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I am writing from New Zealand and have been researching my husband’s family for a long time.

This may sound rather out of the blue but I am hoping you can help me. I have been looking into Hettie Rutton Murdock. She died on 11 March 1943, at 59 Springfield Road, Hastings which was the same house that two Maclachlan sisters died.

I am positive that she was visiting at the time, she would have been 62 and I think these two women were the daughters of a Reverend that would have been a family friend of Hettie’s father when she was little (her maiden name was Drake, the daughter of Rev John Alexander Drake and Louisa Creery Furley who were married in Hastings but lived in Brockley, Suffolk raising their family there - it is the Drake line that I am following).

Anyway, after some sleuthing I am proud to say that I have located the actual place she died and confirmed the reason being a bomb blast. She resided at 14a Charles Road, Hastings at the time, I wonder what became of her possessions - she was a widow.

If at all possible I would like a copy of the Hastings and St Leonards Observer dated March 13 and March 20, anything that has photos of the devastation and anything printed about the lives lost including Hettie.

As a researcher for many years it is frustrating that there are no photos/pictures of the younger Drake family, no wedding photos of Margaret Creey Drake who married her cousin Leslie Creery in 1890, no family portraits, so I am clinging to anything that may be tangible and provide any information that ‘puts flesh on the bones’ for my book.

I note that probate must have been given to her brother-in-law Leslie Creery in Llandudno on 18 January 1944.

Perhaps you could put something in the paper for me, that I am searching for anyone who remembers Hettie who lived on Charles Road in 1943 and who was killed in that devastating bombing... Anything that you could help me with would be greatly appreciated.

Louise Voullaire-Drake

PO Box 132

Hawera 4640

New Zealand

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