1605-31_LetterJames met Lucy Kelk on a preaching trip to the Cornwell coast back in May 1910. Lucy was on holiday with her three friends in the village of Looe. James  and Lucy immediately struck up a relationship. In 1912 they had entered into a mutual engagement for marriage, but just prior to his departure for Canada (December 1912), that engagement broke down and he left with a broken heart.

However, through a series of letters across the Atlantic they rebuild the broken relationship and by the time James arrived back in England it was stronger than ever. Lucy wrote to him on 31st May telling him that “you are still the dearest in the world to me and I am just longing to see you.” She ask that he does not spend all of his time on leave with his family in Bournemouth; “of course they won’t like you leaving,” she wrote, “but I know you won’t forget me in the joy of seeing them again.”

James was not able to get a pass to leave until Saturday 10th June, and he used that pass to see Lucy. He did not meet his family in Bournemouth until the following weekend (Friday 16th). He wrote of that visit with Lucy;

I left on a pass for London. Lucy met me at Waterloo. We went to the ABC where I had some dinner. Then we went home. We were overjoyed at meeting after about four years absence. Every minute seemed full of enjoyment. So long as we are together we are happy. It rained nearly all the evening so we had to remain indoors. I met Marion and her husband again

[Lucy’s sister and her husband]. Mrs. Kelk was very nice.

(Personal Diary)

Below are the last two pages of Lucy’s letter to James when he arrived back in England as a soldier (the first page appears above).

1605-31_Letter 11605-31_Letter 2