Margaret’s WW1 Diary
The Kelly Family circa 1914
Born 21st August 1842, Maitland Kelly was 71 at the start of the War.
He was the third son of Arthur & Sophia Maitland Kelly. Like most second or third sons of the landed gentry, Maitland joined the clergy after university. He Married Agnes Elizabeth Leigh Clare – a rector’s daughter – on 23rd April 1873 at Christ Church, East Sheen. A year later they had their first child, Arthur.
Maitland and Agnes had a happy marriage with Agnes bearing six children before her untimely death from cancer on 11th February 1883. After Agnes’ Death, Maitland was left with six children, the youngest of them just one year old.
He met Elfreda Blanch Carey, the daughter of Rev Charles Carey, rector of Kingweston, Somerset. She used to stay with her cousin, Sir Harold Hewett who lived in Portlemouth while Maitland was the rector of Salcombe just across the river.
Maitland and Elfreda were married on October 7th 1885 at Kingweston. Elfreda was a very good stepmother and loved by all the children. Maitland and Elfreda had a further four children. Soon after the birth of her last child Reginald she developed scarlet fever died on 17th July 1891.
Following Elfreda’s death, Maitland’s sister-in-law Ella Carey looked after the children. In 1899 Maitland inherited Kelly House from his oldest bother Reginald. He moved to Kelly with his ten children and took on the role of Squire.
Margaret, as the oldest daughter at 22 years of age, took over the running of the household.
During the war Maitland took over the duties of the Rector as the vicar, Mr Smith, went off to help with the war effort.
Arthur Maitland Kelly
Born 1st March 1874.
We do not know much about what Arthur did during the war. There are few mentions of him in the diary, but it is thought that he was abroad.
Francis Leigh Kelly
Born 29th April 1875.
Married Frances Mary Burman on 27th December 1906. When war broke out he worked for the Forestry Department in East Africa.
They had four children: Nicholas, Elizabeth, Philippa and Michael. The Children lived with their aunts and grandfather at Kelly during the War. We don’t know much about Frank’s activity during the War, but it is possible he was fighting in Africa.
Frank was the grandfather of the current squire at Kelly House.
Margaret Clare Kelly
Born Eighteenth July 1877.
Please see the Introduction page to find out more about Margaret, the author of this diary.
Born 2nd February 1879.
Looked after Maitland and Kelly House when Margaret joined the Red Cross.
Born 12 Oct 1880.
Married Howard Elliott Cardwell on the 1st of June 1911. They went to Cape Town in South Africa together.
In 1917 they returned to England. Howard volunteered and joined the ranks. He was sent to France, became ill and died in hospital in Brighton.
Agnes had four children: Ruth, Una, Hugh, Howard.
Born 16 June 1882.
He was in Ceylon when war broke out. He immediately returned to England in December 1914 and joined the Devon Yeomanry, which soon became The Royal North Devon Hussars.
Robert fought on the front line with 5th Battalion The Dorset Regt, and was killed in action near Beaumont Hamel on the 11th January 1917. His body was never recovered. He is remembered on the memorial to the missing at Thiepval.
Born on the 4th of Feb 1887.
He was curate at Long Eaton before being ordained in May 1915. He then joined the YMCA and went to France and helped at the canteen for a Chinese Labour Corps
Born 25th March 1888.
Mary Joined the Red Cross with Margaret, and features heavily in the diary.
Born 19th Jan 1890.
Known as Ursula.
Married Frank Swinburne Drewe in 1913. Frank was curate at Wimbledon. Ursula & Frank had a daughter, Dorothea Juliana, on 21st March 1914.
Frank trained as a Medical Missionary, and is remembered as a founder of the Holy Cross Hospital, South Africa.
Born 17 July 1891.
Reginald had a glass eye & was partially deaf. Reginald tried to join the War Effort but couldn’t due to these disabilities. He instead volunteered on the Home Front. He was ordained in 1916.
Lived in Plymouth.