The Beginning of a Beautiful Friendship

April 1896 was the time and Hotel Splendid was the place when Emily first met her husband to be Edward Weddall. It is only a guess, because there is no true way to tell. The odds are more than average, that she first encountered the sea captain, who may have been staying on the French Riviera, to improve his health. Emily had just qualified as a nurse and may have been on one of her first jobs. Private nurses or nursemaids were high in demand by families and individuals traveling through on staying on on the area. In his book. Wintering in the Riviera, William Miller explains the appeal of Mentone for the ailing and indeed the healthy.

“We stayed but one night at Nice, although we went several times afterwards from Mentone to spend the day there. I do not therefore pretend to know it well. It is the most expensive town in the Riviera, but is alluring to those who go in good health for pure enjoyment. For promotion of enjoyment and gaiety, it is, I presume, everything[163] that can be desired; but although the climate is better than that of some other places, being, it is said, equal or similar to the climate of Florence, it wants the shelter which is so necessary to invalids.”

Edward Weddall was newly widowed at that time only loosing his wife a year or so before. He may have been there on for his health, Emily on the other hand, who enjoyed good health all her life could have been those “who go in good health for pure enjoyment” but, she was most likely there as a nurse. Either way she found the time to collect for the families of the Kingstown Lifeboat Disaster of 1895. Helping those less fortunate than herself was a character trait, which may possibly have attracted the sea captain to her. Kindness was only one of her attributes, she also had an attractive and vibrant personality. Captain Weddall made an ostentatious contribution to Emily’s fund raising.  That may just have been the beginning of a beautiful friendship.


The Irish Times – Page 5, Saturday 18 April 1896