A LITTLE NOTE from Mrs ALICE Jane PENNING to MRS MARIE  N. HIBBETT  95, Foden Rd, Walsall: after Sydney & Bertie left for France, 28th Feb /1st March 1915.

Outside the Old English Gentleman, Gold St. Saffron Walden. Far right: Grandmother Penning. Seated in Cart: (dark dress) Elizabeth Penning, sister of John Francis, Bertie's Landlord., George and William.Mrs Pennings to Mrs Hibbett

29, Gold Street. Saffron Walden.

Dear Mrs Hibbett,

The boys left here midnight (Sun) for Southampton and went off so brave for they had been wishing so to be doing,  but I hope and trust they may return in safety and that this War may soon be at an end. 

Mrs Penning to Mrs Hibbett 2

I miss them very much today for we have been so very happy and I had a most beautiful little note that Bertie gave me which I shall always keep.

Mrs Penning to Mrs Hibbett Rotate Cropped 2

Tear stained.
Tear-stained Note (3 x4″) from Mrs. Alice Penning to Mrs Marie Neal Hibbett. 1st March 1915.



I was most fortunate in having 4 such nice ones in my house and I am sure I have treated them like my own and they have promised that I shall hear from them. (1)



I am putting a parcel on rail and hope you may get it alright and remain,

Yours truly,

Mrs Penning.                   These I find he has left behind.


Elizabeth Hibbett Webb

God bless you Alice Penning, and all loving Mothers and kind Landladies of WW1.

Photograph courtesy of Kathleen Penning: The Penning Family 1914. Outside The Old English Gentleman Inn, Gold St. Saffron Walden. Far right: Grandmother Penning. Seated in Cart (dark dress) Elizabeth Penning (sister of George & John Francis Penning and of William Penning, Bertie’s Landlord).The soldier is most probably Corporal Arthur Penning (Killed in Action. 20th Aug.1915).

(1) The Hibbett and Penning Families kept in touch for many years after the War.

A SECOND POST: 1st March 1915: Southampton Quay.


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