Black to White by Kay Williams

A Valley’s View Digital Story


Digital Story Transcript

My name’s Kay Williams. My grandfather, William Samuel Cresswell, who fought in World War 1 in Mesopotamia, in the Medical Core, and he made a pact with my grandmother that if anything happened to him he would let…she would know via a friend but he used to write and then she didn’t hear from him for a long time and got worried but not too worried because she thought he would let her know through a friend, now she was only in her twenties and she had long black hair and then she had a letter from the War Office to say that he’d died and it shocked her so much that she actually turned white overnight; they say it’s a myth but it isn’t because she went to bed with black hair and she got up with white hair and, well anyway, what happened to my grandfather was, I’m not sure of exactly cos my mother’s gone now, but it was either like seven people had been taken into hospital, he needed to be in the hospital, I don’t know if he was injured or if he was ill and the people that were taken in, I’m not sure of the amount, if it was seven, but the same amount of people that were taken in were brought out but one man had died in there but it wasn’t my grandfather and they got the details mixed up and they thought it was my grandfather but he survived and so when he, yeah, when he wrote her so a while after that a long time after that, he had a let…my grandmother received a letter the writing was shaky and he said it was shaky because he was on board ship but of course he had been so ill that his writing was…because he nearly died and when he returned of course he returned to his wife who had white hair and he’d left her with black hair so that’s the story.

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