Frederick Welsford MELVILLE James Kenelm Raoul MELVILLE Frederick Henry Cornelius MELVILLE Alice Millicent MELVILLE Thomé Ariste BOISSARD Joan Mary BOISSARD Guy Peter Bartholomew BOISSARD Margaret Lilian BOISSARD Mary Stewart Choppin MELVILLE Edwin Welford MELVILLE Mary Elizabeth CHANDLER tree

Violet Agatha MELVILLE 1886-1969

Also known as Shuffle

21st Nov 1886

Born in Raetown, Jamaica

Temporary image!

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 in El Salto, Escuintla, Guatemala


14th Dec 1928

Death of Thomé Ariste BOISSARD in Guatemala


20th Dec 1969

Died in Fen Ditton, 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 considered apposite, but way ‘before my time’ she was called Shuffle by her children, Peggy and Guy in particular. Her various grandchildren subsequently followed suit. Why she was called Shuffle I do not know, especially as she never did. I tackled my mother on this and her theory was that it was a corruption of an earlier nicname, ‘Nyuffle’ (sp. ?). No explanation of ‘Nyuffle’ was forthcoming. So Violet was, and for ever will be in my mind, 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 after 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, it was always Jo who was at the wheel; 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. Peg, I might add, was less beligerently atheistic. Shuffle also subscribed to beliefs that I suspect would be found anathema to the more austerely doctrinal; 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 says it is an interesting and evocative portrayal of what life must have been like in Guatemala as experienced by Shuffle 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 the giggles. She was everything that a granny should be; good humoured, easy going apart from her insistence on Sabatarian observances, a good cook and house keeper, endlessly producing meals, cakes, chutney, marmalade and, at one's departure, could usually to be relied upon for a crisp ten bob note.