Personal Memories

When the Songsters were celebrating their centenary Peter Wood was given this letter from a former ‘Chathamite’ by Joan Davison of Newcastle Temple Corps. Joan is the daughter of former Corps Officers Major and Mrs Louis Young .

“To comrades of Chatham Corps.

In May 1921 my mother and father, Major & Mrs. James Jeavons farewelled from Chelmsford Corps after spending two happy years there and were appointed to Chatham Corps. Bramwell, the eldest (the late Lt.Colonel) was left behind in Chelmsford. Cyril, Bernard and I went to Luton Road School, walking distance from the Quarters in 98 Luton Road.

The Singing Company was commenced when we were there under the leadership of Eva Dorey, daughter of Major & Mrs. Dorey who were in charge of the Naval and Military Home on The Brook in Chatham. I still have my Singing Company Commission.

I remember my mother doing Pub Booming which included the notorious Long John Pub. I also remember the Luton Chariots (as they were known) passing the Quarters nightly round about midnight on route to the Cesspool – (the older comrades will remember). Apart from the noise we knew they were passing.

I remember Bandmaster Durrant and his daughter Doris, Eva Seaton and Beatrice and Theresa Hudson. We were all friends. Mrs. South, Home League Secretary and her son Johnny who was Songster Leader (I hope I’m right).

I wish you all a very happy Reunion in every way. I understand you have Regent Hall Band (Songsters) celebrating with you. My father, the then Captain James Jeavons was in command there as a single officer in the 1890’s. His photo is on display there with all the other former officers. My youngest brother, Bernard, was Promoted to Glory 10 years ago and Cyril January 16th 2002.

I still try to keep active as far as possible and once again managed another record figure of £2,500 for the Annual Appeal.

Ruby Collingwood-Stewart (nee Jeavons)

PS. We enjoyed our walks to Rochester Cathedral from Luton Road – no bus rides.”