Friday, 18 March 2011
His elegant Mama, called Topsy by her family, was a younger sister of the Dorothy I showed you in an earlier Sepia Saturday post. Her real name was Eliza Jane and this portrait must have been taken in the late 1920's, for my husband was born in October 1929 and I believe Bertie was already dead by then.
I wish I knew more about the story. The little I do know was told me by Auntie Dorothy, who also gave me the picture.
Topsy went on to have three more children, two boys and a girl, and tragically, after the birth of her daughter, she developed what in those days was called 'milk fever'.As a result she never recovered enough to take care of her children from then on, and another sister, Auntie Lettie, came to Portsmouth to look after them.
Topsy's husband, Arthur, died before the end of the war, as far as I know, and the children were sent to stay with relatives in South Pool, in Devon. There was only one bomb which dropped on the village, and my husband , then a youngster, was on his way to bed holding a lighted candle when it fell.
He never spoke much about his childhood, but he loved life in the country, working on his Aunt and Uncle's farm, and he would have liked nothing better than to be a farmer when he grew up... Anyone can dream!