Sunday, 7 July 2013

Edith Hope - by the purest chance ...

While travelling back from Cornwall a couple of days ago, I just happened to stop briefly in Salisbury for lunch. Not having time to get as far as the Cathedral, I popped into a local church - St. Thomas and St. Edmund - to spend a cool few minutes.  The organist was practicing, and to a background of 'Jerusalem' I wandered around looking at the various memorials.  I suddenly stopped at one small plaque, which was placed in memory of Edith Hope, who died on September 23rd, 1954.  Next to her name were the magic letters 'R.R.C.' - Royal Red Cross - which made her one of those who have a place in my fold.
There was something familiar about 'Edith Hope' which I couldn't place, but the penny dropped when I sat down in front of my computer and realised that Edith and I had met before, here:

Edith Hope - Naval Nursing Sister

Out of all the thousands of women who received the award, not only had I picked her out, at random, to write about last year, but had then discovered this week, by the merest chance, where she spent the final years of her life and is remembered. A long time resident of Thornton Heath in Surrey, how did she get to Salisbury? Her service record shows that her brother spent his later years in the city, so she must have made her home near to him after she finally retired.

So coincidence, serendipity, or maybe something more spiritual? I shall keep a look-out for Edith in the future!


  1. What a strange coincidence Sue! You were meant to find the plaque

  2. I am a great believer in serendipity Sue, I was looking for somone on Thiepval memorial many years ago during a heavy rain storm. I gave up looking as I was coming down the front steps I slipped on the wet step and put my hand out to save myself and my hand was over the top of Seths name. I sat in the rain and cried.

  3. I Loved your story, Sue. I came across this blog while researching my grandmother's Red Cross nursing during WW1. She married an Australian soldier (my grandfather) whom she met in the King George Military Hospital in London where he was being nursed. She came to Australia with him after the War. I have had many similar and amazing "coincidental" experiences in my family research and now no longer regard them as coincidences but as something quite spiritual. Wendy, Australia