/20/21?
[I remember Pat saying a bicycle wheel went missing at the office. Maybe there is an
entry in the police incident report for that year.? Worth the scandal? NF]
"extra special" how old is this expression? I heard it for the first time only in the late
Forties, used by Mary (Colin) at Zimbile. (well, I suppose I was barely born in the early
Forties. NF
"cakes are supposed to be A1" So A1 is not WW2

Annie to RA 4p 43a-d

Dear Rob 5th July
P.S. I will add a bit on to say I am not doing anything more about getting a house.
Codd I see has q very nice one for sale & probably better than McCullagh's but the
position is not so convenient for schools & office. In fact Codd's house is a better
one in other respects.But we must not force the pace. We'll just wait & get clear of
other entanglements.
Kenneth went to Bembesi on an urgent note from the P. Fletchers to go & help move
cattle as a terrible grass fire swept over them. Then they want him to castrate. Now that
he is no longer in your employ P. & A.A.F. (!!) should make a business arrangement with
him for such calls on him. He has to pay his own expenses & about time, & there is no
benefit to him anywhere. You know what the P.F.'s are for unselfishness. They have been
such a help to us in this Woods affair in offering to take Gobo![?] They know what it means
having the children here for the holidays - shut up in offices - but they invited three
blank[?] strangers out there & never one of our kids.
Ben amuses himself in an expensive way & the town suits him. Tidly hatesd it & as
Kenneth goes to Umvutcha every day& stays all day Tidly goes with him.Monday,
Tuesday & Wednesday they are going to brand & castrate. As the kraal is now ready
& the river fence mended. Kenneth never tells me anything & only answers questions
You know his way - but Tiddly tells me & he says the river fence is "jolly fine with
droppers & all." Ben never goes on these expeditions with Kenneth but always Tiddly.
But he would not accompany Kenneth to Bembesi altho' Kenneth tried to entice him
with cushions on the back of the motor bike.
Kenneth says Hogarths made a mess of the top farm windmill By taking the "shut off"
off. He went to them about it & they said it would not work & was no use & such things
& they argued but I think he's made them put it on again.
Ben's expensive town ways are a worry to me. He was very - well almost sulky - because
I would not lend the motor to the Rodgers (Ben to drive) to the Matopos. I thought it
impudence the rodgers suggesting it as it was only to save their having to a motor to
two guests for a picnic to the grave. However the excuse that the motor was not reliable
for a long journey was sufficient excuse. But today Ben & the Rodgers have got the
motor out of me for a shooting tip to Umvutcha. Tidly would not go as he says "there
are too many darn girls about." Kenneth I told you has gone to Bembesi.
Mr Papenfus says Woods told him he had sold his farm. Only the papers to go through.
Mr Papenfus also told me an interesting thing. Perhaps you have heard it before. An
ex butcher, Partridge of Salisbury who sold out for £60,000 & quarrelled with his son
made his will & left all his money to you to administer for the good of Rhoidesia as
you you saw fit. Unfortunately this man has married again & has another son so the
country has lost £60000.
I wonder what Tom Meikle wanted at Woods. Perhaps to value it for someone.
Mrs Low is still on the begging tack as you will see from her letter full of hints LeSeur
must be making money. He is talking of buying a piece of ground near town & keeping
some cows on it and his survey outfit.
No letters from Hugh.
Copthalls[?] Store has been let and Swanson sent word to me to come & see him on
Monday about the things in it.
I am not going to see Dr Eaton about that business as there has only been the slightest
worry since that night. But I must see him about something else as he leaves
soon, & in that case there is no one else to I'd go to here.I will write every week & send
the papers.
With love & hoping you are alright. yrs AF.


"shut up in offices"
"picnic to the grave". Rhodes' grave.

"too many darn girls".

"LeSeur is talking of.buying a piece of ground ...". If this is the LeSeur who married
Annie's "cousin" then the ground is possibly that downstream of the bridge
over the Umguza on the Salisbury Rd. On trips back to Zimbile from town, if Ida was in
the car and when we approached the bridge, she would say from the back seat "Do you
mind if we just call in at the LeSeurs?" It was usually very late in the afternoon and it had
an infuriating effect on Peter. The ploy often worked.
"no letters from Hugh" so probably 1919.
" what Tom Meikle wanted at Woods. Perhaps to value it". See the material from Hugh
family side sent by Celia, in which Annie refers to "Mimosa Woods". Perhaps they had
a joke play on F.E.Woods' name. Link Celia photos etc
swanson - again


Annie to RA 2p 47a-b

17th Sept.

Dear Rob
I have nothing to say this week I haven't been anywhere or heard any news. Kenneth
Kenneth came in & has gone back. He is making a well & took dynamite out. The grass
is green at Hambagushle. There must have been 2 in. rain. the whole farm is over run
with native goats cattle & donkeys. Sulivan wants Kenneth to bring him a four wheeled
cart & two mules so he can visit his friends. It must have four wheels so if he is "full of
beer the cart won't fall over."
Mealies are £1 a bag. There is a dreadful drought in the Union. Jobling wiped the
floor with his cattle at the Jo'burg.
Kenneth can get no labour whatever just one boy on the well. The R,N.T.B. has closed
because of flu.
I've had two days of wriggling [?] heart & it is gone now but I feel rotten. The Issels are
taking me to Hulls tomorrow I am so glad to get out. I never use the motor only one case
of petrol since you left.but we will have to use it to take the children to the Queens for
holidays next week.I am so looking forward to getting out these shut in rooms for a week.
If it wasn't for Zeta I'd stay out for a month. I may arrange something. Hugh will turn up
anytime I expect.
Bain wants grazing at Umvutcha he is burned out. But Kenneth is not giving it. Nearly
the whole of Taba's Induna camp is burnt & the camp Granelli is in. Hogarths man made
a bad mess of the windmill at Tabas Induna taking the shut off off. Kenneth gave him a
telling off & said it was quite likely he had ruined the bore hole.
Hoping you are getting on alright.
With love AF.


"Hugh will turn up anytime" = 1919

Annie to RA 2p 31a-b

24 Sep
I've got a lot of Cape Times to send you Botha's last speeches
Dear Rob
Mr Hull said I was to tell you he & Mr Moffat had signed the Salisbury Amendment
to the Co-op thing[?] ------- under protest & that they had both resigned.
He said they had to do so to prevent the thing [?] falling through & Roberts Cold
Storage getting the pull. Mr Hull has gone to Bertie's to look for grazing. He has
turned all his niggers off & Percy has taken them on the adjoining block & the
niggers hacve cut his fence in 50 places. He's making a court case of it & will
sue the headman.
Kenneth has gone back.
There's no news. Tidley comes at the end of this week. I don't know what is
happening to me I'm going in. Anything in the way of worry or excitement knocks
me flat - Yesterday the Wreys asked me to a garden party & I tried to cadge a seat
out but did not strike the right people so I took the motor out and got there alright
but the tyre burst & there is no spare one - the old red one is perished. So I got
a seat home but to get the motor back I'e had to buy a new tyre £10& this
is about the 5th time we've used the motor since you left. It is the same old story
if you don't use the motor the tyres perish. Perhaps I should not have worried
over it but being in these rooms alone (Zeta & P.F.) & Kenneth away. I couldn't eat
& just went to bed & today I'm rotten I'm not grumbling.
Ben has had another adventure with a burglar. I am going to write & tell him
it is very heroic to tackle a burglar but more heroic to tackle his exams with a
sore arm. He's always got an excuse exam times
No letter from Hugh for a long time
much love A F


Mr Hull = Teddy Hull [?]
Roberts Cold Storage ?? Sby Amendment. Could get a date from this
the Wreys. Phil Wrey. See Pat's letter date re flags half mast for his death
Bertie/Percy Fynns
Tidley = Alister.
Ben & exams.
"these rooms" = the F&E office in Agency Chambers.


Annie to RA 6p 37a-f

14 th October 19

Mr dear Rob
Hugh is back and has reported at office but he's not heard to where he will be sent.
He is quieter than ever is possible, & more nervous ion his manner which I suppose
is from flying. He never budges out & only goes with me. It is very strange. I think he
must be bored but he never says so. He's brought very interesting photos back which
he's always poring over. He also brought me some odds & ends which you will see when
you come back.
LeSeur will be back next week
An old school friend of [theirs???/Hugh???]Meintzes [?] - has come out as a manager
for Handley-Page. If their machines are a success [?] in this climate & they start an aerial
service Meintzes will give Hugh a job. But I think flying is rotten. Really the danger is greater
than we realize. If they only treat him decently & he gets through the law he will be alright.
I.m sending you father Horn's paper on the future of Rhodesian boys. Read. mark, learn etc.
The paper has caused quite an impression.
When we get a house & Ben is still studying he would perhaps pass his matric here.
He must pass you & I have one duty in life & that is those that have been
put into our care - and each other - if it is not too late for the latter. We've got to equip the
the children to go into the world. We've been lucky with the two eldest, they are not much
out of their niches.
Kenneth was in the for the week end. Counted and dipped the Umvutcha cattle . They are
alright & picking up in condition. 12 were short last week & he told Klass he skoot him out
if he did not mend the fences & keep them in repair & boss up the cattle. So this week they
were right - much to my relief. Kenneth's well fills me with despair. I saw Mr Maufe today &
told him about the well & asked him about the chances of getting water there but he is not
at all hopeful but says he might get it by fluke. That at the lime works none could be got as
Kenneth is down 40 feet he advises him to go on.
Kenneth is so cheerful & busy & what a bother to move his tin buildings. He wanted
it to be up against his lands & that is why he settled there.
Ben has not written for a long time.
DeBeer has an enquirer for Umvutcha & wants to know your price at once.
Jobling has sold some of his farm & wants to know when you'll be here. Manning also
wants you for beacons.
I don't know what we'll do without a house. There aren't any & I won't go into a slum & I
don't mind a small house. The only houses to let have been furnished ones. It is very
expensive lving here & cooking on paraffin & even heating the bath water on it.
Wed. Flora has a daughter & Mr Hull is as proud as punch. Everyone is asking when
you'll be back including Col. Heyman.
Much love AF
I sent all the F&E letters to Pat. I think Mrs. LeSeur must send them to her husband when
she gets them. She attended to the post when I was away.

"We've been lucky with the two eldest ". Curiously, history was to repeat itself with
Ben and Dolly, whose third child never properly learnt to spell his name.
"living here" still at Agency Chambers?
"Flora has a daughter" = Stella? [check]
"Flora, to my knowledge had no daughters who didn't survive. Sybil and Stella were her only two
daughters. She did have a stillborn son but don't know anything more than that, and have never
seen it documented anywhere. Stella's date of birth was 15-10-1919:- Wendy."


Annie to RA 2p 35a-b [1919]

Dear Rob
Hugh leaves for Inyati tomorrow where he is to be stationed. He is restless these
last few days. Perhaps he would like to have been stationed here, I am sure I wish
it. I've not had a dull minute since he came. He is always with me wherever I go. He
has to settle down to swot law and to half his salary. For nearly three years he's
seen wonderful things. Flying does make them more anxious beings. He gets harried
& jumps if a dog barks. But he says others are much worse than he is & he's alright.
Kenneth has not been in this past week end. A cow died at Umvutcha calving. The boys
should have gone & told him as soon as they saw it in trouble. He's too far from the cattle.
A good many things have gone astray between Umvutcha & Queens from the waggon.
I do not know if it is Chards [?] boys or our own. Joe [?] is such a fool & is getting worse.
He's evidently courting. He's shaved his odd grey hairs off his chin.
You must be finding the heat trying. I hope you are alright. LeSeur is back for a few days &
looks a wreck with dysentery. P.F. was in but he never opens his lips to me further than
grunting so I know nothing about Bembesi & what he's doing. He walked in yesterday
grunted at me after greeting Hugh asked Hugh out to Bembesi & walked out. He's
evidently gone because his bed wasn' t slept in last night. Hugh was so nervous
speaking to him I felt as bad. He almost writhed. He gets like that sometimes. Other
times he's just the same as long ago.
Swanson has been a cad again. He met me a couple of weeks ago & offered me
Heany's house. I thanked him & I'd see. Then I was almost fixed up with the Harry
Issels to take half & I went & told Swanson & he was agreeable. today I hear he has
let it to Mrs Shackleton.. She hadn't the politeness to let me know. I am a long suffering
sort of fool by nature I know, but I think I will cut the brute now. I told LeSeur & he said
well you know he has always hated Fletcher & Espin too.
No rain here to speak of but it will come anyday.

"A cow died at Umvutcha..." So Annie is maybe ??not writing from Umvutcha?
He's too far from the cattle" Where is he? Queens?
So Hugh returned between July and the rains.

Annie to RA 5p 39a-3

25th Oct Bulawayo

Dear Rob
Your letter 19th Oct came today. I am sorry to hear what a rough time you are having:
No food is enough to give you the blues on the top of your other worries. I will be glad
when Umvutrcha is sold & that laod of debt removed from you. I don't know howwe will
manage to live in town. It is most expensive - and so little to be got from all you
pay. As for society I care not a fig for it. In fact the people who called on me long ago -
Russels, Holgates etc I'e not yet returned the calls. I'll have to do it but it is a bother.
It is just old age pure & simple that makes one care for the quieter home life.
Hugh left on Thursday for Inyati. He went with reluctance. I can understand how he has
to readjust to life again. Fancy the life he had - Bathing in the Jordan & floating in the
Dead Sea.. The little pomp & ceremony side of his life as a Flying Officer, good pay &
stirring times. He will soon settle down & never grumble but I know you all even when
you don't speak. He was anxious to show you his photographs especially the aerial
ones showing how they plotted maps from aerial photos - The maps of Syria before
& after aerial photography etc etc. He knew you would appreciate them more than the
rest of us. All of the children are devoted to you with deep affection & respect. It pleases
me to see it. I should hate to live in "the kingdom divided against itself".
He never mentioned woods or asked a single question. I was glad as that is now a
closed book.
You never mention when you will come & people are constantly asking. Chard told
Kenneth today that he does not want to leave Umvutcha but he wants that "4 months"
clause deleted from the agreement as he feels he will be cleared out any time.
Papenfus thinks he willl get Reigate (?) Willie Woods old place) for £7000. He's
very cheerful & confident . People call him Geo, the 2nd after Geo. Pauling.
He's just given his wife a present of £90. Which I think she has already "blown".
Yesterday she asked me to have a cup of tea at the Dairy & when we got to the door
- without looking in her purse she said "I havn't any money have you?" I had a 2/-
piece. So we went in. I had tea & she ordered an iced lemonade 3 plum cakes & a
cup of tea for herself!. Needless to say my 2/- didn't cover expenses & I had to
enter it.!
Sonnie Papenfus is back. Some people the war has not spoiled. He is one. He also
says his nerves aren't normal. Kenneth says driving with Jinks in Scotland Jinks
suddenly nearly jumped out of the cart & on Kenneth asking what the matter was Jinks
subsided & said "I thought I heard a shell". This more than two years after.
A most extraordinary coincidence. Kenneth travelled to & from England & over
England with Jobling - a relation of our Joblings. Hugh travelled to & from England
with Gimray [??] Also a relative of our Joblings.
I write disgraceful letters. no stops or paragraphs. I'm lying on the couch. However
perhaps you don't mind.
I have made you new shirts, pyjamas and socks as I expect you are naked as
well as hungry. You must not go on these hard trips again. I would have gone with you
if I could. Perhaps I should have & only thought it would be too rough. In any case I
would not have had to endure as much as you had. For the first time since you left I
can say I'm alright & have no trouble about sleeping thank goodness, & that means
my nerves are alright again & I'm saved the expense of going away. All the childrens
school bills are in again. After Xmas if we have a house Ben must stay there & coach
for the matric - if you think it will be alright. Just to save expense. He must pass it. I am
sending you further Father Horns paper on the Future of Rhodesian boys. It is so true.
Tottie Hay has at last paid up for the horses & Kenneth is paying into your a/c your half
- (Standard Bank) I hope that is right. Just after tottie bought them they both nearly died.
of "farey" [?] in Zeederbergs stable. I told hime they must have caught it there. No rain
here. Mr Hull is in great anxiety over his cattle. No veldt, all burnt & no rain. There was
rain at Umvutcha last week. the top camp was burnt & near the homestead but there
there is quite enough grazing & the cattle alright, a few old ones thin. One of the boys
you gave leave to live at MTaba Induna camp wants Kenneth to give him a note for 16
head of cattle you gave him leave to bring from Plumtree & he also wants Kenneth to
shew him the plough you said you'd lend him also the span of oxen you said he could
have to plough his lands. I said I knew nothing of your promises & would ask you.
Much love & hoping to see you back soon
with love AF


Jobling See Kenneths letter. etc
"He never mentioned woods or asked a single question. I was glad as that is now a
closed book.". By Oct 1919 the matter with F.E. Woods/Mimosa Park was over.

Annie to RA 5p 36a-e

8th November

Dear Rob
I got your letter & am glad to hear you are alright again. Zeta & I have been laid up with
something that everyone has had & they call it gastric flu. Dreadful pains in the tummie
& trotting downstairs all the time. You can imagine how awkward that is here. I wasn't bad
& really only slight pain but with the usual trouble with my little[?] mary[?] it is stupid how
it knocked me out. Zeta was much worse as far as pain etc went but she's recovering now.
Young Holgate was almost dying with it. They had two doctors & a hospital nurse by day
and a Christian Scientist at night. Now he is better. Mrs Papenfus says "Honours divided" !
Ben is also laid up. I think he is not worse as no wire has come. Isn't his report bad! I don't
know what to think & he is such a capable boy. If we get a house how would it be to have him
home & coached for the matric. It will be cheaper & surely he can't do worse than he is. Zeta
must go back with Sheila to some school at the Kowie if possible for a year. Just for the change
she is pale & languid. She has only been out of the country once & for the last year & more she
has not been well.
Hugh is evidently miserable too. I knew he'd go through this unsettled state like the rest of the
men. He should get a motor bike but he hates parting with his savings. Kenneth says don't
advise him. Leave him. Kenneth is in no water in the well at 60 feet. Lots of rain. He collected
£41 tax & is paying into your a/c what you arranged. Chard[?] sent £30 which I will also pay in
to your a/c Standard on Monday. His letter I enclose.
Mr Hull came & spent the evening here last night. He has been ill & looks bad. He loves you.
Really it makes me sad to see him. I tried the conversation round to C.S. but no go. These
things he never thinks of. He thinks God almighty made him sick & a man's life is his religion.
So it is.
I told him about LeSeur & he was disgusted. He says you must sack the rotten brute. He says
some time ago he was in LeSeurs house & LeSeur started bragging saying "Fletcher & Espin
there's no Fletcher & Espin it is LeSeur & LeSeur only". then he began saying things againt you.
Until Mr Hull said "look here I don't believe a word you say about R.A. Fletcher & when a man
says that he doesn't believe what you say he is calling you a liar." So LeSeur must have been
saying some pretty rotten things to get that answer. I did not like to ask what he said.
Zeta who is cute at knowing the handwriting of the family says she saw LeSeur with a letter
from you today.
If you can bring Zeta some little thing even a tortoise or any mortal thing do so. I feel so
intensely sorry for the child sometimes & there are such nice sides to her character that I
forget the parts that are troublesome. She is so fond of you & asks what you say in your
letters & when she's sick as she has been I feel just the same towards her as I do to my own.
I've had an interesting talk to an elderly Miss McKie[??]] whose father was a contemporary
of old Bains. She was headmistress of a school in Stellenbosch & Union & Nation[?]ty
politics she is quite interesting. When Botha died everyone here said what is going to happen
now! Rebellion, most people said. Neilsen said what a good thing in the end Botha's death
is, now it will bring this Nationalist movement to a head. This wise saying of Neilsens even
Moffat repeated & old Boggie even repeated it to me & so on & so on. I was telling Miss McKie
this & she vehemently said. Don't believe it! No such luck. Smuts says there will be no
rebellion again. Far deeper things are at work. Students at Stellenbosch, Worcester & these
places are taught by clever, clever men nationalist propaganda & sentiments are instilled
into them. Some hundreds of these students leave the colleges every year well educated
& enlightened men, they scatter to their homes all over South Africa. There's the danger.
We knew this before & the results are being felt & are becoming apparent now. And that
is the Nationalist lever. etc etc
This letter is miles long and scribbled & never read over. I won't apologise.


"trotting downstairs all the awkward that is here": Is this just as expression,
or an indication of where she is? Umvutcha has no "downstairs". Mimosa Park? Very likely
she is staying at Agency Chambers where F&E had the offices on the top[?] floor. In another
letter, written at the office, Annie mentions that Pat had not slept in his bed the previous night....

"If we get a house.....have him home & coached for matric": This suggests 1919 or so. Also
perhaps that Annie did not consider Umvutcha .... Why?

"go back with Sheila... " Sheila might already be at Rhodes. ".... to some school at the Kowie
if possible for a year...." I do not recall ever hearing that Sheila was at school in the Eastern Cape.
I think she went to "the" Evelyn.
"on Monday". This could be Saturday? check
"saw LeSeur with a letter from you today." Zeta could only have seen this at Agency Chambers[?]
LeSeur was related etc see Hulls, Wendy stuff etc. also to Teddy Hull.


Annie to RA 5p 30a-e

12 November

Dear Rob
I will not write today - only enclose things. Mr. & Mrs P.F. have just
concluded a brief visit to town. The first time Mrs PF has been to town
for two months. It seems as if during that time she has collected, ruminated,
and digested and finally evacuated all her beastly thoughts & conclusions - on
us. This is a true example of some of her remarks. In justice to myself I must
tell you that I made up my mind before hand to avoid all controversial points -
& our affairs. As I know she has well thought out and set ideas on certain
subjects which I must avoid bringing to the surface for peace sake.

"Poor Pat, I've been sorry for him he is so anxious to get to work
but because of the cattle he is glued to the farm & is losing money.
2000 head take a mans whole time. He's just refused a soft job at
Victoria because of the cattle"
I hereupon suggested getting a man. This was like a red rag to a bull.
"Poor Pat, he is £200 overdrawn at the bank
Here I was spiteful & said "Lucky man".
"Pat says if wasn't for the two lots of cattle he has
to look after he would speculate in tollies, fatten & sell them."
"Pat has to earn £750 to pay school & life insurance before he
can begin to live"
"Because you gave that old mattrass away I have to buy new
covers for pillows £3. I would have used the old mattrass cover"
I said that was 12 months ago & the thing was full of bugs & I had to chuck
it out it was a dirty old thing into the bargain.
"I could have washed it & it would have saved me £3"
I told her Mr Hull was so relieved having Bourdillon & that he spent the
evening here & discussed his life. I said he faced and conquered the
fact of his death in the near future. etc.
"So has Pat" she said
When was this I asked alarmed.
"When he came from the Transvaal job & he insured
his life. No man has had to face such hard jobs as Pat"
I shut up.
Then I was saying how well & happy the Papenfus family were & that she did
not spend as much as she used to. She says she is not going to save up for
her children She & Lud are going to be happy & enjoy life.
"I'm not hoarding up for my children "
Good heavens, I said I [am] not talking about or at you.
"Well anyway your income from the cattle is just
the same as ours and what is more you've got the Umvutcha
cattle that is 300 head more. We've got heaps more ground
than you have, that is the only difference. When you've sold
Umvutcha our incomes will be the same"
I got wild at this & said "On my honour I have nevercompared
our incomes. I am four years older than you. I'll die first so perhaps
I don't need as much as you"
Later she reminded me I owed her six jam bottles. I could not call the
debt to mind & finally did, the debt was contracted in May. I apologised
& said it was during all that trouble with Woods & I forgot.
"You talk of trouble wait until you have lost a child
then you will know what trouble means".
This is not the first time she has crowed over me about Patsie's death &
I am always powerless to answer & she sits the conqueror in this field
of argument.
The result of the visit was that I went to bed so depressed I am ashamed
to say I wept. I have not exaggerated a scrap. She's top dog & she makes
me feel it. She says she's not decided who she is going to ask out for
Xmas. She led me to think she may ask us. She's only going to plant
enough rhubarb & strawberries for themselves "just a little of everything".
This is the person I brought up. Her mother died when she was six.
I dressed & washed her. Later I made her clothes. Took her to school at
King Wms Town. Wept when she was homesick.. Gave her things when
I married. Had her to stay with me. Rescued her from marrying an awful
man. Gave her her trousseau & a splendid wedding --- now this when we
are down. I don't know what's the matter. She never reads, just thinks. I
told her she should subscribe to the library. She says she's got to work
& not sit idle.
Wed afternoon
This is a letter after all. De Beer has just come up quite excited. Wanting
particulars about Umvutcha. He says he has got in touch with the right people
at last. Douglas Someone & Andersson Bros. (Douglas Smith I think) I told
him all I knew & said £1.10 per acre but he must not discuss that with
the buyer before seeing you. I just wanted to prepare him as he says you once
asked him £9,500 for the place. I said you must hacve misunderstood him &
that I knew £7000 had been offered within the month for bare Reigate.
He's answering Douglas' letter and asking him to come up. He will also write
to you. Stand fast for 30/- if you can. Everyones cattle are thin & dying & Umvutcha
things are alright a few old cows thin & a very few dead. Tottie Hay saw the cattle
passing & asked Kenneth if any were for sale as they were in good condition.

"all that trouble with Woods". She speaks of the trouble in the past tense.
I recall Peter often saying something like "RA went in on Mimosa Park with
F.E. Woods." I don't know if Woods was a partner with RA on the farm, or whether
Woods was just a creditor. [NF]
De Beer has just come up ....
"come up" - presumably Annie was writing in Agency Chambers.
Tottie Hay


Annie to RA 3p 44a-c

Dear Rob
I am lying on my back writing so you know why it is scribbled. I am quite better again and
think I am going to be better than I have been for a long time - because I get hungry now.
& hitherto food has been a nuisance. I don'[t think much of Dr M Saren {?]Or rather I
should say he may be very good & he has a good reputation but he is of no use to me
because I can boss him. I gave him his conze{?] on his second visit when really I still
needed a medical man if he had only been man enough to see it & take me in hand instead
of me him. - if that is grammar.
P.F has been in town a few days doing small jobs. I gave him F.E. letters & he wouldn't
take them. So I said he could leave them but they only filled up the box & LeSeur was away
& I could not send them to you because of your irregular post so he took them. Roberts
has been on his hind legs about his stand for [torn]eamery[?] & said most insulting things
to [ ] LeSeur about F&E's badly run office [ ]ink pat has been doing that.
[ ]st finished a set of shirts for you [ ]ou will like them I chose blue [ ]n like it. Tomorrow
I begin { ]nas. The cost of living is appaling [ ]p"& two "ls"). Ther shirts cost 10/6 unmade.
I got your letters of 26th & 1st today. When will you be back? It seems a long way to Gwanda
I don't think Walker should get Umvutcha for £8000 when Mimosas fetched £12000 &
Sea borough £4000 some hundreds - 18/- [?] per acre.
Last night a fire wiped Tabas Induna camp out. There is no coping with these fires.
Schenk was here today. He says a fire swept over him that no one could stop. It flew
above the trees & he saw it coming & raced his waggons which were out for wood on
to the Shiloh road. He says sometimes he thought he would have to cut the oxen loose
the fire gained so. It was the same fire that burned de Beers & the others out.
I am glad Kenneth is here to look after the cattle. He went back Monday. He was not very
fit from his bout of fever but went off. He's got a shed up & one part of the Kaytor hut -
the small room.
My fowls have done alright at Cardwell[ ] but the chickens are getting over crowd[ ]
Oh! she's a vindictive, spiteful fem{ ] I have got on very smoothly with [ ]because I
never quarrel with a[ ] I've seen bits of her nature [ ] made me shudder. Then I ha[ ]
soft & gentle & all the hard [ ]
Land is going up. Smuts says thousands & thousands of people will leave England as
soon as the ships are free from troops.
Walsh has Flemings billet & lives at Rhodesdale.
I am paying off all bills O that you can come to s clean sheet..
I am even going to pay Fa[?] It depresses me to see the pile of a/c every month. Fletchers
at the Cape were paid £18 this post all Bens run on. I paid Knight £9..9 I suppose that is correct.
I just write to & send the papers twice a week then there can be no doubt about your
getting something when there is a mail.
Kenneth will be glad of reims. He bought some. I don't know if the fire has not burned
the Umvutcha wood. Dry wood is in demand & there was a lot in the Tabas Induna.
Sew the biltong up in a bag when you want some kept. Boil the trip[ ] iit will be a nice
change. Can't you get a coup[ ] of goats for milk. I will be glad when you are back.
much love A.F


[The bottom corner of all pages are torn. The ink has also run.]

"It seems a long way to Gwanda yet". Suggesting that the survey work finished at Gwanda?
"Mimosas fetched £12000". Mimosa Park is sold?
"Last night a fire..." dry time of year, prob Spring rather than autumn?
"de Beers" From Shangani? big fire.
Cardwell - see Kenneths letter re Miss Cardwell at Umvutcha?
"Fletchers at the Cape" - Fletcher & Cartwright in CT?
"reims" Afrikaans= rawhide harness straps, rope etc. esp. for oxwaggons
"Tabas Induna" section of Umvutcha. [Ndebele: Intaba = hill. Induna = chief/s. Expand}
"sew the biltong up" Biltong: South African - dry meat, jerky.
Change on originals to 44


Annie to RA 3p 52a-c

Sept 21(?) Sunday
Dear Rob
Kenneth is in. The Kaytor hut is up.but the window & doors are non est all broken while it was at Umvutcha.
Ethel Fotheringham was here for a day or two & a friend of the Hulls. They have both gone.
Ethel took Zeta with her to the Bembesi. It is 5 days before the holidays but she wants a
change. P.F. is off on another survey. He's working hard now. Whatever you do he does.
LeSeur has 35 boys and a white youth so he must also be suffering from the same drug that
Ethel was telling me about Rory. He went to G.E.[?] & then worked at Que Que where Jessie
& Etjhel saw a lot of him. Jessie tried hard to get him off drink but he is hopeless. Theo
Haddon gave him sundry jobs but Rory did or said something & Theo H. won't hear his name
now. Rory ended up by eloping with some man's wife to Jo-burg. I think the name is "Murray".
Some very second rate person. His wife wrote and asked Jessie for the "bald truth" but Jessie
was afraid to commit the bald truth on paper. Anyhow Mrs Rory is getting a divorce. She is now
head mistress of the school and is thought a great deal of.
Mr Hull was here yesterday in a very agitated frame of mind after a long Co-Op meeting. After
all matters had been fixed some time ago with Tweespruit & Salisbury & Gwelo & the arrangement
was one Salisbury member, one B.S.A. member, one Tweespruit & one B'yo member to bbe on the
board Salisbury went back on the meeting and had another meeting arranging 2 Salisbury
men, 2 B.S.A. men & 1 Bulawayo man. I think Hull said 4 made a quorum so that 2 Salisbury
& 2 B..S.A. men could control the situation. Mr Hull says he's been ill & worried & left things to
Moffat & at the meeting yesterday this was a bombshell to him. So he got up & said he would not
sign the thing. It was not the true spirit of co-operation & if necessary he would resin rather than
sign. Moffat & others were for giving in. Chappel the B.S.A. man said Mr Hull was the only one
objecting. Mr Hull said he didn't care if he was. Finally Brebner, Moffat, Fynn, & Bland followed
all the old board. Chappel when he saw trouble offered B'yo two votes. Then Hull said that was
just a bribe & made matters worse etc. I don't hear much but this is just what I could gather
from Mr Hull.
I went to Hull's farm on Thursday with the Issels. He's burnt out & talks of closing his dairy for
good. His cattle are looking very bad. You know what a wooly bony shorthorn looks
like on the veldt. The fire has cost him £1000 Y he's kicked every nigger off & is
at his wits end for labour.
Kenneth told me of his affection for Connie but Connie won't say yes.
You must write to Mr Hull about the keep of the houses. I asked you to do so long ago. I can't,
it isn't my place to do so. Tottie has not paid up yet.
with love AF . NOTES:

P.F. is off on another survey. He's working hard now.
Add to Rory Page
"one B.S.A. member" explain the Chartered Co laws (still pertaining??)
Chappel - look up

Connie = Constance Oakley


Annie to RA 2p 45a-b

Kenneth still at Bembesi. He sent a wire yesterday to tell [?] to dip the oxen.
20 July
Dear Rob.
This is a note from Moodie. I have answered it & told him about the Figtree farms -
the little I know saying there were two farms between Figtree & Plumtree. One's name
was Kulunga{??] & perhaps he remembered it & I did not know your price but thought
about £1 per acre.I told you were away in ther bush & thought I had better answer
(I know you seldom answer unless at the point of the bayonet!)
I hope I have done right. Tell me about your properties. I asked you before just to tell me a
few details. Anytime deBeer or anyone might ask & I can save you the bother & delay.
The Tweespruit people are going on in with the Farmers Co-op. And the other creamery
is also going on. There has been a lot of indaba & I think those that know should write to
to you. I dare say they have. Hull complains of the [roteness?] of Goodridge & the
sneakisness of Roberts. Goodridge referred to Tweespruit as "foreign capital"& behind
the Farmers co-op wrote to Fischer the Tweespruit man & tried to get them. Fischer &
Moffat went to Hulls & Mr[s] Hull says Moffat is weak kneed & half hearted & he went
for both Fischer & Moffat - for Fischer because he was discussing things with Roberts
Creameery which Mr Hull did not consider straight. However Fischer met Roberts people
he told Mr Hull afterwards that he (Hull) was quite right what he had said about Roberts
& he wasn't going to have nothing to do with them. [sic] This is just odd bits I hear I dare
say they write to you.
Jobling popped in very excited for half minute saying Barbour & Moffat had been out to see
him. Barbour says Raylton want Jobling & if they can't get Jobling for R.G.[?] they want him
to pledge himself to R.G. if his own scheme has no support & Jobling wouldn't promise.
Jobling was on his way to see Coghlan & they were all trying to talk him over. I have not seen
him since.
I'll write again with love AF


R.G. Responsible Government?? [ Gained in 1923??]
Raylton a seat in Bulawayo

Dear Rob
This is a tame session everyone say. I told Donald Welsh [Webb?] - who was passing this
this remark that it was owing to Sir Chas. safe in the arms of his maker - & R.A. muzzled.
This amused him.
I am writing now on a very important subject that concerns the whole furture of Rhodesia
as far as one industry is concerned & that is on the only fruit that in any part of
country can be made a success of provided the necessary care & the right stock is
provided. This is the citrus fruit.
Rjodesia has closed its doors to the south for a number of years on account of citrus
canker. Very rightly too in the early days whebefore the disease had been located
& got in hand.
In the mean time Rhodesia is suffering from the want of first class citrus stock. Sir
Bouchier Wrey [?] who was in charge of Wembly [?] told me that the citrus fruits from
Rhodesia were nasty tasteless things & he was not at all proud of that part of his
exhibition. Bank Frazer [?] also said he & his family saw Rhodesian oranges advertised
& from sentiment went in to a place & bought some but they were not at all nice & they
were very disappointed in them & never bought any more. Both thesereputable men
told me this. We have trees here in our place from Pickstone [>?] & others
from Williams (Salisbury I think he is agent for C.C. Mazoe oranges) & the difference
Everyone that I have given our oranges to (Pickstones) over & over again
have remarked on the sweet & delicious flavour.Now I do not suggest that Rhodesia
should open her doors indiscrimminately to nurserymen in the south. But I do strongly
think & hope that an exception can be made as far as the premier grower in the south
is concerned. The man whom Rhodes selected on fruit culture generally. Pickstones
firm send their best man to California & the other citrus growing parts of America &
to Spain at intervals & they have selected & brought back the varieties that after the
30 or 40 years of experience & study of S.A. conditions they consider most suitable.
Citrus canker has never been in their nurseries or near by eaither. Rhodesia would be
quite safe & in good hands if the law permitted us to get trees only from them. In
fact it would be to the best intertests of Rhodesia if indiscrimminate importation
was prohibited. In selecting Pickstones the govt. would have a hold on the
& be doing a fine thing for the country by buying from an
absolutely safe man & what is more getting the best stock obtainable in S.A.
I feel very strongly on this subject because I know by actual experience
the difference.
Perhaps you'll put this off until you are in another seat in the house!!
ys A.F.
Send Hansards we read them all


"Sir Chas." Coghlan?
"Wrey" Sir Philip Bourchier Sherard Wrey. An MP for Byo at one stage. See....
"C.C Mazoe oranges" Chartered Company [?]

Annie to RA 4p 48a-d

Dear Rob
You don't write or take any interest in the family.
I saw Harris this morning & said "Well we didn't sell Umvutcha". He knew all about it
because he said he did not think the deal was closed as far as Smith is concerned, &
that the "company" had been easily floated & all the money subscribed in Brussels
& that Smith had gone to America & would come to Rhodesia in August.
I am still between the devil & the deep blue sea about Umvutcha. I'd like it sold - if
it must be sold - up to Queens Road for £10,000. I'd give anything to reserve
Tabas Induna & Hambagashle for Kenneth & Tidly.
Tidly has been bad with flu but it is such a relief to see him working & taking an
interest in things again. It was miserable before for both of us. He wants to get
ahead because of Sybil. It is his whole horizon & often makes me inclined to
shake him.
I am not going to tell him a word of what Harris says.Evidently a new company or
more capital for the former Company has been subscribed.
I suppose you would not consent to Tidly & Kenneth having Tabas Induna &
Hambagashle & taking the Lower farm instead.
Tom Meikle says no one working as a manager can save up enough to buy a farm. But
if a man has a farm he can struggle through.
If K.& Tidly had Tabas Induna they could sell milk & get a living at once & we'd have
a home without buying ground.
I firmly believe all my Christian Science endeavours asking to be shewn the right
path is worked out by Bongola letting the option lapse & this way opened up
Here's Ben wanting a home & to get married I think Mrs Napier approves of him.
I can't see & am writing this in the dusk on the verandah
y AF
Come down some week ends. The others do so.
"in August." so the letter is before Aug
"the Lower farm" . Zimbile B (Drummond) was referred to as the Bottom Farm when I was
a kid. NF
"Tom Meikle says " Among other things he said was that he would never have an old wagon,
- or an old wife. Sheila was a flower girl/bridesmaid at his second[?] wedding.?
"Here's Ben wanting a home & to get married I think Mrs Napier approves of him."
Ben married in 1929
. "Come down some weekends" sounds as if from Salisbury.

Annie, RA and grandchildren


Further Annie & Umvutcha etc material:

Umvutcha historical sites: Letter Annie to Col. Vaughn Williams, 1938.

Umvutcha historical sites: Map (Vaughn Williams).

Umvutcha historical sites: Description (Vaughn Williams).


"The Split" RA's letters to Pat regarding the dissolution of their joint affairs.

Letter December 1925

Letter February 1926

Letter Coghlan to Pat, October 1926


Filename: letters/annie_ra.html
File Created: 2007
Last Modified: 27 May 2009.
Last uploaded to Website: 27/5/09