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Deborah Florence (Leighton) Glassford

JP FellColonel J.P. Fell ca 1920. J.P. Fell was one of several people who wrote Dodie. BC Archives G-08542

Deborah Leighton, known as Dodie to her friends, kept up a lively correspondence with over 20 friends and acquaintances who had enlisted or were working in the war effort. Most were from Vancouver, from fairly wealthy families – Dodie herself lived in Shaughnessy Heights, and was the daughter of a financier.

The men and women who wrote to her came from Vancouver’s elite, and often had family connections in Britain. Most of the men were officer class. Notable names include Francis Egerton Grosvener, 4th Baron Ebury, Arthur Hussey Fitzgerald, James Pemberton Fell, and Clarence Marpole.

While we don’t have Dodie’s letters, most of the men speak about how cheering her letters to them were. Their letters to her in return are light, and skim over some of the more horrible episodes.

One of her female friends in Britain writes about how the war had changed her life too – “I am simply longing for the time when we can go back to Rylots again and be thoroughly lazy and enjoy life in an irresponsible way, and not wonder, every time you speak to a man, what is going to become of them”. Sounds rather Downton-esque, doesn’t it?



Find these records at the BC Archives

MS-0089, Deborah Florence Glassford letters inward and memorabilia, 1914-1919

Letters written to Deborah Florence (Leighton) Glassford of Vancouver by men serving overseas, including some cards, programs and memorabilia.