Dear Mrs Pennyman

A copy of an extract of a war widows letter written to Mary 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 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 started the Dear Mrs Pennyman project which is 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 aimed to 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.