Dear Mrs Pennyman
Volunteers made a surprise discovery in the attics at Ormesby Hall when they came across a box of letters. Upon investigation we discovered the letters were from women who lost loved ones during the First World War.
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 who had been killed in action during the First World War. The letters are heart breaking and offer insight into how these wmen 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 who have started the Dear Mrs Pennyman project which is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. The aim of the project is to digitise over 100 letters which were sent to Mary Pennyman and discover more about the women who wrote them. This project will increase our understanding of life on the home front during the First World War and how the conflict affected the women both during and after the war had ended.
If you would like to browse the digitised letters and find out more about the project then please use this link.