FAMILY LETTERS FROM THE PAST
FAMILY LETTERS FROM THE PAST




LETTERS FROM ALF KEDGE IN NEW ZEALAND



These two letters submitted by Chris McDonnell. He is 

anxious to find out who Alf Kedge was.

Chris has researched the Kedge family but cannot find an

Alf Kedge. Was this a nickname for Anthony Kedge who was

transported to Freemantle Prison, Western Australia in

1848 ? There is a mention in the 1899 letter that

Alf Kedge had been away for 51 years which would fit with

"emigration" in 1848.

Any correspondence should go to Chris at

chris_mcdonn@yahoo.co.uk



Letter 1:Dear BrotherI am writing this to thank you for letting me know ofDear Old Sister Emmaís death. I suppose only for you Ishould never have heard of it however I hope you willcontinue to write to me as you alone can tell me allabout our old village its people of 1848 till now ~the Clarkes, Gills, Addisons, Weedons, Treadaways, OurAunt Charlotte, Farmers Milton, Collet, Elders and allold residents.I send you a New Zealand illustrated History ofAuckland, one of New Zealands leading ports andcities.I shall say very little about myself this time as Iwant to hear more fully from you and when I get a longletter from you I will return the complement. So trusting this will find you all well, I remain youraffectionate brother,Alf.


Letter 2:North BeachCobdenWestlandNew ZealandMarch 5th 1899Dear BrotherYour letter came to hand alright am I am very pleasedto hear from you. I suppose you are the last link thatconnects me with family ties now that we have lost allour brothers and sisters and a few years more at mostand I shall go too. The [              ] consolationleft and that both Charlotte and Emma have kept upregular correspondence with me ~ Poor Arthur went offvery sudden ~ a good Brother, Husband & Father ~ Isuppose William Andersons family will all be away fromhim now. I had a letter from poor Dear Emma before shedied (I expect her last) in which she stated all hertroubles to one. I wrote soon after getting her letterbut I hardly think she lived to get it. I sometimes think it best that I left England whenyoung for try as I will I can only recall to my mindseye scenes as they were then. Mother & Father inmiddle life, Brothers & Sisters all young and as suchthay have always remained and strange as it may seemto you I donít seem to recollect ever having seen you.Yet there has always remained some feint idea that Ihad a baby brother when I left our dear old home howmany years ago? 51 I think.I can see old Swakely Hall, the rectory, the oldchurch and stocks at the gates, Treadaways Old Coach &Horses and the 3 ponds and Weedens Farm House Stableand Barns on one side and Parson Addison in the pulpitstammering painfully to get through his sermon and theold Village Bakehouse where our Sundays dinner went tobe cooked for 2d or a penny according to the size ofthe dish. And the old garden wall running up to Gillsby gates opposite which a style and path across thefield to Clarkes ~ how vividly all these things areimpressed on the mind ~ nothing however grand orsublime can erase them from our memory. And I thinkthose whose circumstances alone have compelled them tobe exiled from home and friends can realise thepleasure of reflection ~ a mingled feeling of pain &pleasure. I have often longed to return home once morebut changes have come and I feel callous on thematter. I have met so many disappointments in courseof my career that I feel I cannot trust my fellow manany longer ~ at least but very few.-----------------------------------------------------As the second letter is not signed, I assume that itis incomplete.

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