Sunday Evening, March 11th 1907
Uncle Bob gave me your letter from America which was most interesting to read, I have also to thank you for the P.C. from Liverpool. We have had a Memorial Service this evening for funds to go to the "S.S. Berlin," isn't it a most fearful affair. I am sending you this card because I believe you know Walton. And I must also tell you that Levi is to be married at Easter to a waitress at the Bull.
Researching the Note
This postcard was sent to my great grandfather, Frederick Pinborough. With a little digging, and a few errors along the way (there are numerous St. Mary's Churches and a few Waltons) - the St. Mary's Church on the postcard is located in Felixstowe - here is an image of it from today:
I initially focused my search on Liverpool given the reference to Liverpool on the postcard, and upon finding a St. Mary's in Liverpool along with a restaurant called the Bull. (I forgot to look at a map and follow the path of the SS Berlin to realize I was on the wrong side of England. Mistakes happen when researching genealogy.) Someone at a different St. Mary's was able to find the right church for me and sent me a link. Don't be afraid to ask for help!
According to their website, St. Mary's Church is the oldest church building in Felixstowe and the whole area was known as Walton. A church on this site dates back to 1086. The tower was added in 1899.
The fundraiser for the SS Berlin is in reference to a steel ship that was owned by the Great Eastern Railway and built for use on a ferry service from Harwich (town in Essex England) and Hook of Holland (a town in the western Netherlands). At 0500 on Thursday February 21st 1907, the Hook lighthouse keeper recorded that SS Berlin was suddenly veered off course after being struck by a huge wave. The ship was able to return to its course but was then struck by another wave that caused it to become impaled on the tip of a granite breakwater. The captain and pilot were swept overboard. At 0600, the Berlin broke into two. Only one may was able to swim to the safety of the lifeboat, Captain Parkinson, and 15 people were rescued from the stern. 128 of the 144 persons on board were killed including about forty crew members. Both Alberts Freres and the English firm The Warwick Trading Company filmed the rescue. Read more at: Wikipedia, Old Mersey Times.
The Bull - well, I think it's now the Bull Hotel and restaurant located in nearby Woodbridge 13.6 miles from the church. I'm contacting them to inquire about the age of their building to see if it fits the puzzle.
Dorothy - well, I'm not sure who she is yet or her Uncle Bob. And who is Levi? Hopefully, somewhere in all these letters and postcards they will be revealed.
What We Left Behind