27 August 2014
A 1921 time capsule, known as the ‘Postal War Memorial Shrine’, was recently opened at a special ceremony. Listen to the poignant letter written by telegraphist Annie K Lamont here, as she reflects on the post-WWI times ...
A 1921 time capsule, known as the ‘Postal War Memorial Shrine’, was recently opened at a special ceremony. Listen to the poignant letter written by telegraphist Annie K Lamont here, as she reflects on the post-WWI times.
Matthew Jarron, Curator of Museum Services, University of Dundee, told History Scotland:
'Annie’s letter is for me the absolute gem among the contents. Most of the other material that was specially written for inclusion is by important dignitaries and senior figures, but she’s an ordinary working girl, telling it like it is.'
'She grumbles about her wages as a telegraphist, and about the fact that women get paid less than men. She worries that the unions are taking the wrong approach in their aim to improve working conditions. She celebrates the fact that women now have the vote and hopes that Winston Churchill (then one of Dundee’s MPs) will be kicked out at the next election (which indeed he was!).'
'Most presciently, she predicts that the so-called “war to end wars” will in fact lead to “another and ghastlier armageddon before many years have fled”.'
Annie's tragic story…
'She was a successful writer with many poems published, and was very actively involved in Labour politics in Dundee (at a time when few women were).'
'But just five years after writing this incisive letter, she disappeared, and a short time later her body was found washed up in nearby St Andrews Bay. A suicide note was found in her handbag saying that she did not have the courage to go on, and knew that no one would miss her.'
'It’s so utterly heart-breaking that someone apparently so intelligent and keen to work for a better future should have been driven to such a terrible end.'