Correspondence between Worcester and Gouzeaucourt from March 1921 to 1923 (Page 1 of 5)

The following are copies of the correspondence between Worcester and Gouzeaucourt during the early 1920s about the gift of a water pump and the use of the remaining money for library books and a school prize in Gouzeaucourt. The correspondence shows some of the difficulties experienced in sending help such as a water pump during this period.

These letters have not survived in Worcester, but they have in Gouzeaucourt, despite a disastrous fire in their new Town Hall in which many records were lost. This correspondence has been made available to us by kind permission of the village authorities and it is with their permission that they are reproduced here.

The copies are of the originals from Worcester. However, with no typing, and therefore no easy duplication available, Gouzeaucourt’s letters to Worcester appear to be hand-written copies of their hand-written letters. One can see someone’s translation of the English into French, presumably for the perusal of someone (the Mayor?) who does not speak English, the reply written out in French before being translated into English; sometimes more than one draft of a reply as well as the confusion between the UK’s imperial measurements and the French metric ones when attempting to send technical details about the well.  The copies come complete with corrections, crossings out and alterations.

The letters from Gouzeaucourt appear to have been sent for the most part having been translated into English, although to the end they are in French.  A change in the handwriting suggests that staff in Gouzeaucourt changed during 1924. Letters from Worcester to Gouzeaucourt start in French, somewhat simple ‘schoolboy’ French, but soon are written in English.

Shown here are some of the administrative paperwork associated with the arrival of the water pump in France: customs documents and correspondence concerning payments for its transport once in France.  

Gouzeaucourt has also preserved the letters they received from ‘Pumpy’ Thomas – the Worcester manufacturer of the Climax wind pump sent to them. These are particularly interesting due to the personal interest which Ernest Thomas took in the project, his visit to Gouzeaucourt in 1921 and the fact that he then joined the City Council committee set up to oversee the adoption. However Gouzeaucourt’s replies to him do not appear to have been saved so only one side of the correspondence exists.

 

001. 1921-03-05 Mayor of Worcester

002. 1921-03-15 Letter from Gouzeaucourt

...and it's translation in to English.

003. 1921-04-06 Letter from Worcester

004. 1921-06-16 Letter from Worcester

005. 1921-06-17 From Gouzeaucourt

006. 1921-06-02 From Gouzeaucourt