- [S205] FreeBMD, (www.freebmd.org.uk;), birth registration of Stephen Terrell, Wightwick, Kensington 1a 171, September quarter 1916 (Reliability: 2).
- [S112] Civil Registration Death Indexes 1837-, General Register Office, death registration of Stephen Terrell, born 15 Jun 1916, Aug 2004, Hastings and Rother, B88A 456/1B 169 (Reliability: 2).
- [S404] The Times, (London;), Thursday, Jan 20, 1921; pg. 4; col A (Reliability: 3).
HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE.
PROBATE, DIVORCE, AND ADMIRALTY DIVISION.
A WIFE'S LETTER.
TERRELL v. TERRELL.
(Before MR. JUSTICE HILL.)
In this petition Mr. Hugh Terrell, an engineer in Government employment in Persia, prayed for a dissolution of his marriage with Doris Terrell on the ground of her adultery with a man unknown.
The suit was undefended.
Mr. COTES-PREEDY appeared for the petitioner, whose evidence had been taken before an examiner. The petitioner said that he married the respondent on July 17, 1915, at Ghora Gate, Punjab. She was the daughter of the Rev. H.H. Wightwick, principal of the Government school at Ghora Gate. In January, 1916, he went to Mesopotamia, being attached to the Indian Army. His wife went to England to live with his parents at Ladbroke-square, London. After he had been invalided home on two occasions from Calcutta, he eventually joined the Royal Air Force in England. Meanwhile his wife had been staying with her parents in India. In July, 1919, she returned to England and when he met her at Tilbury she said that she had decided not to live with him again as her feelings towards him had changed and she had met other men of whom she was fond.
He entreated her to reconsider her decision, but she refused to return to him. A few days later she was taken ill, and he took her to a specialist and then to a nursing home. She told him that she had committed adultery in India. In consideration of her age, which was then 22, he was willing to forgive her on the condition that she would lead a straight life in the future. Later she went to stay with friends in Southport, and, unknown to him, she returned to London, where he met her accidentally. He still wished to give her a chance of leading a straight life, and at her request he took rooms for her at Hastings. Before she left for Hastings he found that she had been in company with two men at a picture show - two of his subordinates at his office. She also expressed a wish to go back to the stage. On February 8, 1920, she wrote to him:-
"Hugh, my dear. I am writing this letter hoping you will try and understand that it is really sincere and written from the bottom of my heart... Do, please, unbend a little to read it. I am not going to make excuses for myself at all. I want you to do that. I love you and always have done so really, though I know I have been a fool, and tried to think that I did not, but, oh! my dear, I am quite crushed now, and I know that my life without you is hopeless... I am making this one last appeal to you. I am miserable beyond words. If I did not love you it would be easier to bear it, but I know now what I am losing... Hugh, my dearest, I cannot say more except that my life depends on you. Be merciful, dear. - DORIS."
He carried out his original idea and sent his wife and the children to Hastings. Afterwards he learned that she had returned to London without the children, and he found that she had stayed at the Strand Palace Hotel with a man under the name of Merton.
After evidence of adultery had been given, MR. JUSTICE HILL pronounced a decree nisi with custody of the children.
Solicitors.- Messrs. Freeman and Cooke.