Runacres, Elsie Eileen (1925-2008) and Charles Richard Sidney Holdaway (1921-1993)

Elsie with her mother Doris who was matron at Lovedale

Elsie Eileen Runacres (1925-2008) and Charles Richard Sidney Holdaway (1921-1993)

Elsie Eileen Runacres (1925-2008)
Daughter of ……… Runacres and Doris Butler
Born on 28 May 1925
Educated  from 13 June 1912 at the Lawrence Memorial Royal Military School, Lovedale, Nilgris Hills, India
During her time at school she was Head Girl and House Captain of Willingdon House. Elsie starred at ‘Patty’ in the Founder’s Day play Quality Street by J.M.Barrie in the year she left school.
Left Lovedale in 1941.
Attended a Teacher’s Training College for two years and returned to Lovedale as a junior teacher.
Charles Holdaway
came to visit his nephew at Lovedale and met Elsie who was his form teacher.

Married  Charles Richard Sidney Holdaway (1921-1993)at the Church of the Ascension, Lovedale in 1946

They moved to England where Charles worked for a short time in Ghana.
Charles then joined the army at Warminster where he was commissioned in the Gloucester Regiment.  He was seconded to Aden. Attended short university course to learn Arabic and then joined the Aden Protectorate Levies.
They then moved to Afghanistan where the first of their six children was born
Charles retired from the army and settled in England and bought a shop in Erith, Kent. The venture failed.
Charles joined the army of the Sultan of Oman for ten years
Charles was seriously injured in Oman and after a series of operations, retired.
Elsie and Charles settled in Tenerife.
Ill health drove Charles and Elsie back to England and they settled in High Wycombe.
Charles and Elsie had six children
Charles died in London in 1993
Elsie died after a short illness on 28 May 2008


Richard Holdaway (b.1948), born in Afghanistan on 9 January 1948. British Airways Captain. After retirement continued to fly with Asiana Airlines in Korea and alter with Air India. Retired in 2003

Gordon Holdaway (b.1951). Born 10 August 1951. British Airways Captain

Vanessa Holdaway married BA pilot Garfield Burgess

Serena Holdaway

Amanda Holdaway

Corinna Holdaway

The Lawrencian Magazine, Lovedale, 1945. Victory Number.
“We have seen quite a bit of Charles Holdaway this year.  About a year ago this young soldier ran into me after returning from North Africa and the Italian Campaign and vowed he would like to renew his associations with the Old School and make them as intimate as possible.  So intimate did he make them that he became engaged to Elsie Runacres.   We are indeed pleased about this and wish them both the very best. Charles holds a commission in the 1/5 Mahratta Ligh Infantry.”
p.94 from Old Lawrencian Notes by A.T.T.Shanley, Hon, Sec. Old Lawrencian Association.

In the same edition of the magazine, reference is made to Elsie appearing in the lead as Elizabeth Bennett in the school production of  Pride and Prejudice.  “The heroine herself, Elizabeth (Elsie Runacres), carried through an arduous part very well, her general poise and confidence standing her in good stead. If there is any slight criticism to be made in the performance of this competent young lady, it would be perhaps to suggest that her manner to Mr Darcy was not always quite sincere enough.  A hint of flippancy at times when seriousness was indicated.”  p.32.


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