Thursday, 31 January 2008

Mum. Part I.

I decided I would carry on from a previous post. I've been doing a bit more scanning of old photos ready to do another post on my ancestors. Today's post is on my mother's early life.


This is the first photo ever taken of her. She was born on 10th November 1918 in Lowestoft, Suffolk just a few hours before the Armistice was signed. They then moved to Yoevil in Somerset and then on to Clacton-on-Sea in Essex.


She is about three here with her favourite dolly.


Five years old with baby sister, my Aunty Kath.


These are Mum's parents. Grandpa Tom and Grandma Gertrude.


I think Mum is six here. I remember she told me that the little dress and hat she wore was made of paper. She is at a fancy dress party.


Mum and Aunty Kath grew up a bit ...


... and became young ladies. Here they are with their parents.


This was taken just before she left home to work in London. Because of the bombings she was evacuated to Cardiff, which is where she met my father.


My father was in the Merchant Navy and was heavily involved in the Atlantic convoys.


When Mum and Dad got engaged, Mum had some photos taken. This is the one she gave my father to take away with him. He was subsequently torpedoed off the coast of Africa. Being the senior officer, he had to take the names of the survivors in the lifeboat. The only paper he had was my mother's photograph which accounts for the fact that it is a bit dog-eared. It had been in the water with him. On the back of this he wrote the names of the surviving crew.


It's a bit faint now, but perhaps you can just make out some names and the salt stains. How my father got back to Cardiff from the Atlantic off Africa is another posting.



They got married and had Maalie and Lorenzo!

49 comments:

The Lone Beader said...

Wonderful post, Lorenzo!!! I enjoyed seeing these old photos.

Maalie said...

A nice little photographic history there.

Kiwi Nomad 2008 said...

Great post - wonderful photos!

Kiwi Nomad 2008 said...

PS You can wander (or wonder) off-topic on my blog anytime you like, in franglais or anglais or even gibberish :-)

tut-tut said...

Just a few photos, but so many stories. Imagine having to list the drowned crew on the back of your intended's photo. I can't even imagine what that entire must have been.

Ann said...

I think your Mum was beautiful. Especially like the photo taken just before she went to London.

Magdalene said...

That's amazing. What a great little story. I find old photos fascinating; trying to picture the life and personalities of people who may no longer be with us. We are such temporary creatures.

Maalie said...

tut-tut: I actually have the note-book in which my father kept the log of their time in the lifeboat. They were torpedoed in the Atlantic off occupied French West Africa (now Sierra Leone); they made landfall and were taken prisoner of war, from which they escaped and made it through the jungle to Freemantle. Quite a story.

lorenzothellama said...

No Tuts, it wasn't the drowned crew, but the survivors who were in the lifeboat with him.
Lorenzo.

Ex-Shammickite said...

I hope you'll continue the story and tell us how Dad got back from Africa, sounds like an adventure movie in the making! We could get Brad Pitt to play your Dad and maybe Angelina could play your Mum, whaddya think? I loved seeing those pictures, great way to celebrate your family history.

Metamatician said...

What a great post. Thanks for letting us in on some family history and also a look back into the past generally. I really enjoy these photo-stories of yours.

Got any more of you in a bikini though?

Anonymous said...

Got any of Nanny (Hilda) in a bikini?!

Jack

simon said...

she was a "good sort" as we say here!

givethemhell said...

Those are lovely memories of your mother and father in their younger days, and a bit of history, too - the Armistice and the ship being bombed off the Coast of South Africa.

lorenzothellama said...

No, she never owned a bikini Jack, but I do have what Maalie would call a runcible photo of her on Three Cliffs Beach wearing nothing but seaweed!

oldmanlincoln said...

Wow. This is an interesting post with the old photos. I never heard of a paper dress before but it wouldn't surprise me as some of these times must have been around the time of our Great Depression and times were hard all over the world.

The Fairtrader said...

I don´t think you could get away with a paper dress these days, what with all the rain the UK has been having, you´d be pulp in no time.

Kiwi Nomad 2008 said...

very off-topic.... delete me si vous voulez... I see you are having some wild weather and storms over there. Am glad I am not on a ship on the Irish sea at present!!!

Ted M. Gossard said...

Lorenzo,
Nice photos and recounting of your mother. Both your parents seem interesting, and of course went through alot, going through the war, and having you and Maalie! (the last part was humor, of course)

Makes me wonder just how well I could put something like that together.

NaNcY said...

well done post!
very nice to see the photos.
my father was born in 1919. he spent some time in england durring the war. he was a gunner in the airforce. flew as many missions as they would let them fly. he passed away as well as my mother in 2004. your parents were a very handsome couple.

oldmanlincoln said...

Looking forward to the story about the pow escape. Thanks for visiting my places.

tut-tut said...

Lorenzo: Yes, of course. I didn't even finish my thought, I see, too.

Maalie: that would make a very interesting post!

Martin Stickland said...

These are lovely, absolutely lovely!
Even though right now I am a bit sozzled they are lovely!

Goodnight

Raelha said...

Wonderful. I do enjoy the posts about your family and all the photos. When are you going to write about your father?

Maalie said...

Hello form MacDonalds Internet cafe in Barrow.

My phone line is down, engineers coming to fix it when I get back from Spain. Sorry to be off-topic.

Rob Hopcott said...

A wonderfully nostalgic post.

I feel permanently grateful that our gneration has not had to go through a war as our parents had to.

Each time I see photos like this I feel grateful.

lorenzothellama said...

Maalie, someone as witty and wise as you is welcome to go off topic whenever you want.
MacDonalds? Urgh, how could you.

Magdalene said...

I didn't know MacDonalds did road kill? A nice Badger burger or weasel waffle perhaps? Yum!

Martin Stickland said...

Yipeeee I am sober!!! Hic!

madretz said...

Funny that Ex mentioned a movie being made about your story. Have you watched or read Atonement? It's about a young woman who falls in love with a young man in England and he goes to war. Beautiful, sad love story. The couple were probably the same age as your parents were during that time.
Thank you for sharing your history and these amazing photographs!

Martin Stickland said...

You fool!!! You just made me spit a mouth full of coffee out all over my keyboard!!!

Martin Stickland said...

Sorry my dear! The word fool was a bit harsh.

Nincompoop!

There, that's better!

Merisi said...

Oh, Ian McEwans Atonement is what I was thinking, while reading this post. I am so glad your parent|s story had a happy ending.
I have read the novel, but not watched the movie, I like the picture I painted in my head while reading.

lorenzothellama said...

Sorry about the spat out coffee Martin. Was it because I said you were the champion tosser in Combe Martin?

Gledwood said...

Those photos are amazing... and so full of character... despite the odd fashions...!!

I wanted to post MY family stuff online... my family just could not understand why I'd want people I don't know to be able to go through family photo albums...

(well why not? they're not THAT private...)

great blog!!

take it easy

Martin Stickland said...

Yup! Just done some good tossing in the kitchen!

Angela said...

Ohhh what a wonderful post! Love the photo's! Thanks for sharing them with us!!! :)
*HUGS*

Viking Warrior said...

A bonny wee lassie that your mother was.

Thesaurus Rex said...

You definitely come from unusual stock, so it's no surprise you both seem adventurous folk, you and Maalie. Nice one, and not a dead bird in sight.

HALFMOM said...

What a great post! I have been thinking I should scan in some myself - old ones from when the children were little especially.

Hope you enjoy the book and it makes you laugh and laugh.

Rauf said...

oh you are not there in the wedding picture Lorenzo, where did you go ? Sailing in Turkey ?
How could you miss your parent's wedding ?

Lucky to be alive, your dad must've taken great pains to jot down the names.
Write the names and don't ruin the picture.
Good job.

Ted M. Gossard said...

One other thing, Lorenzo- from the conversation at my blog. So sorry to you for the death of your mother. Glad you had many good years with her and memories of her.

Magdalene said...

I'm so bored at work. Any chance of coffee and cake over here?

lorenzothellama said...

Sure Magdalene. Come on over. We can go to the deli. They have brilliant coffee there, even if it is over priced. You pay for being insulted by Berky, the Turkish twat owner! Father Ann will hear your confession, but it will be more public now, as our confession corner has been removed in favour of a new fridge. We will all join in the pennance with the horse whip, spurs and handcuffs with gusto! See you there about 11.00.
Love Lorenzo.

backpakker said...

lovely history through photos..your post has given me an idea to relook at all our old black and white pics

Magdalene said...

Such a pity I got stuck in a meeting and missed the lovely coffee morning. I love being horse whipped while simultaneously confessing my sins and suffering insults.

Re the fundy dilemma: I reckon you should make a fresh start on their blog as 'John the Baptist.' You could be the voice of one crying out in the wilderness for some decent fried locusts.

Raelha said...

Lorenzo, I've just asked Martin if he minds us popping over there on our travels. We could try some of that carrot wine.

Martin Stickland said...

Bout tut time ye did tut new post tut lorenzybum!

Cabbage crumble for pudding!

simon said...

When is part 2???