First World War Poetry Digital Archive

Memories of the Hooper and Lee family (18)

Penny Lee the daughter of Justin and 'Eejay' Hooper recalls stories of her parents and their family, and her husband Hugh's family, during World War 1.

'Eejay' (actual name Edith Dixson Hooper nee Jenkinson), was the sister of Stanley Noel Jenkinson [whose exploits in glass production for the war effort are included in this collection].

Eejay and her husband Justin Hooper were great friends of the Nicholsons and others from the Bloomsbury Set. Their daughter, Penny Lee, has in her collection an odd photograph of her mother (Eejay) chopping down trees - "...doing forestry in Cowdray Park [Aberdeenshire] as war work. She was an art student and also painted submarine depth gauges and the altimeter dials [and other instrumentation] of aircraft with luminour [luminous paint], possibly radioactive paint. (She licked her brushes, which later affected her blood.) And she did designs for 'Dazzle' painting for camouflaging merchant
ships."

Penny Lee also explains that her grandfather Justin Hooper's father, Captain Cuthbert W.R. Hooper, was for much of his life in the Indian Navy (Egypt 1882, and later in 1890's harbourmaster at Moulmein in Burma), also had the two WW1 medals - "I don't know how he served then; he must have been getting on in years by then."

Penny Lee's father-in-law was Brig. Stanlake Swinton Lee, missed the war in Europe. He seems to have gone straight out to India after marrying in August 1914 and was there throughout, mainly in Kashmir. He served and was decorated in the 3rd Afghan War in 1919.

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