Dear Mrs Pennyman
'Dear Mrs Pennyman' is a heritage lottery funded project by the University of Teesside exploring the life of Mary Pennyman and the widows and mothers who wrote to her during the First World War.
Mary Pennyman and the letters
Mary Pennyman was the secretary of the King's Own Scottish Borderers Widows and Orphans Fund, a regiment her husband Jim belonged to. She received hundreds of letters from women whose husbands, sons and brothers had been killed in action during the First World War.
The letters are heart breaking and offer insights into how these women were feeling.
‘I haven’t any children madam no I’ve nothing left, only his photograph…’
The significance of the letters was recognised by the National Trust, Teesside Archives and mainly the University of Teesside, which started the 'Dear Mrs Pennyman' project, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. The aim of the project was to digitise over 100 letters which were sent to Mary Pennyman and discover more about the women who wrote them.
This project has increased our understanding of life on the home front during the First World War and of how the conflict affected the women both during and after the war had ended.