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Raddang's Blog

My mother, as a young girl, loses her father then her mother

Category: That's life | Posted: Mon Dec 23, 2019 6:30 pm

2 My mother, as a young girl, loses her father and then her mother

In my first story in this series of family history recollections, I told of my maternal grandfather dying at sea shortly after the start of WWI. My mother at that time was just days short of her first birthday. My grandmother already had two sons and a daughter so was then a widow with four young children to support.

My grandmother with my mother c1914 ( photo / image / picture from Raddang's Garden )

I missed the opportunity to talk to my mother about her life before she married my father. Her widowed mother remarried when my mother was 8 years old. When my mother was still only 14 years of age, her mother died at the young age of 41 for reasons still unknown to me.

So my mother was now without either parent and from what little I remember, she went 'into service'. This was very common for young girls from families of modest means. This would mean that she would 'live in' as a servant with a family and do many household chores. I have a record of one great aunt who was 'in service' at the age of 12 years. The master and mistress were just 24 years old with two children. He was A Carrier, which probably meant he had a horse and cart to carry and deliver goods. This gave him an income which allowed him to employ servants.

This was in Victorian times and as servants they, 'Lived In with all found' and were rewarded with a very small annual salary.
I can well imagine that when my mother met my father, a proposal of marriage was happily accepted to gain her release from service. She married my father just 4 months after her twentieth birthday, and I was born just 10 months later.

My pre-WWII home ( photo / image / picture from Raddang's Garden )

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Stories from my family history research

Category: That's life | Posted: Thu Dec 12, 2019 4:08 pm

Today is General Election day in the UK but, as my wife and I use postal voting, we didn't need to venture out on a cold and rainy day to the Polling Station. On Sjoerds thread about his city I mentioned that I have been spending some time on family history. As a member of Ancestry I have access to many national records which, coupled with links to other members' trees, means that ones 'tree' can be enhanced and in the process many stories emerge. I thought that I would relate a few here, some sad and some poignant, but underlying they help to create a picture of life in times gone by.

I will break this into individual short stories

1 Links to my maternal grandfather live on

My mother was born on September 30 1913. She had 2 older brothers and a sister at that time. Her father was an oyster fisherman and a Royal Nany reserve seaman. WWI was declared on 28 July 1914 and my grandfather was 'called up' in August 1914. He was drafted to HMS Cressy which was torpedoed by a German submarine early on the morning of 22 September 1914, just a few weeks after his call up. He drowned along with many shipmates just 8 days before my mothers first birthday and leaving a widow and four young children

My maternal family are mostly from the north Kent coast, in particular Whitstable, a lovely little harbour town just 7 miles from where I live now. Some years ago when walking along the coastal path I came across an old oyster fishing yawl, Favourite, which was built in 1890. It is the last surviving of more than 100 yawls that fished off Whitstable in the 19th and early 20th centuries. She is now the subject of a preservation scheme and I remember just leaning over and touching this relic of a gone by era.

Little did I know that much more recently when I acquired a copy of my grandfathers RNR service record that he is listed as serving as an oyster dredger on F69 Favourite. And it is quite likely that I touched the gunwale in the same spot as my grandfather had touched more than 100 years ago.

My photo of F69 Favourite

( photo / image / picture from Raddang's Garden )

Last edited: Thu Dec 12, 2019 11:18 pm

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Introduction to my Blog

Category: That's life | Posted: Thu Jul 28, 2016 4:12 pm

When you get to my age there has been a lot of water flow under the bridge of life. I can add bits and pieces from my recollections in various forum threads but they can lose continuity so I have decided to start a Blog.

It is most likely that I shall write under such headings as, Lifetime Experiences, My Working Life, My Childhood in WWII, and My Travel Experiences. The County of Kent and Beyond and An Occasional Daily Diary.

I will try to make my entries interesting, if not, they will remain just my thoughts. So, I invite you to "Watch this space"

( photo / image / picture from Raddang's Garden )

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