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Archive of Kenneth and Kathleen Le Sueur

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Reference L/C/142
Date 1882 - 1991
Scope and Content

Biographical Background

Kathleen de Carteret - Early Years

Kathleen de Carteret was born in St Peter on 17 February 1900. She was the third of four children of George William de Carteret, a farmer, and Lydia Renouf, and had an older brother and sister, George Eric (known as Eric) and Lucy Esther, and a younger brother, Donald. The 1901 and 1911 Censuses recorded the family as living at Vale Farm, St Peter, which had been owned by the de Carteret family for generations. Kathleen's father also wrote articles in Norman French for Les Chroniques under the noms de plume Le Caouain (the owl) and G W de C, and served as the Secretary of the Jersey Farmers' Union.

Kathleen attended Jersey Ladies' College, but it was in music - in particular, piano - that she found a passion. A pupil of Iris Mayo, Kathleen completed the course of the Associated Board's School and Local Centre Examinations in pianoforte in 1915, and was awarded a number of certificates. In the early 1920s, Kathleen underwent further training at the Tobias Matthay Piano School in London and under Dr G H Smith's tutorage at Hull Municipal Training College. In 1922 she took up a music teaching post at St Hilda's Elementary School, Hornsea, East Yorkshire. In 1926, Kathleen successfully applied for a teaching job at South View School, Clevedon, Somerset. She taught at South View until the end of the 1927-1928 year, moving to Moorfield School for Girls, Mannamead, Plymouth for the start of the autumn term, 1928, where she was employed until 1930. During the school holidays, Kathleen would almost always return home to see her friends and family in Jersey.

Kenneth Henry Le Sueur - Early Years

Kenneth Henry Le Sueur was born on 14 May 1902, the eldest son of Henry Sydney Le Sueur and Lilian Eva Carrel. Kenneth's younger brother, Ralph Sydney, was born in July 1906. On 12 November 1908, when Kenneth was aged 6, his mother died aged 32. The 1911 Census recorded that Kenneth was living at Cossipore, St Lawrence with his father, brother, maternal grandmother Elvina Carrel and great aunt Alice Vautier. Kenneth's father was manager of La Chronique de Jersey, and later served as the Comptroller of Income Tax.

Between 1912 and 1918, Kenneth attended Victoria College, during which time he joined school's Officer Training Corps. After leaving school, he moved to London in the early 1920s to train as an engineer for the Eastern and Western Telegraph Companies (later, Cable and Wireless). Kenneth was confirmed at St Paul's Cathedral during these years. Upon completion of his training, in September 1927, Kenneth took up a placement with the Western Telegraph Company. Originally based in Buenos Aires, after three months he was transferred to São Vicente, one of the Cape Verde islands, where he remained until the end of 1930.

Kenneth and Kathleen

A photograph of Kathleen on a horse at Vale Farm taken by Kenneth in August 1916 shows that the pair knew each other from a young age. They were actually second cousins, once removed - Kenneth's great-grandfather and Kathleen's grandmother were brother and sister. At some point in their late teens or early twenties, they started a relationship. In 1925, whilst Kathleen was teaching in East Yorkshire and Kenneth was training to be an engineer in London, they were in regular correspondence and met up regularly.

In June 1927, the couple got engaged. Three months later, on 8 September 1927, Kathleen said goodbye to Kenneth at Tilbury Docks as he departed on SS Highland Piper to work overseas for the Western Telegraph Company. Kenneth's placement lasted until the end of 1930, and the couple did not see each other for the duration of this period. They were eventually reunited, and on 15 April 1931, nearly four years after their engagement, the couple married in Jersey at St Brelade's Church.

Life in Brazil, Barbados, London and Mexico, 1931-1953

Shortly after their marriage in 1931, the Le Sueurs moved to live together in Bahia, Brazil. Kenneth had previously worked in Brazil as an engineer with the Western Telegraph Company for a brief period during the 1920s, but this time he was joined by Kathleen. In October 1939, following the outbreak of the Second World, Kenneth started working for the Foreign Office and moved to Barbados employed in the wartime field of imperial censorship.

In 1942, Kenneth was moved to the British Embassy at Rio de Janeiro where he became Second Secretary and for a time, Acting First Secretary. In April 1948, the Le Sueurs returned to the United Kingdom, reuniting with friends and family in Jersey once again in May 1948. They lived in London until August 1952 when they moved to Mexico for Kenneth to take up an appointment as Second Secretary at the British Embassy, Mexico City. They remained there until March 1953, after which he Kenneth was once again posted to the Embassy in Rio.

Return to England and Life in London, 1953-1969

After seven months, in September 1953 Kenneth and Kathleen said farewell to Brazil, the country they had called home off-and-on for over twenty years, to return to London to live. They settled at 23, Rosary Gardens, Kensington, London. Now back in England, the Le Sueurs returned to Jersey several times over the next few years. Their travels and movements were well documented by Kenneth, a keen photographer, and his vast photographic collection constitutes a large and valuable aspect of the couple's archive (see L/C/142/C).

By 1959, the Le Sueurs had moved to 35, The Woodlands, Beulah Hill, Upper Norwood, London. Whilst in London, Kenneth and Kathleen took an active part in the work of a number of societies, particularly the London Natural History Society, taking part in a number of field trips across the UK with the geological and botanical sections of the society. From inspection of Kenneth's photographic collection, it appears that the couple first became interested in geology and botany whilst living in Brazil, and that these were passions that stayed with them throughout their lives. Kenneth also gave lectures to the Jersey Society in London about his experiences in Brazil and Mexico.

Retirement in Jersey, 1969-1999

Upon Kenneth's retirement at Christmas 1969, the Le Sueurs returned home to Jersey, where they lived at Moreno, Old Beaumont Hill, St Peter. Continuing their interest in botany and geology, they became active members of the Société Jersiaise. The couple were good friends with a number of important figures in the society's history, including Dr A E Mourant and Tom Attenborough. In Jersey, Kathleen also continued to engage with her other lifelong passions for horses and flower arrangement.

In April 1981, the couple celebrated their golden wedding anniversary. Sadly, by then, Kenneth's health had been deteriorating for some time. He died at home, aged 79, on 18 October 1981. Kathleen lived for another 18 years, and died, aged 99, on 10 October 1999. An annual lecture on fossils first given by Dr Arthur Hill of the Société was named in her memory.

Description and Arrangement

Correspondence [L/C/142/A]

The collection includes over 600 letters, the majority of which were sent between Kenneth and Kathleen during the period of three years that they were apart during their engagement (1927-1930). These letters were numbered by Kenneth and Kathleen, and have been arranged in two series - those from Kathleen to Kenneth [L/C/142/A1/A1/1] and those from Kenneth to Kathleen [L/C/142/A1/A2/2] - to reflect this original order. Some letters are missing in series. Other letters sent between the pair have been arranged into separate series by chronological order.

Other personal correspondence includes letters sent to Kenneth and Kathleen, both separately and jointly addressed, from friends and family (1923-1981) which have been arranged into separate series by recipient (Kathleen, Kenneth, and Kenneth and Kathleen). Within each of these series, where multiple letters have been sent by one sender, a separate sub-series has been created, and all other letters from various senders arranged into one sub-series. Letters in each sub-series have been arranged in chronological order.

Papers [L/C/142/B]

Includes papers relating to:
• Members of the Le Sueur and de Carteret families [L/C/142/B1];
• Kathleen's music career, including certificates, examination and teaching papers [L/C/142/B2];
• Kenneth's career at the Foreign Office, including Christmas cards, business cards and details of embassy appointments [L/C/142/B3];
• Awards and certificates presented to Amelia Vautier, Kenneth, Ralph Le Sueur and Lucy de Carteret [L/C/142/B4];
• Kenneth and Kathleen's membership and involvement in associations, clubs and societies in London and Jersey [L/C/142/B5];
• Events and entertainment attended by Kenneth and Kathleen [L/C/142/B6];
• Newspapers and cuttings from Jersey and non-Jersey newspapers [L/C/142/B7];
• Accounts and financial papers [L/C/142/B8];
• Writings by Kenneth and Kathleen, including poems, stories and journals [L/C/142/B9];
• Sailing itineraries for Blue Star Line between South America and Europe, 1927-1930 [L/C/142/B10];
• Drawings, sketches and artwork [L/C/142/B11];
• Maps of Jersey, Alderney and Burhou [L/C/142/B12];
• Miscellaneous papers including international postage stamps and banknotes, an engineering file, a vaccination certificate, and notebooks and diaries [L/C/142/B13];

For the most part, these papers arrived at Jersey Archive in little to no recognisable original order. An order has been imposed that is consistent with Jersey Archive's cataloguing policy and international standards of arrangement and description in order to facilitate ease of use and access for those wishing to access and navigate the collection.

Photographs [L/C/142/C]

From a young age, Kenneth was a keen photographer, and throughout his life took a vast number of photographs in a range of different formats. The photographs reflect how well travelled the Le Sueurs were, and include photographs taken during their time spent living in Brazil, Mexico, England and Jersey. Kenneth and Kathleen’s various interests – from botany, geology and natural history, to horses and flower arrangement – are represented in this part of the collection. Due to time and resource constraints, a decision was taken to scan only the photographs taken in, or tangibly linked to, Jersey. These photographs have been catalogued at the item level. All other photographs in the collection have been catalogued and indexed to the file level, and are available to users upon request.

A largest part of Kenneth’s photographic collection is his slides (colour transparencies mounted in card, plastic and metal frames) dated 1943-1981 [L/C/142/C1]. The majority of these slides [L/C/142/C1/A] were meticulously organised by Kenneth, who numbered each slide according to his own numerical chronological reference system, and indexed in his field notebooks [L/C/142/C5/B]. These slides, which span the period 1957-1975, have been arranged to reflect this original order and Kenneth’s original reference system.

Prior to establishing his chronological numerical reference system at the beginning of 1958, Kenneth generally arranged his slides numerically into separate series according to subject or location [L/C/142/C1/B]. The original order of these sub-series has been respected. Kenneth’s botanical photographs can be found throughout the collection, but the separate series he created which are dedicated to botany, can also be found here. Some of the slides [L/C/142/C1/C] did not have reference numbers and so have been arranged into a separate series chronologically (where known).

Negatives [L/C/142/C2] form another significant aspect of the photographic collection. Kenneth’s meticulously organised and detailed negative film albums [L/C/142/C2/A] and 35mm negative film boxes [L/C/142/C1/B] cover the period 1916-1969. The albums have been arranged chronologically by earliest photograph, and the 35mm negative film boxes, labelled A-F, and the negative wallets contained therein, have been arranged by original reference number.

Albums of photographic prints [L/C/142/C4/A], containing photographs dated 1915-1974, have been arranged in chronological order by earliest photograph in the album.

The collection also includes a large number of film wallets [L/C/142/C3] containing negatives, slides and prints, and a number of boxes of loose photographic prints [L/C/142/C4/B], all of which are largely unlabelled. As of January 2022, these are still to be catalogued, but will be arranged in chronological order, where known or can be ascertained.


12 will boxes, 45 photographic boxes.


Jersey Heritage.

Harry Le Feuvre, Trainee Archivist, January 2022.

[Photograph attached to collection level shows Kenneth and Kathleen by the cider press outside Dulcie Le Quesne's home at Les Vagues, Pontac, 31 July 1975. (L/C/142/C1/A/75/7/17)].
Names de Carteret, Kathleen
Le Sueur, Kathleen, née de Carteret
Le Sueur, Kenneth Henry
Keywords Correspondence | Letters | Music | music teachers
Category L/C-Personal and estate
Level of description Fonds


L/C/142This item»