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This letter was transcribed thanks to the considerable efforts of Wendy Jack. The footnotes were prepared by myself and then verified (and corrected or amplified) by Wendy. Many of the letters are the property of Betty Whiteside and/or Wendy Jack. Any researchers who wish to make further use of them should check with them first.
Sharon Oddie Brown, modified June 8, 2005

Jany 27th
1917                                                   

Urker
Crossmaglen
                                                              Co. Armagh
Ireland

My Dearest Sally [1] ,

                I need not say how sorry I was to get your sad news of Dec 6th [2] yesterday and how much I feel for you in your loneliness.

    It was a comfort that he was conscious to the end and had you and Mary [3] with him.  Poor Clair [4] will be sorry he was not there also.

    Very few knew the goodness and kindness of Mr. Whiteside as I did.  He was often misunderstood but I always liked him from the first.  You remember the day he helped you and me to clear out the jackdaw's nest out of the spare room chimney on his first visit to Derry Valley.  I hear Boyd [5] is about to sell Derry Valley.  He had intended it for his son but that boy has not pleased him being a bit wild.

    Mr. McCulley [6] of Broomfield is dead lately.  All my old friends and acquaintances are fast slipping away.  I hope we may all meet in the better land where there will be no more "sorrow nor crying".  Since you left so many are gone we felt we could hardly live without.

    Thank God no more of our boys have so far been killed or wounded.  Victor Griffin [7] was the only one killed so far.  His death was instantaneous being killed by a mine explosion.  He was a good Godfearing boy and not afraid to die.

    David Bates [8] is in the trenches just now.  It will be very hard on him.  He was such a pampered boy but if he lives it will make a man of him.  George McCullagh [9] is well again after a wounded hand and had a few days leave.  He is to go to the 11th Dublins tomorrow up Dublin.  We are glad he is not going to France.  I did not go to seeing him  We were [put] out of our way here between bad weather and Jim [10] and Molly [11] packing up to leave Urker [12] for Gilford Castle [13] a big place Jim has bought.  He will not be far from [Glenbanick*]  Cis [14] Reid helped all she could in getting them settled but they are still far from that as Molly has a very bad cold and is in bed here while Jim is in Gilford trying to housekeep for himself.  Nearly every body has had influenza badly [15] and some are still coughing.  I had a slight attack and was a couple of days in bed but am quite well again.

    Tommy Dare [16] was home for leave "looking old and worn" I am told.  Pat [17] is in France but at a base.  Russell [18] is on the lookout for zeppelins and Julius [19] employed in the War Office at clerical work.  He is quite lame but in good health again.  He has four little girls [20] .  Molly says they are dear little things.  Beatrice Markers [21] boy [22] is very delicate and very clever.  Has a wonderful memory.

    Charlie Moorhead [23] is also in France and so far safe.  He is not strong but not exempted from duty.  Jeannie [24] stays in Fosterstown with Andy [25] and Emily [26] . Andy suffers from rheumatism badly.

    David Jackson [27] their son is in Calcutta and Tendy [28] in Hong Kong -- Tom [29] is still lame with his knee and lives at home.

    I am glad to know that you are not left poorly off and that you have made kind friends out there.  Mary [30] living with you for the present is a great comfort.  I hope and pray that Clair [31] and her husband [32] will be spared to you. Perhaps we may even yet fulfil our old idea of spending our latter days together.  However that is not likely.

    Bessie Gilmore [33] is getting strong again in Teintsin after her bad confinement.  Her poor baby had to be sacrificed to save the mother's life.  One of Maggie McLelland's [34] boys is in hospital wounded.  She has two in the army and her prospective son in law was killed.  It is an awful and sad time for nearly every body.  We miss poor Uncle Tom [35] badly.  Tho' this place is now paying its way.

    I wrote your sad news to Mary Reid [36] , Maggie [37] and Alicia [38] yesterday.  Fondest love and sympathy to you and Mary.  Yr ever loving old

                                              Mary Griffin [39]

NOTE: I didn't footnote *"Glenbanick", but in the letter of January 2, 1917 th name is transcribed as "Glenbrana". I suspect the GILMOREs may have lived there but I could be wrong.



[1] Sarah McCullagh Whiteside

[2] death of William Sherlock Whiteside December 6, 1916

[3] Mary Ione Whiteside, daughter of Sarah McCULLAGH & William Sherlock WHITESIDE

[4] Thomas Clair Whiteside, son of Sarah McCULLAGH & William WHITESIDE. He was away at war.

[5] BOYD?

[6] McCULLEY?

[7] Pte Victor Ernest GRIFFIN b. 1897 d. 15 Sept. 1916, age 19. Son of  John Gilmore Griffin and Eleanor “Nellie” Sarah PELAN who had moved to Canada.

[8] David BATES, son of William BATES & Jane Clements. He had been living in Canada with his mother and would be killed September14, 1917.

[9] George David McCullagh, son of Margaret (Jackson) (Reed) McCullagh. He would be killed in the war, March 1918

[10] James Francis WRIGHT

[11] Mary “Mollie” (née Menary) WRIGHT

[12] Urker, Crossmaglen, Co. Armagh the home for generations of JACKSONs

[13] Gilford Castle, Gilford, Co. Down

[14] Sally McCullagh Reid, daughter of William and Mary (née McCULLAGH) REID, and a niece of Sarah WHITESIDE

[15] NOTE: The flu epidemic killed as many people as did WWI

[16] Thomas Dare Jackson, son of Sir Thomas JACKSON

[17] “Pat” is Claude Stewart JACKSON, son of Sir Thomas JACKSON and Amelia Lydia DARE

[18] “Russell” is Walter David Russell JACKSON, son of  Sir Thomas JACKSON and Amelia Lydia DARE

[19] George Julius Jackson, son of Sir Thomas Jackson

[20] Dawn Nesta Jackson, Joyce Katherine Jackson, Meryl Julian Jackson, Daphne Myddletone Jackson

[21] Beatrice Minnie Shrieve (Jackson) Marker

[22] Richard Raymond Kitchener MARKER, son of Raymond John MARKER, killed in the war in 1914 and Beatrice Minnie Shrieve (née JACKSON) MARKER (she is a daughter of Sir Thomas JACKSON)

[23] Charles Andrews Moorhead, husband of Jeannie Coulter (Jackson) Moorhead, daughter of Andrew Coulter Bradford Jackson (who was a brother of Sir Thomas JACKSON)

[24] Jeannie Coulter (Jackson) Moorhead, daughter of Andrew Coulter Bradford Jackson

[25] Andrew Coulter Bradford Jackson, father of Jeannie Coulter (née JACKSON) MOORHEAD

[26] Eliza Emily (née Gilmore) Jackson, mother of Jeannie Coulter (née JACKSON) MOORHEAD

[27] David Jackson, son of Andrew Coulter Bradford Jackson & Eliza Emily (Gilmore) Jackson

[28] Andrew Hugh Gilmore Jackson, son of Andrew Coulter Bradford Jackson & Eliza Emily (Gilmore) Jackson

[29] Thomas Dare Jackson, son of Andrew Coulter Bradford Jackson & Eliza Emily (Gilmore) Jackson

[30] Mary Ione Whiteside

[31] Thomas Clair Whiteside

[32] George Anderson Mitchell

[33] Elizabeth “Bessie” (Brown) Gilmore, wife of Samuel Gilmore

[34] Maggie McLELLAND?

[35] Sir Thomas Jackson

[36] Mary (McCullagh) Reid, wife of William Reid, sister to Sarah (McCullagh) Whiteside

[37] Maggie ?

[38] Alicia?

[39] Mary (Jackson) (Menary) Griffin

 

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