Here is my grandmother Helena aka Nelly Bullen. When war broke out her father was Head Gardener for an estate in or near Hascombe, Surrey. Lots of the men on the estate went off to war and my grandmother was asked to learn to drive so she could act as chaffeur, family myth is that she drove Lord Kitchener about when he came to inspect the troops.

The photo is taken at a studio in Wimbledon (possibly Wrights)  Whether she drove for the army or just the local estate owner, I’ll never know but at somepoint she met my grandad returning from the war via India and a stint as a policeman (I wish my family were less vague about the whole thing) He returned wounded with shrapnel lodged in his back. They married at Kingston registry office after the war. Nice outfit granny, if a little on the large side!



Published by


Artsmonkey... Culture Active... Firestarter Arts active in the promotion, delivery and development of cultural projects and ideas, with a specialism in youth arts and theatre arts also a bit of a social media diva and photog