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Alexander Sandison Letters
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Alexander Sandison Letters

  • AR42
  • Collection
  • 1914 - 1920

Two boxes of letters from Rev Alexander Sandison (minister of the South Croydon Congregational Church, Aberdeen Road) to his brother Tom Sandison (of Unst, Shetland)

Alexander Sandison

Alexander Sandison Letters:

Sandison is apparently worried about where John will be sent to fight. He does not believe that Hamiltons soldiers will be sent abroad.

(This is possibly a reference to Sir Ian Hamilton (1853-1947). Once chief of staff to Lord Kitchener during the South African War, he began the First World War as commander of the Central Force, responsible for home defence. An otherwise outstanding military career was ruined by defeat in the Dardanelles (1915) and later, Gallipoli.)

Alexander Sandison Letters:

Isa is distressed that Looie will shortly be going to the Front. The Neils daughters fianc233 is killed in action. Sandison mentions that rumours are rife, and that many graves are being dug in London. The wounded men are ready to go. That winters financial provision for soldiers dependants is generous, according to Sandison. Alex is preparing a paper for the Royal Society of Medicine. Madge has been lost. The refugees are making themselves at home wherever they have been billeted. Sandison is glad to hear news of William Stewart. Margaret Tedders son, Arthur, is determined to go to the Front. Relief at news about Bewman. Sandison fears that revenge attacks on any German soldiers left in Belgium will be horrific. He talks about the many unpublished sketches he has written. He knows two war correspondents who work for the [Daily?] Chronicle.

Alexander Sandison Letters: Letter

Winter descends with a vengeance. The soldiers training regime appears to be benefiting them. Alex lectures on Conduct and Health for young men. The Sandisons entertain some soldiers; the Revd and others plan entertainment for certain of the rougher class. Madge undergoes an ear operation. The hymn-proofs arrive. Lord Roberts forbearance is praised.

Alexander Sandison Letters: Letter

Another family friend, CJ, will apparently soon be counted to shin up country districts. The Sandisons prepare to welcome the Protestant pastor of Liege and his family, who are refugees . Alex Sandison is back in his own home and preparing lectures. Sandison agrees with Tom about Hamilton and Annie working for the men of the Flying Fish. His hymns are at the printers.

(Li232ge, in Belgium, was invaded by the German Second Army in August 1914. Despite strong local resistance, and the protective ring of six forts, the town finally fell to the Second Armys Major-General Ludendorff. From August 1914 onwards almost 1,000 Belgian refugees arrived in Croydon. Some were accommodated in private residences, as here, while others were cared for by the self-appointed Belgian Refugees Committee, which eventually became the Croydon War Refugees Committee.)

Alexander Sandison Letters: Letter

Tensions of war are already telling on the people. The Sandisons new maid had scarlet fever and the house had to be evacuated and disinfected. Many soldiers are training without arms or uniforms. Individuals and churches are establishing homes for Belgian refugees. Sandison continues to keep morning watch at the church.

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