The Wildgoose Chase

I met Chelsea Pensioner Walter Wildgoose in 1977 when he was 87 and I was 26. Through a series of letters written over the last year of his life, he passed along his life story - the workhouse children's home, a life in the British Army witnessing the opening battles of World War I and life in India, a remarkable family surviving the bombs of World War II London. This blog will document my research and progress on the novel I'm writing about this amazing man.

Monday, January 21, 2008


It’s astonishing to me the way that Walter’s stories and experiences find their way to others who have an interest in a particular topic. For example, within the last couple of months, I’ve heard from three people who have a connection with:

These kind folks take the time to either comment on the post or email me. I truly appreciate any comment or suggestion about specific events, people, or experiences.

Michael H. let me know that Wadhurst in East Sussex is twinned with Aubers because Wadhurst lost 25 men at Aubers Ridge on 9 May 1915, the same battle that took the life of Walter’s beloved brother, Bert. In honor of the 60th Anniversary of the Battle of Aubers Ridge, Michael gave a talk to the Wadhurst History Society and provided me with a link to a website that has a copy of his speech. Thanks for this, Michael! I’ve added the site to my resource list.

JR made a request for photos of the 1911 Delhi Durbar and information about the film mentioned on my post. Anyone out there have anything for JR? I hope that someone comes forward with more about this event. I’ve had a hard time tracking down specifics. Thanks for putting out another call about this, JR.

And I recently heard from Carla, whose great-grandfather emigrated to Holland from Chile aboard the Oropesa in 1903, four years before young Walter worked as a cabin boy aboard the ship. I’ve asked Carla if her great-grandfather left behind any photos or letters about the Oropesa – I’d love to see them.

So to all who send comments and emails – thank you. Whatever information or sources you have is always welcome and helps me understand Walter’s world a little better.

Bookmark and Share
posted by MaryB @ 2:16 PM  


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home