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Other lives

High Street east side - Thornbury museum

High Street east side – Thornbury museum

One here will constant be,
Come wind come weather.
John Bunyan

May Huggins fell in love with an American serviceman Ned Steel, stationed in Yate in 1915. They exchanged post cards when he was posted to France. At the end of the war, May’s aging parents refused consent for May to marry Ned and go to America. Ned continued to send her postcards right up until he died in 1952 though he married another. Dutiful May died in 1997 aged 96 having never married.

Gunner Ernest Exell, son of grocer Thomas Exell enlisted in 1915. In 1916 Thomas applied for Ernest to be exempted from military service. By 1917 he was discharged “no longer physically fit for service”.

The 1916 Bristol Mercury report, gives us an idea of Ernest’s state of mind. He was fined 10s for not having lights on his cart. Thomas spoke, apologising for Ernest: “he had highly strung nerves and he had work to get him to attend Court at all.”

Thomas’s will in 1930 left £2000 in trust for Ernest who was in the Gloucester Mental Hospital. Ernest died there in 1958.

American Soldiers in Yate Gazette Series Murray Dowding Yate Heritage

American Soldiers in Yate Gazette Series Murray Dowding Yate Heritage

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