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St George’s News - Waterlooville’s Parish Magazine

The Website for St George’s Church, Waterlooville and its Parish Magazine St George’s News

Lent & Easter 2019 issue

The Osmond Diaries

Continuing the series of diaries and letters of Alfred Thomas Osmond, relating to his sea voyage from Southampton to Calcutta and his early months in Calcutta, 1852-1853. Alfred Osmond was the son of Rosemary Monk’s Great great great Grandfather William, who was a stonemason at Salisbury Cathedral.

I learnt on Sunday that the 72nd N.Infantry, in which Mr Andrew’s son is an officer, had lately arrived at Calcutta for a month. Accordingly I walked down to Fort William about 6 o’clock on Monday morning and after some trouble made the locals* understand that I wanted Mr. Andrews. I found he had left the barracks for a ride, so I had a cup of tea and smoked a cheroot with some of the officers until he returned. He was very much pleased to see me and we chatted as long as I could spare time. He wishes much to visit England & may do so in the course of the year. He has been here about 10 years & is now entitled to apply for a 3 years furlough. Officers in India are allowed this furlough once – except in the case of ill health. This makes them unwilling to apply for it until they have been out some years. Mr Andrews wished me to dine with him, but I could not do so, as Captain Bouchier had sent me an invitation to spend the day on board the Bentinck to witness a Grand Regatta. I shall see Mr. A again before his regiment leaves Calcutta, which will be in the course of a fortnight.

When I can speak the Bengalee a little, I shall have a buggy appropriated to my use & take a round every day of visiting Buildings. It is impossible to walk except early in the morning & in the evening. I feel at present very like a fish out of water, surrounded all day by a crowd of jabbering locals* unable to comprehend a syllable. I will write to somebody by the next mail and hope to be able to give a better account of myself in this respect.

Believe me my dear father, with love to all the party in Sarum and out – ever your affectionate son, Alfred T. Osmond.

Kind remembrances to all friends.

(This letter was addressed :-     Via Southampton Per Precursor. Wm. Osmond Esq., The Priory, Salisbury, Wilts. England.  Prepaid

Stamped several times – one stated :- “Paid. 7.AP 7. 1853”  Another:- SALISBURY AP.7.1853”

*The writer uses a term not considered polite today.