JOHANNA'S LETTERS - 1945 TO 1956


LETTER FROM JOHANNA DUFFUS SHORT

29th Aug. 1945

13 Diana Rd.
Llandilo
Carmarthenshire, Wales

Dear Emma,

Your last letter dated 20 July took a month to come. So will answer your inquiries. Tuesday 29th August is to-day and we have not got away for a holiday yet but expect to get a little sea-side place on the 12th of Sept. if all's well.

We have been kept hard at it what with Drs. & nurses doing their utmost to get Dorothy better it all failed & she died on the 8th of July. She said if she was to die she hoped it would be quick.

The disease got a hold of the bowels & they didn't work & the hole they left open at the side gave little relief as she swelled tremendously. She had no comfort after eating. The last week she slept allot & so had little pain. She was 4 hours unconscious on Sat. morning & about 2 o'clock passed away without wakening. It has been a sad sad blow to her husband & Sidney & me as we were beside her all the time which was nearly a year. She was 49 years of age & my youngest, the first of my girls to go.

The people were most kind 23 wreaths were put on the grave & they had a very lovely service in the church.

You ask about Jeanie & Isa. They live still in the old home in Dundee where your Grandfather once came to see us & that is over 300 miles from here. I have not seen them since they came to Birmingham where we lived & that was when we celebrated our 50th anniversary or (Golden Wedding). All the relatives came & had dinner & tea all together & a wedding cake. When the war came Dot said come to stay with me, as our home was bombed & I have never seen it since, but now have let it.

My daughter Mabel came up from London where she lives now & stayed with us 3 weeks & helped to nurse Dot. The pilotless planes still go there and we are kept in suspense.

Ian & Gordon Davis my grandsons are in Italy & seem quite happy & well.

I had a P.P.C. from Viola & her father when on holiday the 8th of July, but I have written to them a month ago. Like you I hope Howard & John are still safe but victory seems assured now.

You asked what other relatives I have in Scotland. My eldest sister's (Nellie) 2 daughters live in Edinburgh, Scotland, one a widow, her son is in the army & abroad. My other sister's (Bessie)
daughter lives in Glascow & has a son & daughter. Jeanie & Isa are on holiday now with her. That's a 2 1/2 hour journey from Dundee. My sisters Nellie & Bessie are both dead. Bessie's son lives near Dundee. So that's all. My youngest sister Teenie (Mrs. Gibson) lives in Mansfield, England. Her husband is retired. I went to see her a year ago, she has 2 daughters married both without any family. I think you can visualize us all better now I am the eldest living.

Sidney & I both keeping well now the strain is off but I don't know what the future holds for us. It's not quite the same now Dot has gone. She left a good sum of money to Sidney L 50 each to 7 nephew & nieces. So she knew she had to die but faced it bravely without a tear.

Yours affectionately,

Aunt Joey

P.S. I hope your boy is still in training & Dorothy well. Have
you been away?


LETTER FROM JOHANNA DUFFUS SHORT

13 Diana Rd.
Llandilo
Carmarthenshire, Wales
8th Dec. 1948

Dear Emma,

It's about time I was writing you if I want you to get it for Xmas. Well there's a good lot to tell you.

Since I wrote you last my son-in-law has married again & gone next door to live. her husband died 2 yeas after our Dot died. She is a very nice girl. We know her quite well & are very pleased he has married.

So now we have got our furniture back again after being stored for 6 years. Of course we have not nearly so much to do & are very happy. We got all his furniture, what he didn't need away to the sale room & a lot we didn't want either so it all looks very nice. Sidney, he's had a lot to do with it all, but looks very nice now.

Well, we asked a lot of our friends down because we hadn't had any of them down before. We had my granddaughter for a week, then a friend who had come every year, but lodged with a lady. She was able to come here. She stayed over a fortnight, then my grand-daughter came & her little boy & stopped a fortnight. Then we had a friend of Sidney's & her husband for 6 days & we have had ladies in for tea. A lot of time has passed away very quickly. Sidney said it was better to stop at home & have all the people here & not go traveling away at all, so I feel we have done a lot. The time has passed very quickly.

She was out last night to a W. ? party, but I had a lady in for the evening. This lady has a sister up the road & she has just come back from New Zealand. She went out to see her daughter & was to stop altogether but she only stayed a month & came home again, so I got all her news, then I went to my bed, but Sidney came home soon after. I will write to Viola a little later.

I hope your boy is getting on all right. Your girl too. Your husband is well also.

I have not heard again from the lady who asked about my brother, but I may hear again some time.

We hear from Viola twice a year. Always when she goes he holidays with her father. All my sisters are well too, but we are so far away from them they cannot come. We went to see them 2 years ago.



Hoping you are well. With kindest regards.


Yours sincerely,


Joey Short

LETTER FROM JOHANNA DUFFUS SHORT

13 Diana Rd.
Llandilo
Carmarthanshire
Wales
1st Oct. 1947

Dear Emma,

I am writing you at once to condone with you, on your tragic circumstances. I had no idea you had to bear a lot. I hope that all will be well for a very long time now.

Your daughter had a very nice holiday away from you all. I daresay she is quite capable now to go away on her own.

I have heard from Viola. She always writes when she is away with her father for a holiday. She writes again at Xmas time.

Well I am writing you this time about my brother Jack. We have heard Mr. Hardyman is making up a book referring to Malagasy students he met in 1863. I am just wondering if the young fellow John who was over near Birmingham has anything.

I remember you said one time that your cousin had all the things relating to Jack. I am sending your address to Mrs. Hardyman whose letter I enclose which I hope you will let him have it as soon as possible.

Do not send this back to me, as I have taken a copy of it. I hope you know all about these things as well it will be very interesting bye & bye. My sisters have that photo of him with the Magalasy which they are sending to Mrs. Hardyman in Torquay.

I wonder if your friend has the pamphlet on Recollections of the Revolution which he published in Dundee. It would be delightful if he had & then send it on to Mrs. Hardyman. I am sending the letter on to you as I am sure you will do all you can to make it possible to have a book with all he needs in it. They are sending on the photo they have of him.

In the meantime I'll write to Mrs. Hardyman & say I have sent on the letter to you hoping you will do all you can for us.

I have been reading all your news again & it seems terrible so much to happen -- I will be looking forward to getting the photo of John's family & hope it will come soon.

I hope your own son will be alright now for a long time & that he will have joy in his automobile.

What a pity all your people work so far away from you. I hope too that your own husband will keep well now. I think you did alright not to go far away this summer & keep near home.

My sisters stayed home after they went to the marriage of a niece in Glascow. My sister from Mansfield went to see them & they took them in their car a lot. My second daughter & her girl went to Scotland this year. They had never been before. Her husband had to go to some meetings. They're hoping you can do all and want you too.

Yours affectionately,

J. H. Short

----------------------------------------

ENCLOSURE

c/o Mrs. Hardyman
"Downderry"
211 Newton Rd.
Torquay, Devon
16 September 1947

Mrs. R. M. Short
13 Diana Rd.
Llandilo,
Carmarthenshire.

Dear Mrs. Short,

Your address has been given to me by your sisters in Dundee. I have been in touch with them as I have been trying to find some information about the late Rev. John DUFFUS, once a missionary of the London Missionary Society in Madagascar. (I may say that I am writing from Madagascar -- the above address is my home address).
The information for which I have been looking is as follows:
(a) When did Mr. Duffus die and where is he buried (in America)?
(b) Can you give me the address of your relatives in America?
Your sisters said you would probably be able to do this.
I possess a letter written by Mr. Duffus (from America) about 1902, addressed to an associate of his days in Madagascar -- Rev. W.E. Cousins. In this letter Mr. Duffus refers to the fact that he had in his possession an autograph album which had once belonged to a Malagasy named Rasoamakal in whose history I am interested, and I should like to find out if this album still exists.
I have also searched for a photo of Mr. Duffus -- your sisters tell me that they possess one.
The reason for this research and these requests is that I am interested in the history of Madagascar, and also wish to obtain the portrait as it is one of those missing from the collection of portraits of former LMS missionaries.
I enclose a stamp, and shall be very grateful if you could put me in touch with those of your American relatives who would be most likely to have inherited any papers etc that may have been in Mr. Duffus' possession relating to Madagascar and to his travels with the Malagasy ambassadors. I have also been looking for the small pamphlet on Recollections of the Revolution (i.e. the death of Radama the 2nd of Madagascar in 1863) which he published in Dundee in the 1890's. I have so far been unable to find a copy.

With my thanks in anticipation,
I am, Yours sincerely,

J. T. Hardyman

LETTER FROM JOHANNA DUFFUS SHORT

13 Diana Rd.
Leandilo
Carmarthenshire, Wales
October 14th, 1956

Dear Viola,

I have had your letter 2 days ago & my daughter says I'd better write to you. Well I'm sure its just being by yourself
much, it gets on your nerves.

It's a pity you had to go to the hospital, but it's a good thing you are well again. Sidney like you, has been in the hospital for 4 days, under observation and xray. She is home again & feeling better. My other daughter has been here for 3 months looking after us both & we are enjoying the company. One of the grandchildren who lives in a caravan now came with her husband & two children for a week end to see us & then toured all over Wales visiting ruined castles & seaside resorts, they enjoyed it very much.

We have had lots of visitors some just staying & others just calling, two people we had not seen in 20 years, so it was nice having a chat over old times.

Glad to hear you heard from Lillian & Emma. We hear from Emma occasionally.

We have had the film of Billy Graham showing at our cinema this week, but we did not go. I never go to the pictures. Hoping you enjoy St. Petersburg.

Love from Aunt Joey (96 years old)


13 Diana Rd.
Landilo
Carmarthenshire, Wales
October 14, 1956

Dear Viola,

I have had your letter & my daughter says I'd better write to you.

Well I'm sure its just being by yourself so much, it gets on your nerves.

It's a pity you had to go to the hospital but a good thing you are well again. Sidney, like you, has been in the hospital for 4 days, under observation & X-ray. She is home again & feeling better. My other daughter has been here for 3 weeks looking after both of us & we are enjoying the company. One of my grandchildren who lives in a caravan now came with her husband & two children for a week end to see us & then toured all over Wales visiting ruined castles & seaside resorts, they enjoyed it very much.

We have had lots of visitors some just staying & others just calling. Two people we had not seen in 20 years, so it was once having a chat over old times.

Glad to hear you heard from Lillian & Emma. We hear from Emma occasionally.

We have had the film of Billy Graham showing at our cinema this week, but we did not go. I never go to pictures.

Hoping you enjoy St. Petersburg

Love from Aunt Joey (96 yrs old)


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