Where’s Ted Today?

Wilbur and Ted

In 2014 I was keen to involve my nine year old son Wilbur in the commemorations for the 100th anniversary WW1, and I decided that a travelling bear could help Wilbur and his friends to understand how the war had affected families across the UK. Edward George Lefray, Ted for short, soon arrived at our house. Ted was a vintage bear made by Lefray in the 1950s. He liked to see things connected with history and of course he was especially interested in WW1 or WW2, seeing memorials, and participating in remembrance events.

I started a website called “Where’s Ted Today?” and a Twitter account by the same name, where I recorded his adventures. We asked Ted’s hosts to send a postcard to Wilbur, as Ted wasn’t very good with pens! Ted’s hosts also sent us lots of photos.

While Ted was away, we felt a bit lonely, so we acquired a slightly younger Lefray bear called Arthur. Nanny Barbara knitted them both a jumper. Ted’s was a lovely cream one which looked lovely with his red scarf and poppy, and Arthur’s was brown. Soon we were joined by more bears, Calley, Molly, and Daisy, all of whom made friends with my childhood bear, Tessy. Calley was a miniature bear who looked rather similar to the famous WW1 pocket bears. We even found a book called “A Bear in War”, featuring a bear who looked exactly like him. Daisy was the oldest bear in the family. As she was a bit more fragile than her new friends, she preferred to stay at home and read Ted’s postcards.

Thank you to everyone who hosted Ted on his travels! Wilbur is now 16, so gradually all the bears have left home. Ted and Arthur are now looking for their next adventure, whether that’s together or apart, so they have travelled to Loved Before London to find a new home. Daisy is staying with us.

The Bears at Home

Ted at Brooklands

Ted at Brighton Toy Museum

Ted at Bristol Museum and The Wills Memorial Building

Ted at Cheddar Gorge

Daisy’s Outing to Blagdon Lake and Bath

Ted at Haslemere Museum

Calley at Hungerford Lock

Ted at Lacock Abbey

Arthur at the Field of Remembrance at Lydiard Park

Ted at the Museum of London Docklands

Ted and Arthur at Noremarsh School

Ted at North Weald Bassett

Ted at the REME Museum

Arthur at the Royal Voluntary Service Archives

Arthur watching filming at the Steam Museum, Swindon

Daisy at Swindon Museum and Art Gallery’s WW1 Display

Ted at Swindon War Memorial

Ted at Whitehall Garden Centre