Britain

28 Aug Bruce Halliwell’s story of Sybil

Sybil Croll was born September 4, 1903, the second of three children and only daughter of Andrew and Agnes Croll. Her parents were Scots but by Sybil’s birth had already left Scotland for Wales. Her father was a large, opinionated, brilliant man, a gifted doctor...

Read More

23 Mar Gladys Swedak’s story of Ruth

My mother’s story starts May 3, 1901 the day she was born on the Woodheed sheep farm in Annan Scotland. She was the youngest of Margaret Agnes Kirkpatrick Pool and John Pool’s 11 children. When she was 3 years old her mother died, of what I do not know. She was raised with the other younger children by her oldest sister named after their mother and nicknamed Kate. At about 5 years of age Mom fell and hit her head on the hearth of the fireplace and cut her forehead. She carried the scar all her life.
Read More

18 Apr Kay Rea’s story of Kathy

31 - Kathy soldier KayThere was great excitement in London and New York the day my mother was born. Not only was March 7, 1926 the day the world heard the first transatlantic telephone call, but the inhabitants at 27 Annie Street in Sunderland, England, heard the first cries of baby Gladys Kathleen Bainbridge. Kathy made her entrance into a family that did not expect more children. Her seventeen-year-old sister Lilian helped the local midwife with her delivery. Adored by her often absent father, Kathy was raised in a very strict Victorian manner by her mother. Four years later, another surprise, her sister Audrey was born.
Read More

16 Apr Janet Dysart’s story of Elizabeth

18 - Elisabeth teen Janet My favourite photo of my mother, Elisabeth, was taken in 1954, in Ceylon, just before she was to be presented to Elizabeth, the newly crowned Queen of England. My mother looks so happy and, as I have always remembered, beautiful. It was the most special event of her life. Born to Herbert and Ethel Jarvis in 1916 in South Croydon near London, Elisabeth was the eldest child, followed by her sister Mervyn and brother Geoffrey. Her father was a public servant for the local council, and her mother had trained as a violinist and, before she was married, even joined the London Symphony Orchestra. However, when Ethel’s mother died in childbirth, Ethel had to leave her career to look after her seven siblings.
Read More

16 Apr Jane Torresan’s story of Jo

16 - Baby Jo JaneJosephine Mary Ellerbeck (nee King), affectionately called Jo, was born in England on January 16, 1915. She was an only child and as an infant emigrated with her parents to Winnipeg. I never knew why. They had a very troubled family life. Lots of arguments, fueled by alcohol, led to a chaotic environment. Mom remembers being locked out of the house in her nightie in the middle of winter. Eventually her parents separated, and, when Jo was five, she and her mother Joyce traveled to Vancouver.
Read More

16 Apr Kathy Hill’s story of Olive

01 - Olive at BanffMy mother, Olive May Smallwood, was born in Nottingham, England, on May 10, 1903. She was the youngest of seven daughters and one of twelve children born to John and Mary Smallwood. She began school at age four at what was called the Infant’s School. She stayed in school until she was fourteen, since to advance would have meant travelling to another village, which she could not have done. So she repeated her last grade, rather than leave school altogether, and became the most literate of her family.
Read More

10 Apr Linzi Martin’s story of Brenda

Brenda Martin wedding day 1949My mum's age was somewhat of a mystery, she lied on forms about it, she kept it secret from her daughters and having a face lift in her late 40's, she always did look younger than her true age. A sunny day 6th June 1927, a baby girl was born to the Dingley family in Winchester, Hampshire. Named Brenda Jean. Brenda was the 2nd girl, her older sister Eve, then would follow Joan and the youngest Rosemary, who would join Brenda to play in their parents garden. Four girls was a handful for George their dad, a respected Master builder. Most of the girls upbringing was done by the one I knew as 'gran'. I don't recall her real name as to my mum she was mum and to me she was that wonderful, smiling, friendly gran who baked delicious cakes.
Read More

08 Oct Anonymous story of Elisabeth

There is a photo of mother Elisabeth, my favourite photo, taken in 1954, she looks so happy and as I have always remembered, beautiful. It was the most special event of her life; she was to be presented to the newly crowned Queen of England in Ceylon.
Read More

13 Nov Jean Norry’s story of Dorothy ⓜ §

Dorothy Merritt was born on the 16th of May, 1904 in a suburb of Southampton, in Hampshire, England. Her birth record in the English web site, Free BMD, and RBS Worldpay provides the information that her birth was at South Stonegate, Hampshire.   This may have been a little village in 1904 that is now a part of   Southampton.  She was named after one of her father’s old girlfriends in Market Lavington, Wiltshire.
Read More