Posts : 1848
Join date : 2009-03-25
|Subject: Locket was sent to Helen Shepstone. Tue Nov 12, 2019 9:51 pm|| |
Anyone know who the young officer is, who fell ill and was rushed to hospital. ?[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.][You must be registered and logged in to see this image.][You must be registered and logged in to see this image.][You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]"A few years ago I bought this locket on an auction . As I did my research it opened up a love story,friendship , bravery and tragedy. The Locket was sent to Helen Shepstone , daughter of General John Jarvis Bissett and wife of Offy Shepstone. This was in gratitude of her and her friend Francis Colenso for nursing a young lieutenant John Clarke who died of TB on the 11th of June 1879 and is buried at Fort Napier in Pietermaritzburg. Francis later died of TB possibly as a consequence of her nursing John. I found a narritive " Francis in the years 1873 and 1874 was in a very unhappy period in her life. There had been a early close friendship that ended in separaion ,and by 1873 was in love with Col Durnford who was committed to an unhappy marriage and could not give her the relationship she sought. As Atherton Wylde she wrote My Chief and I in honor of Durnford when as a commander of the force sent to pursue Langalibalela was blamed for the colonial deaths that occured on the Bushman's river pass. Islandlwana was a tragic turning point in her life and her physical strength was eroded by tuberculosis contracted while nursing a sick soldier ( Lt John Clarke) in Pietermaritzburg.She grieved deeply for Durnford and devoted energy,emotional intensity and intellectual concentration to defending his reputation from what she believed was unjustified blame for Isandlwana with Anthony's brother Edward." Fanny asked her best friend Helen to petition her husband Offy Shestone to help clear Durndford's name at the inquiry.
PART OF A LETTER BY TO MRS LYELL FROM SARAH FRANCES COLENSO
DATED JUNE 2ND 1887
“My Dear Friend,
Two days ago your last letter came in the same mailbag which brought us the letters dreaded yet desired which we expected to bring us the account of my sweet Frances’ last days and even hours. We had a cablegram from Frank some weeks before to tell us she was dangerously ill. Then another a fortnight afterwards to tell us she was gone.
Her favourite friend, Mrs Burne-Jones, was with her almost to the last, and also Esther Clarke, whose brother, a young officer, dear Francis helped her friend Helen Shepstone to nurse through his last weeks of life in Pmb. Mrs Clarke and two daughters staid with us a little in our dear old home afterwards burnt. My dear Husband was with us then, so that there seemed a claim on the Clarkes which they were quite willing, anxious indeed to recognise. Frank went down to Ventnor once and again to see his sister who was looking forewards to being with him and Sophie in their new London house, little thinking her own summons was near. Her doctor told Frank it was her heart which failed at last, and that there was no struggle, no suffering. Thank God for that ...
I am , Dear Mrs Lyell,
Yours most truly
Sarah Frances Colenso”
Helen Shepstone died tragically on the 12th of September 1918 when the ship "Gallway Castle was torpedoed by U81 just two days out of Plymouth"
Source: The Collector (Facebook)
Posts : 206
Join date : 2011-10-18
|Subject: Re: Locket was sent to Helen Shepstone. Tue Nov 12, 2019 11:31 pm|| |
Here is a link to Lt Clarke's grave in Fort Napier (close to Durnford) and a family memorial in Scotland:[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
Posts : 9996
Join date : 2009-04-07
Age : 63
Location : Melbourne, Australia
|Subject: Locket was sent to Helen Shepstone Wed Nov 13, 2019 3:32 am|| |
Just did the same thing I did last time re Lt John Clarke , looked in Mac and Shad , he isn't there in the Obituary write up's .
See the Link posted by Tim Needham .
Posts : 8
Join date : 2019-08-24
Location : Burgess Hill, West Sussex
|Subject: Re: Locket was sent to Helen Shepstone. Wed Dec 11, 2019 9:39 am|| |
Lieutentant John Clarke, Royal Engineers. While this officer is not in the original MacKinnon & Shadbolt, he has an entry (on p.62) in Knight & Graves' 'Review' of M&S. They list him as dying of dysentry in PMBerg on 11th June 1879, rather than TB.
|Subject: Re: Locket was sent to Helen Shepstone. || |