A Letter by a Grandmother to her Granddaughter on her Engagement

In March 1926, the 19 year old Kathleen Mary McCleland took the momentous step of getting engaged. No one understood what attracted Kathleen to the 33 year old George Wood but whatever it was, she was smitten. 

To congratulate her and offer some sound words of advice, her grandmother, Mrs Mary Ann Beckley, sent her this letter. Having been born in Ludlow, Shropshire, England on the 20th December 1847, Granny Mary was 79 years old. 

Main picture: Top L-R Thelma, Mr Clements, Daisy Bottom L-R Kathleen, Maureen & Clifford



Letter to the enraptured teenager:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Draaifontein

                                                                                                Sunday afternoon


My dear Kathy,

Your uncle Ebbie [presumably referring to Ebenezer Edgar Beckley] told me the great news of your being engaged when he came home from your place last month. I did not expect to hear of your going off before Thelma.

Ebenezer Edgar Beckley

Ebenezer Edgar Beckley

Well my dear child, you have my best wishes & prayers for your future happiness. I hope that your married life will be an easier one than your poor mother’s have been. I hear that your boy is a very nice young man & I hope that he will turn out a sober & loving husband. But as the little rhythm says:

There is never a day so sunny

But a little cloud appears

And there is never a life so happy

But has its time of fears


Kathleen Wood

Please give my kind regards to Mr. G Wood. I may meet him one day I hope, so goodbye dear. I thank you for the Christmas Card you so kindly sent your old granny.


Your loving Grannie [sic]

Mary Ann Beckley

Mary Ann Beckley

Letter by Mary Ann Beckley to Kathleen McCleland on her engagement

Letter by Mary Ann Beckley to Kathleen McCleland on her engagement

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