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Have you ever wondered what Dr Graham’s Homes was like in years gone by?

This letter from 1944 – sent to us recently by the family of a World War II soldier – offers a fascinating answer.

It was written 80 years ago by Stephen Dick, a Scotsman who had been posted to Burma (now Myanmar) towards the end of the war. Having heard about the Homes from a friend, he decided to travel up to the Himalayas to visit the orphanage during a period of extended leave.

Stephen ended up living and helping out at the Homes for nearly a month. As his time drew to a close, he wrote a long letter home to his family telling them all about his stay and the people he’d come into contact with.

From a telegram mishap to wedding bagpipers, days out with the orphans and an impromptu visit from Father Christmas, it offers a vivid snapshot of the Homes as they were in the 1940s. Coming in the wake of Dr Graham’s then-recent death (he passed away in 1942), it also provides a window into how life at DGH was beginning to change after the loss of its founding father.

Other highlights include:

  • Insights into life at Frazer Cottage
  • …and the Nursery pony
  • Meeting Dr Graham’s successor, James Duncan
  • The hair-raising train journey to Kalimpong

Happily for us, Stephen also took a fantastic batch of photographs during his stay.

You can see all those pictures, and read extracts from Stephen’s letter, in this article that we’ve posted in the Story section of the DGHUK website:

Stephen’s story: a letter from 1944

Do you have any family memories of the Homes from the time that Stephen was there – or even further back? We’d love to hear about them. Click here to tell us more.