Postcard from the Front – To my dear wife and sonny

Great Dunmow - Notts & Derby

Great Dunmow - Notts & DerbyMrs H Spurgeon, The Avenue, Great Dunmow, Essex, England

My dear wife and sonny
Received card this morning, Monday. Please to hear you received order. Thank you very much for it and it is very nice. I have sent you one of the Sherwood Foresters I thought perhaps you would like one. Please to hear you are both quite well. I am also. Have you received my letter about Xmas. We saw the New Year in and enjoyed our selves. Do you remember last year how we all enjoyed our selves. Did you hear from any of them this Xmas. Kindly remember me to them and all of them. Will write later. Wishing you a happy New Year from Harry


Harry’s younger brother, Lance Corporal Victor Spurgeon, the baby of the Spurgeon family,  of the 11th Battalion of the Essex Regiment died aged 28 in France on 8th October 1918 and is commemorated on the Vis-En-Artois Memorial in Pas de Calais.    The memorial has the names of over 9,000 men who fell in battle from 8 August 1918 to 11 November 1918 who have no known grave.

Victor is commemorated on Great Dunmow’s War Memorial.

Great Dunmow War Memorial - Victor SpurgeonGreat Dunmow’s War Memorial
Victor’s name is immediately underneath the first join

Their Name Liveth For Evermore

1891 Cenus – High Street, Great Dunmow
Spurgeon, Herbert J, Head, aged 42, born 1849 Stambourne, occupation Corn Factors Assistant
Spurgeon, Ann M, Wife, aged 40, born 1851, Great Dunmow
Spurgeon, Grace A, Daughter, aged 16, born 1875 Warboys, Huntingdonshire
Spurgeon, Kate G, Daughter, aged 14, born 1877 Warboys, occupation Dressmakers Apprentice
Spurgeon, Harry B, Son, aged 12, born 1879 Warboys, occupation Scholar
Spurgeon, Ernest H, Son, aged 10, born 1881 Warboys, occupation Scholar
Spurgeon, Mabel J, Daughter, aged 7, born 1884 Broxted, occupation Scholar
Spurgeon, William G, Son aged 3, born 1888 Great Dunmow
Spurgeon, Victor, Son, aged 0 (9mths), born 1891, Great Dunmow

1901 Census – New Street, Great Dunmow
Spurgeon, Herbt, Head Widower, aged 52, born 1849 Stambourne, occupation Late Coal Agent
Spurgeon, Harry, Son, aged 22, born 1879 Warboys, occupation Printer
Spurgeon, Ernest, Son, aged 20, born 1881 Warboys, occupation Clothier’s Assistant
Spurgeon, Mabel, Daughter, aged 17, born 1884 Broxted, occupation Housekeeper
Spurgeon, Wm, Son, aged 13, born 1888 Great Dunmow, occupation Butcher’s Apprentice
Spurgeon, Victor, Son, aged 11, born 1890 Great Dunmow

1911 census
Household of Herbert Spurgeon is not in the 1911 Census – perhaps he was dead by 1911.

1911 Census – High Street Great Dunmow
Spurgeon, Harry Burton, Head, aged 32, born 1879 Warboys, occupation Printer
Spurgeon, Mary, Wife married 5 years, aged 28, born 1883 Great Dunmow


You may also be interested in
– Memorial Tablet – I died in hell
– Memorial Tablet – I died of starvation
– Memorial Tablet – I died of wounds
– The Willett family of Great Dunmow
– Postcard from the Front – To my dear wife and sonny
– War and Remembrance – The Making of a War Memorial
– Great Dunmow’s Roll of Honour

© Essex Voices Past 2012-2013.

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2 Responses to Postcard from the Front – To my dear wife and sonny

  1. Caroline says:

    I love this sort of ephemera, it’s like looking in someone else’s memory box. Did the men embroider these cards themselves in the long boring hours?

  2. the narrator says:

    I’ve been doing some research on the embroidery. Some website say they are hand embroidered by the cottage industry which spring up as the result of the Great War, other websites say that they were machine embroidered at home by using a small hand-loom. The ones I’ve seen do look to have been machine embroidered – the stitches are too uniform and too perfect for hand-embroidery. I’m an experienced embroider myself, and there’s no way I could produce such perfect stitches! So it seems that the silk part of the postcard was machine embroidered in long strips and then sent to a factory to be cut and backed by the postcard.

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