From Hankow. 'It is quite clear to all concerned that with only bachelors and Hsiaochies [spinsters] on the compound, except for the Richards' [W. Noel Richards and his wife], going there after marriage in October, BOTH Margery [Walby] & her man [Ronald Leslie Upton] cannot remain together on the compound [Teian] unmarried. They come to Kuling on about July 20th, so they just have to stay there now under the chaperonage of [W. Noel] Richards & Swannie [Margeret Swann]'.
One or the other must therefore either leave or they must get married pretty soon. Upton is the key man in [Teian] for both the hospital and the circuit and is without a colleague until Richards returns from Shanghai. He cannot therefore easily get away. If Margery comes out for six months there is literally no- one to replace her. The nursery school will collapse and the religious work for which she is responsible will become more difficult.
The only solution that H B R can see is that for the sake of the 'work' they must do what the Rattenburys did - get engaged in June and married in September. Margery should carry on the hospital work for the six months notice period at least. 'This country hospital business is very different fr Hankow. They cannot help but have leisure for the latter half of the day except for out-calls which are not numerous & I think an active person will be actually happier so'. He is therefore strongly urging them down this road. Upton will have been a widower for eighteen months which is quite long enough for grief and reputation - from that standpoint second marriages are always difficult. Margery's salary will be 'released' by October 1 and H B R has written to Miss Hornby asking that Walby's successor be in China by the time of the wedding as was the case when the Rattenburys wed - it seems cheeky but it is very necessary.
He wants Emily to press this matter with anyone she can get hold of - Miss [Clara] Hornby, Mrs [Maida Lenwood] Leith or Miss [Margaret Emily] Byrom. 'The China machinery moves very slowly these days...A great argument is that even Mrs Wiseman blessed & supported our doings. I know that the children & other family complications came into our case. THAT MADE IT HARDER FOR YOU THAN IT POSSIBLY CAN BE FOR [Margery]. Should children come along as Morley happily did for us there is nothing in that likely to make things difficult for the first few months'.
H B R is therefore urging the happy couple to come down on July 20th and holiday together at Kuling, before Upton returns to Teian to get the Autumn work started in time to go to Hankow in September for his wedding.
Emily should get busy at once and do everything possible to get a replacement nurse as soon as possible. 'You remember how last year the W.D. [Women's Department?] kept putting candidates off. I suppose they cannot calculate on these things, yet probably have a yearly average of casualties of this & other kinds'.
Everyone without exception rejoices in this news. It is altogether very fitting.
Before this letter reaches home, his fate will have been sealed [with regard to the nomination for the Mission House Secretaryship].
Emily should try to get hold of a copy of [William Edwin] Sangster's Why Jesus never wrote a book. 'It is real preaching'. If Sangster ever comes her way, she should take the opportunity of hearing him.
He is leaving on Sunday night to spend a day with [William] Rowley in Wusueh before he sails. Connie Pullen's [poor health] is still a cause for concern and it must be decided soon if she should remain in China. [Ralph] Bolton's [medical] report is awaited soon. H B R had a good letter from Grace [Ridge] - she will be heading home [from Canada] fairly soon. Emily should try to meet up with her as soon as possible.
In a postscript he wonders if Emily will be at Dorothy [Hill's] wedding. Grace's Birmingham address will be 130 Hay Green Lane in Bourneville.
- William Edwin Sangster (1900-60) was born in London. He served for a short time in the army during the closing months of World War I and then trained for the Wesleyan ministry at Handsworth and Richmond. He was ordained in 1922 and quickly displayed outstanding abilities as a preacher. In 1939 he was appointed to Westminster Central Hall where he established a national reputation. Sangster was elected President of Conference in 1950 and in 1955 was appointed General Secretary of the Home Mission Department. He was compelled by ill health to retire in 1959. Sangster was a gifted writer whose works proved very popular in Britain and the United States. Source: Minutes of Conference 1960 and Encyclopedia of World Methodism .
- Maida Lenwood (b.1881) was educated at Sheffield High School and Somerville College Oxford. She served in the Madras District of India as a member of the Wesley Deaconess Order for eighteen years and was subsequently appointed Women's Secretary of the Wesleyan Methodist Missionary Society with responsibility for West Africa and Candidates. She was married to the Wesleyan minister Duncan Leith. Source: Who's Who in Methodism 1933.
- Margeret Emily Byrom was born at Droylsden near Manchester and was educated at Manchester High School for Girls and Somerville College Oxford. She served as treasurer of the Methodist Missionary Society with a special interest in elementary and secondary education. Source: Who's Who in Methodism 1933.