Berryman Family Letters: The Story So Far - (each year on a separate tab)
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DateWorld EventsGertrudeRichardJimTedBen(edicta)(Ethel)DredaPaulJane / JinnyRosamund(Chris)TopherRuth
Date of Birthb Aug 1857b Sept 1880b Dec 1881b July 1883b July 1882b Sept 1885b 1888b 1890b 1891b 1893b 1894
Age Jan 191860 yrs old37 yrs old36 yrs old35 yrs old34 yrs old32 yrs old29 yrs old28 yrs old27 yrs old25 yrs old23 yrs old
1917Gertrude, their mother, spent most of the war volunteering for the Red Cross, managing the family home as a base for her family, their friends and other soldiers to visit.Richard spent most of 1917 working as an army doctor with an Indian Cavalry regiment in France. We have very few letters from him after Sept 1917, so it is hard to know what he was doing or where.Jim was posted to Singapore in 1917 - he joined up in 1914 but did not do well during his training and was never sent to France. In Singapore he worked as a censor. The ship he was on, the Tyndareus, sank off South Africa and Jim and almost everyone on board survived.After serving in France in 1914 & training troops in England in 1915, Ted spent most of 1916 in India.

In 1917 he served in Mesopotamia (Iraq) & was acting Lt Col when he led the regiment in the Battle of Ramadi.

By the end of 1917 he reverted to Acting Major.
Ben's fiancee, Ivan, was killed in the Somme in 1916 and she was grief-stricken. She got war work in London in 1917 and lived there with Jim's wife Sheina, slowly recovering from the shock of Ivan's death. Dreda started 1917 working in a bank in Guildford but manages to get work on a farm, possibly near Bognor in Sussex.Paul fought at Jutland in 1916 and 1917 was much quieter for him, based in northern Scotland.

He married Nancy Swan late in 1917. Her family were dubious about the charming Paul, despite his good war record.

We have no wartime letters after their marriage but hear of them from the others.
We hear little about Jane in 1917. She and her friend Chubby still ran their tobacconist shop in London.Rosamund continued working on a farm in Kent in 1917, occasionally sending produce like eggs and peas up to Paul in Orkney and northern Scotland.Topher spent most of 1917 with Richard, serving as his groom. he may have asked for a transfer to the Gunners or the Tanks, suggesting that he preferred machinery to horses. It's not clear where he was in late 1917.Ruth isn't mentioned in any of the brothers' letters in 1917. She was presumably still working as a nurse with the Red Cross. 14 years younger than Richard, she would have been very much the baby sister.
More about GertrudeMore about RichardMore about JimMore about TedMore about BenMore about the girlsMore about PaulMore about the girlsMore about the girlsMore about TopherMore about the girls
Jan 1918
Feb 1918
Mar 1918
Apr 1918
May 1918
Jun 1918
Jul 1918
Aug 1918
Sep 1918
Oct 1918
Nov 1918
Dec 1918
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