Frederick Welford (or Welsford) MELVILLE Thomé Ariste BOISSARD Joan Mary BOISSARD Guy Peter Bartholomew BOISSARD Margaret Lilian BOISSARD Mary Elizabeth CHANDLER treeI23.gif

Violet Agatha MELVILLE

also known as Violet Agatha BOISSARD

21st Nov 1886 - Dec 1969

Life History

21st Nov 1886

Born in Raetown, Jamaica

17th Jun 1913

Married Thomé Ariste BOISSARD in New Orleans, Louisiana

6th May 1914

Birth of daughter Joan Mary BOISSARD in El Salto, Escuintla, Guatemala

19th Jun 1915

Birth of son Guy Peter Bartholomew BOISSARD in El Salto, Escuintla, Guatemala

6th Oct 1916

Birth of daughter Margaret Lilian BOISSARD

Dec 1928

Death of Thomé Ariste BOISSARD in Guatemala

Dec 1969

Died in Cambridge

On the back of the photo above is written; "Taken in Jackson Square, New Orleans. May 25th 1913. With love, Violet." Violet married Tomé in New Orleans, so it is possible this was taken on her wedding day - but I can't see any rings.

Violet was always known as ‘Shuffle’ - not just latterly, when it might have been an apposite on the principle that old people shuffle, although Shuffle never shuffled, but from way back she was called Shuffle by her children, Peggy and Guy in particular, as well as by us grandchildren later. What is beyond explanation is why she was called Shuffle, because quite simply she never did. I tackled my mother on this thorny question and she had a theory that it was a corruption of an earlier name, ‘Nyuffle’ (sp. ?) being a suggested precursor. As to why, what or how ‘Nyuffle’ arose I have no idea. But Violet was, and for ever will be, world without end, Shuffle.

Her elder daughter, Joan, fell ill when a student. Thereafter, I think Jo and Shuffle lived together under the same roof. This was certainly so from the end of the Second World War when they moved to Fen Ditton, Cambridge and where, ultimately, Shuffle shuffled off her mortal coil. While they came to see us in Dorney, Windsor or East Hagbourne from time to time, such visits were rare and so far as I know, Shuffle did not drive.

She had only one failing; she was prone to religion. If a Sunday fell during a visit to Fen Ditton the day was blighted for any unconsenting child by an obligatory stint on bended knee at the local kirk. Fortunately one service was deemed sufficient to stave off being “dashed in pieces like a potter's vessel.” Religion rarely reared it's ugly head in the home where such irrationality got short shrift from Jo and Guy both of whom were pretty sceptical about the All Mighty - one of the few Boissard traits I am happy to have inherited. So no grace at meals. Shuffle also subscribed to beliefs that I suspect would be found anathema to the more doctrinaire; in common with many of her generation, she was fascinated by spiritualism and the 'supernatural' and was also given to reading books on theosophy and other mind-bendingly silly stuff. She was not averse to telling or hearing ‘ghost stories.’

She wrote a novel called ‘The Land Of Afternoon’ published around 1930 by Hurst and Blackett Ltd and dedicated to “Guatemala the Beautiful.” I have not read it but my brother say it is an interesting and evocative portrayal of life in Guatemala as Shuffle must have experienced it in her youth. Visits to Shuffle were usually a laid back affair, characterised by good humoured banter between her and Peg (and Guy if he was of the party) with regular bouts of what can only be described as the giggles. She was everything that a granny should be; good humoured, easy going apart from Sabatarian observances, a good cook and house keeper, endlessly producing meals, cakes, chutney, marmalade and so on and usually to be relied upon for a crisp ten bob note on departure.