- Published: 02 September 2009 02 September 2009
Isobel Duncan (1860-1934) daughter of Alex Silver and Isobel Falconer
In 1930, Isobel, whose married name was Duncan, lived at 24 Queens Road, Stonehaven, Scotland. She married John Duncan, a widower, in 1905 and at that time, aged 46, she was still a spinster. She was living at Harvieston, Kinneff, with brothers Alex and John.
Following is text of letter she wrote in 1918 with my comments in bold:
Chesterhill, Banchory, Nov 9th 1918
My Dear Brother & Sister,
I see your last letter to me was written on the 8th of April. Well I hope you are all well as this finds us so. I had a letter from Jack (this is her brother John Silver who apparently left Scotland possibly for Australia about 1907 but about whom little else is known) this week which I answered. We have had rather sad news to tell you this day week we had a wire from James Silver (her nephew, the son of her late brother Alex) that John (her nephew, also Alex’s son) was killed in action on 24th of Oct. He had only been out about two months and I had a letter from that he was getting on A1. I couldn't tell you how sorry we are about him and we haven't had a good night's sleep since we heard but we must not grieve; he and Alex (another of her late brother Alex’s son who was killed in action at Ypres on Saturday, September 25, 1915 aged 21. He was a private with the 4th Bn, Gordon Highlanders) too have died nobly for their king and country. I just feel a little sore when I think it was so near the end of the war. But I will soon be looking forward to meeting them in a far better country. Poor James (her nephew who sent the wire b 1898 d 1973 in Queensland, Australia) is feeling it very much and he was always afraid John (his brother) would never come back and he would be left alone. I am going into Aberdeen on Monday “it is rent day so I have to go whatever”, so I am hoping to see him. John was 22 and there will not be any fear about James being called up I think. I do hope your John (Jack Silver, of Australia, b 1897 d 1977) will get safe home again. I wrote and asked him to come here and see us before he goes back (Jack did visit Bella at Stonehaven). He was anxious about getting some heather so I sent him a wee bit I had in the house and promised to send more soon. Mr Duncan (her husband, John) has been keeping quite strong for a good while and always working busy. I am very glad to have him for my friends are getting thinner. I am going to see Aunty Mary (her mother’s sister Mary Ann Falconer who was married to her father’s third cousin James Silver) on Monday. We had Mrs Milne, the late Miss Anderson & Kitee this week. I was showing them your photos, they thought you were growing like our father and I think that too. I was minding what Alex our brother (Alex Silver b 1858, d 1907) said when Jim (James Silver above who sent the wire) was born. I am determined this one will be named after one of my folks, so he was called after you. I hope he will be spared. He is much stronger than he used to be and is very tall, a very friendly boy. We are having a rather hard time of it everything is such a price and we cannot get milk for love nor money. But this will be the worst winter now things will right themselves in a year or two. Eggs are 6 shillings each. We are thankful we have still Miss Walker and there are plenty of summer visitors to Banchory (west of Aberdeen) if we wanted Miss Walker. She is not very good to do with sometimes, that's why we have her one of her own nieces said this summer. Mrs Duncan (hard to know for sure if this Mrs Duncan is connected to her husband’s family but seems possible) should get the military cross of the highest order for keeping Miss Walker so long. I will need to bring my yarn to a close. With love and XXX to you all.
I am your loving sister, Isabella Duncan