British Postcards 10

the postcards of emily hooper

These are the postcards of Ethel C Hooper. In 1911 she was living with her family at 81 Victory Street in Devonport. Aged 20 she is single and described in the census as a housemaid, born in Devonport. Her parents are Robert, a skilled labourer,  and Jane; her siblings are Alfred, 22, an able seaman in the Royal Navy, Reggie, 15, a butcher's apprentice, Ethel, 8 and Annie,5, both at school.

Before WWI she seems to have been keen on collecting 'Song Cards'. In 1909 whilst at Clannacombe Farm Newton Ferrers, probably where she was working, she received a number from her mother. In 1910 while at Luxstowe, Liskeard Cornwell, she received at least one card from a George Foster. He was also sending her cards at 41 Victory Street at about the same time.


An Eddie was sending her numerous song cards in 1911 and then a Will in March 1912 while she was at  101 Paris Street Exeter. Will carried on in writing April and May of that year to Edith at the The Bristol Refreshment House, Union Street, Plymouth and to 81 Victory Street, Devonport.


She received a son card from her cousin Georgie in January 1915  when she was at Mount drake, Tavistock Road, Plymouth, . After this date the cards that survive are all silk cards sent by  Bert(ie) who is obviously on military service.


There is no evidence that Ethel ever married. There is an Ethel C Hooper living in 1939 in Devon working as a housemaid; it is probable that she is one of the two Ethel Hoopers who died in Devon in 1942 and 1943.

Postcard 1: Monday 12 1916

My dear Ethel, I have just returned from my evening walk on my way back I saw this card in the window So I thought you would like it very much as I think its sweet don't your dear. I am still getting on alright hoping you are the same. did you go anywhere for Bank holiday. I almost forgot it was bank holiday before I saw so many people walking about. I have been very busy working all day. Its just started to rain here hope it won't be much. as it isn't so mice camping out when raining. Now dear I am just thinking about turning in for the night. With all my love to you ever yours Bert.

Postcard 2: 6/6/1916

My dear Ethel. just a card to say I am still keeping well. And going on first rate happy as a bird. I wish I was so near as the live birds on the other side. Its been very showery here this last three day. Have you got the other card I sent last week. My mate is separated from me, young Vanstone I mean. He is gone further on somewhere but I don't know where. You can still used the same address.

We had a fine concert here in the y.m.c.a. Monday evening. Mother told me on her letter that Aunt from Mothecombe and raise were there to tea, so they all had tea together at uncle. Tiller cam home all on expected quite a surprise to Lil. I hope brother Alf is alright as he been in this big fight. [The Battle of Jutland 31/5-1/6/1916]

I will close with all my love ever yours Bert.

Postcard 3: Tuesday June 27

My Dear Ethel. I hope you will like this card as I think the words are nice which is on it. It was raining here last night so I sit in the Y M C A and wrote a nice long letter to mother and Father and told them all I could think of to interest them, as I know mother likes to know all the new now I am so far away. How should like to have been with you to tea the other Sunday evening. I shall send you another nice card next week, with a little silk handkerchief in it. Thats if I can get the chance to go down town one evening. there are some pretty ones here, we have to get a pass before we can go to Rouen. So dear I will write you a letter tomorrow. They are just having a sing-song this evening. Glad you had a nice time at home fondest love. your Bert xxx

Postcard 4: Monday Evening 29 1916

My Dear Ethel, I though you may like this card to put in your book as it is a very nice one. There are some very pretty here. I am still keeping alright. plenty of work to get on with. let me know if you are staying to your place longer that Whitsun. so chin [?] up I am longing to get your letter. we are just having a bit of a concert in the y m c a it passes away the time alright as we cannot gofer from the camp. we have to turn out very early morning out here. all my love to you dear. yours Bert.

Postcard 5: Sunday 3/9/1916

My dear Ethel, just a card to let you know I am still keeping well. I have been for a ride this morning on a Bicycle quite enjoyed it. But this after noon it is come in rather showery. I had a letter from Eda and Ern Louch this morning he is just come across from England. I hope this card will find you in the best of health. from your loving boy Bert xxxxxx

Postcard 6: 3/10/1916

My dear Ethel, just a card to let you know I am still keeping well. This card will do nicely for your album. the weather isn't sp nice this last day or two. It has been raining all day. It's very dirty for getting about. I got the papers quite alright fondest love from Bert xx

Postcard 7: 8/4/1917

My dear Ethel, Thanks very much for nice card. I have just received it. I hope you will like this one dear. I went for a nice ride on the Bicycle yesterday so got this one on the way. I shall write a letter to morrow evening as I haven't received yours yet dear. What glorious weather we are having out here, it is a treat. I should like to be at Mothecombe with you today. I guess it would be lovely down on the beach especially if the weather is so find, as is, over here. Hope this card will find you in the best of health, as I am. Best love from your boy Bertie xxxx

Postcard 8: 17/3/1918

My Dear Ethel, just. card to say I am still keeping well. This is Sunday and the weather is lovely so shall go for a nice country walk this afternoon only wish you was with me so cheerio fondest love from Bert xx

Postcard 9: 2/7/1918

My Dear Ethel, just a card to say I am still keeping well. I am away from the Company at present on a Musketry course so the mail haven't arrived yet. I don't expect it will for a day or two as the letters will have to be forwarded on to us.  so shall be waiting a day or so. we are getting glorious weather for our practice so far quite a change for me to do a bit of shooting. I think we are here for a week so cheerio trusting this will fine you in the best of health with all love xx Bert xx

Postcard 10: 18/8/1918

My Dear Ethel, just a card to say I received your nice letter when I arrived back at the company for the week end. So glad to see mother is back with you again. This is Sunday and its a glorious day, we have had drills and all sorts of games for Physical exercise and this afternoon we have got a football match on so we have have had rather a nice interesting weekend this time. I have just received your other letter dear so shall answer the two. When I get back Monday evening as I shall have more time. Mother said in her letter to beside I tell Ethel to come down and see her the next time you go out. So please Will and Alf is home and Reg will come later on all my love yours Bert xx