Family History – A letter to Teddy (1906)

After my Aunt passed away more of my Nan’s old paperwork has turned up, the letter below is from Ernest to, I believe, my Great Grandfather George Edward Kent, it was written in 1906 and it’s nice to see my ancestors had similar values to me.

Talopa
Stewart St
Arncliffe

5 May /06

Dear Teddy,

You see I have called you by tne name of Teddy, tnis being
the name I always knew you by. I have been rather a long time in
answering your letter of 22nd Nov. last but I do not have much
time at home as I am travelling for my firm now through the
country. I go distances of over 400 miles away nearly every week
and when I am doing the Northern Rivers I am away for 6 weeks. So
that you will see I do not have much time at home. We were
pleased to receive your letter and we were glad to hear of the
Starkey’s Case remember us kindly to them and you can tell Ben
that I nave often thought of him. I nave still got the old
1806 penny that Mrs Starkey gave me for a keepsake when we left
England, so that it is now just 100 years old.

We received your Annie’s slice of cake and we are glad to
hear that she is married happily. I used to nurse her.
I see that Will is at home so I suppose he has left the Army.
Well I hope that he and Howard and the other children at home
are good to their father and mother because they have been good
parents to them. I hope your father & father will enjoy good
health as they are growing older and you must tell your father
that he is not to consider himself exempt from letter writing
because you have written.

We are glad to hear that Sissie is happily married. I see that
you have taken on an Insurance agency. well I nope you are
getting on. I know it is hard work getting new business but
buck in for all you are worth and keep Square and although you
might not make it a howling success you will float along alright…
Now Teddy I am 5 years older than you and I don’t know what your
general habits may be but take it from me that the man who lives
clean, talks clean and drinks next to nothing of beers and
spirits and looks after his wife and kiddies has got a nappier
life and more chance of getting on than if he acted differently.
Now I take it that you are all this and if you are you will get
along alight. Always keep your eye open for a position over
the one you have got and when you obtain it work like the very
devil to keep it and qualify yourself for a higher position
still. What I have Just written has been my experience and
I nave seen two sides of the question. I have to mix up with
a lot of people whose idea of happiness is “Drink up boys, we ‘re
Jolly good fellows” but there’s nothing in it. Of course I am
friendly with even those people but I don’t go past one drink.
If they have another I shout a drink the next time I might see
them and we’re quits but as a rule I say “No thanks excuse me
I’ve Just had one”.

Your Grandfather has Just pulled through a serious illness –
dropsy and heart failure. The doctor ordered him into the
hospital Just before Easter and father only came out yesterday.
He is 77 years old now so we cannot expect him to be so
very well.

Your Aunt & Uncle Lucas and children are all well. The eldest son Tom is away in Queensland tin mining about 800 miles from here. He is doing fairly well.
Our family are all well except baby who is Just 3 months old.
We expected him to die last week but I am pleased to say that
he appears to have pulled round. He was suffering from
inflammation of tne bowells. His name is Arthmr Cnarles. My
eldest son Ernest is 14 years (17 April) and will soon have to
start to earn his crust.
We have 5 children alive Ernest Clarence 14 years
Annie May (Sissie)                                         11 years
Florence June                                                   6    “
Eric Fenn                                                           4    “
Arthur Charles                                                 3 months
Our 3 little ones who died are
George Slater    4 years
Doris Nay          9 months
Harold James 14 months.

We all send our love to you and your wife sisters brothers &
parents and you must not forget to tell all of them
Your affectionate Uncle
Ernest S Kent,
PS
I hope your fathers legs do get better. Ask him whether
he has tried salt water. You can buy sea salt in bags at the
Chemists and have a sea bath at home. Perhaps this would
do his legs some good
Ernest
Tell your father I’m afraid of getting heavy like him. I
go 13 stone now

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