Alton from 1914 to 1920

Opening of War Memorial, Alton

Life in the Alton area during and after WW1
by Miss LE May

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Paperback - 48 pages

The Local History Group of the Friends of the Curtis Museum and Allen Gallery; 2018

Associated titles: Alton Papers 5 , Alton Papers 6 , Alton Papers 7 , Alton Papers 8 , Alton Papers 9 , Alton Papers 10 , Alton Papers 11 , Alton Papers 12, Alton Papers 13, Alton Papers 14 , Alton Papers 15 , Alton Papers 16 , Alton Papers 17 , Alton Papers 18 , Alton Papers 19 , Alton Papers 20 , Alton Papers 21 , Jane Austen & Alton , Jane Austen & Chawton , Miss Bell's Fountains , Alton's Inns , Alton's Pubs , Alton's Motor Traders, part 1 , Alton's Motor Traders, part 2 , Hartley Mauditt House


In 1921, Edwin Moody of 62. Normandy Street published Moodys' Alton Almanack which included general statistics for the area, information on the Alton Urban and Rural District Councils and local churches and societies as well as many advertisements. Starting on page 1 was an article entitled ALTON from 1914 to 1920 by Miss I. E. May.

Letitia Evelyn May was the daughter of William and Martha May. William Henry May came to Alton to teach at the non-conformist British School in Normandy Street. In 1869, he married Martha Matilda Mills and their first child was Letitia who was born in 1872. A second baby was born in 1880 but it only survived 12 hours and was buried in the Independent Chapel area of the Old Cemetery. Letitia was then, in effect, an only child.

The Alton entry in a Hampshire directory of 1878 includes:– Mr William Henry May, British Schoolmaster, Tremayne, Newtown.
Newtown was an area being developed at that time to the west of Alton.

The 1891 census shows William. Martha and Letitia at home at Tremayne in Tower Street. Like many educated young ladies of the period, Letitia wrote. In September 1895 there was a report in The Hampshire Advertiser that quoted Cassell's Family Magazine as saying that 'In competitions we find Letitia E May, of Alton, awarded five guineas for her paper on the Home Life of Jane Austen'.

The early 1900s saw the first of our local directories and some contained articles by Letitia. Moody's Almanack of 1908 has nine pages of history (some of doubtful accuracy) and highlights of the previous year by 'L E May' 'Tremayne, Alton'. She was also Principal of the private Tremayne School for a few years after her father retired. Letitia never married and stayed in the family home until her death in 1960, at the age of 69.

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