Updated 06 Dec 2015

Robert Palmer's family

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Robert Palmer's family

These biographies were written when the author had retired at 70. They are pen-portraits of members of the author's family born before him, and so dependent largely on memory and hearsay, with some research. More photographs are on a separate webpage. An autobiography is also being prepared.









                             1842              1857
                             George    1874    Annie
                             1907        |     1911
   |        |    |      |      |       |    |     |       |     |        |
  1874     1876 1878   1881   1884    1887 1889  1892    1894  1897     1899
  Helen    Mary Sarah  George Benj    Tom  Alice Charles Henry Florence Richard  
  WHITAKER  |                          |                 1915           Leonard
            |                1868      |
            |                William   |                1887
           Mary      1898    Henry    Tom       1908    Emily
           HIBBARD=====v=====PALMER   HIBBARD=====v=====KEYWOOD
           1923        |     1922     1915        |     1960
                       |                          |
                       |                          |
   |-------|--------|--|----|         |---------|-|----|-----|------|
   |       |        |       |         |         |      |     |      |
  1899    1902     1905    1908      1909      1910   1912  1914   1915
  George  Rose     Charles Gertrude  Winifred  Edith  Ben   Harry  Tom
  Wilfred Winifred Bernard Annie     Mary      Ann








       William          1875              1865              1877
       Henry    1898    Mary              Alfred  1893      Gertrude
       PALMER=====v=====HIBBARD           DOXEY=====v=======LONGDEN
       1922       |     1923              1933      |       1954
                  |                                 |
 |-----------|----|---|-------|         |-------|---|---|---------|------|
 |           |        |       |         |       |       |         |      |
1899        1902     1905    1908      1894    1895    1898      1900   1907
George      Rose     Charles Gertrude  William Dorothy Ernest    Lucy   Ena
Wilfred     Winifred Bernard Annie     1978    1976    1963             1992
1944        1973     1957    1994       s.p.   m 1941  m 1925    m 1939  |
m 1924      m 1928    |       s.p.             Henry   Constance Norman  |
Mabel       Frank     |                        BOWEN   BOWER     BREALEY |
WAINWRIGHT  DOUGILL  1905                       s.p.    s.p.      s.p.   |
  s.p.       s.p.    Charles                                            1907
                     Bernard                1931                        Ena
                                  |           |
                                 1940        1944
                                 John        Robert
                                 Charles     Julian
                                 m 1977       |
                                 1940         |
                                 Rosemary    1944             1950
                                 DOUGHTY     Robert           Valerie
                                  s.p.       Julian   1974    Jean
                                   |          |         |
                                  1975       1977      1983
                                  Susannah   Carla     Youngest
                                  Caroline   Rosalynn  Daughter





RJP photos


23dec1865 to 29jan1933

Alfred was short (only about 5ft 2ins), quiet and hard 
working and polite. He had curly hair. He was Ernest 
Burnand’s best friend.  He came to Sheffield at 12 years 
of age, and was apprenticed at a power station. He married 
Gertrude Longden on Christmas Day 1893 when he was 28 and 
Gertrude 22. They had 5 children, Billy, Dorothy, Ernest, 
Lucy and Mum (Ena). He was an electrical engineer and with 
Lucas he helped install the first phones in Sheffield. He 
used to go around reading the electricity meters. He 
enjoyed ferry trips, especially to the Isle of Wight when 
they would get the train to Portsmouth, and also 
particularly the Isle of Man. In his 60’s he suffered with 
angina pectoris. He had his first angina attack walking up 
Dore Road with Gertrude. He sat down until he felt ok and 
then they carried on. He also was under a lot of stress 
when Dorothy had a relationship with an older man, “Pop” 
Bowen. There was a shortage of men because of the first 
world war. He died aged 67 not long after retirement, and 
probably his pension went with him.
[JCP: See X111 and X226 and X229]

31jan1872 to 13jul1954

Gertrude was a sister of Lucy Longden (who was the 
youngest of 7), who married Ernest Burnand. Aunt Lu was 
very fond of Gertrude. She was short and always dressed in 
Victorian fashion, with a fox skin round her back. She 
married Alfred on Christmas day 1893 when she was 22 and 
Alfred 28. They had 5 children, Billy, Dorothy, Ernest, 
Lucy and Mum (Ena). Alfred and Gertrude probably rented a 
series of houses, 512, Abbeydale Road 1901 to 1911, then 
74 Glen Road, Ecclesall from 1911. They probably bought 
107 Banner Cross Road, Ecclesall, probably about 1920. 
 She was worried about money, and when Alfred died in 1933 
she may not have had a satisfactory widow’s pension. 
Ernest Burnand who lived nearby in Ecclesall tried to help 
with her pension, but apparently only found out that Billy 
lived with her (his bedroom was in the attic), when he 
went to 107 to try and sort it out. This may have 
disqualified her from getting a pension as he was able 
bodied. Ernest Burnand was not pleased. Cooking made her 
bad tempered. When she was 72 in 1944 Mum and John came to 
live with her from June 1944 to about the same time in 
1945. I was born in July 1944. It was probably quite hard 
work for her. She was the only grandparent I knew. I 
remember her dressed in her Victorian clothes and she 
would take me into her bedroom and show me her jewelry 
which I must admit I was not all that interested in. These 
were on trips up there with Mum to stay at 107 Banner 
Cross Road, Ecclesall. Uncle Billy used to drive us to the 
Toad’s Mouth and the Surprise and Hathersage in low gear 
(to save petrol) in his old Austin 7. I remember sitting 
at the table in the kitchen at 37 Court Way when Mum told 
me granny had died (1954 shortly before my 10th birthday).
[JCP: See X115]

16apr1894 to 1979.

Uncle Billy was the eldest child of Alfred and Gertrude. 
He was probably a little spoilt being the eldest and a 
boy. Aunt Lu tells me he could be inconsiderate. Dorothy 
didn’t always find him the easiest and did a lot of 
“looking after” him throughout their lives, and was always 
a dutiful sister. Billy was an electrician, and from 1908 
to 1913 worked under my godfather Ernest Burnand who gave 
him a good reference when he “left our employ of his own 
accord to take up an improved position”. He joined the 
navy as such probably in 1914 when he was 20. Mum 
recounted when he came home once in 1916 he had a little 
leather bag, and he opened it and poured the contents 
which were golden sovereigns on to the table. They were 
his naval pay. He was shore based but he went around the 
ships anchored in Scapa Flow to do electrical repairs. He 
had been doing repairs on HMS Devonshire and had only just 
moved to another ship when the fleet was ordered out with 
no notice to the battle of Jutland under Admiral Sir John 
Jellicoe and Vice Admiral Sir David Beattie. Uncle Billy 
didn’t even have time to get off the ship he was on and 
thus was a participant, willingly or otherwise, of the 
indecisive battle (though the German fleet remained in 
harbour afterwards for the remainder of the war). The 
Devonshire was sunk, but not the ship Uncle Billy was 
on.In 1924 Uncle Billy was in the Gold Coast where he 
caught blackwater fever which maybe permanently adversely 
affected his health. While there he bought gold shares 
which did very well over the years. In 1925 he was at the 
Panama Canal. Later he returned to Sheffield where he had 
girlfriends but never bit the bullet. I remember him as a 
rather dishevelled man who lived in the attic at 107 
Banner Cross Road and worked with transformers in his 
basement for which he presumably made a small income. He 
always had a boiled egg for breakfast. When his mother 
died in 1954 he went to live with Aunt Dorothy, but still 
used 107 basement. The local bank manager in Ecclesall 
used to come to him for advice re the stock market. I 
remember Uncle Frank’s horror when he turned up at 7 
Sparken Hill, Worksop in his old Ford 7 which he used 
drive in low gear thinking it would save money. When I 
told him I was going to medical school he was horrified 
and said I would be working night and day all the time 
(true up to a point). In his old age he became forgetful 
and depressed and was in a care facility.
[JCP: See X547]

1895 to 1976.

Aunt Dorothy was probably born in Eldon Street, Ecclesall, 
Sheffield on 12th November 1895. Men were at a premium 
after the first world war and she had a long courtship 
with “Pop Bowen” who was a lot older than her. They did 
not marry for quite a time, maybe because it would have 
meant the end of her teaching career given the conventions 
of the time, and maybe it was because “Pop’s” wife was 
still alive. They married in 1941, and
“Pop” died in 1944. John remembers him playing around with 
cars. Her parents disapproved of the relationship, given 
the age difference and the fact that “Pop” may already 
have been married. Mum said it hastened her father’s 
death. Aunt Dorothy  became a school teacher and taught 
the 11 plus class at Carter Knowle School in Millhouses. 
She was a good teacher and got good results. She lived at 
36 Stowe Avenue, Ecclesall when I knew her. She used to 
say “there’s nothing so queer as folk”. Stowe Avenue was 
on a slope so she got lots of exercise walking to and from 
number 36. Uncle Billy used to live with her, and thinking 
he was hard up (which he wasn’t) she would slip a ten 
shilling note into his breast pocket. Aunt Dorothy had 
helped “clear up” after Uncle Billy at 107 Banner Cross 
Road, though she thought him somewhat inconsiderate as 
being the first child and a boy he was somewhat spoilt. 
 When Mum moved from Court Way to Robinson Drive Aunt 
Dorothy lived with her. By this time Uncle Billy was in a 
care home and Aunt Dorothy I believe, as a dutiful sister, 
would visit him. In 1976 I think she had a vascular event 
affecting her leg and died in hospital. After that Mum 
made plans to visit us in Canada.

28jan1898 to 15may1963

Ernest was an electrician, and worked for one of the steel 
works in Sheffield.  He did I believe volunteer for the 
army, possibly in 1916 when he would have been 18. I was 
told by Mum that he became ill after receiving an 
inoculation by the military, and as a result was not able 
to join up. His kidneys were affected, and it may have 
permanently affected his health. He and Con lived together 
for quite a time before they got married. They were 
married  in 1925. They rented a cottage in Tom Lane, 
Nether Green, and latterly lived above Con’s ladies 
hairdressing salon in Division (or maybe Devonshire) 
Street in Sheffield. Aunt Lu said Ernest was a nice man. 
He died aged only 65 in 1963. I do not know what the cause 
of death was (Aunt Lu mentioned TB, but no one else 
suggested that). Mum, Dorothy and Lucy did not entirely 
approve of Con. She was always “very made up and well 
dressed”. They got their own back when she came round for 
a meal and was made to eat it in the kitchen. Mum and I 
visited Con probably in the late 1960’s. She was always 
somewhat overweight, and when we saw her she was a cardiac 
cripple with angina, and barely able to walk across the 
room. I was shocked but Mum was very matter of fact about 
it in her Yorkshire way. Con was born in 1902 and died in 
[JCP: See X547]

1900 to 1974.

Aunt Lucy was the fourth child of Alfred and Gertrude 
Doxey. Aunt Lu liked her.She was probably born in Eldon 
Street in Ecclesall, Sheffield. She became a secretary at 
Sheffield University. Her father enjoyed ferry trips to 
the Isle of Man (see 1905 photo of her on a donkey) and 
 to the Isle of Wight. It was on a trip to the Isle of 
Wight (not sure when or with whom), that she met  Norman 
Brealey who worked as a guard and possibly stationmaster 
at Shanklin on the Isle of Wight railway. She subsequently 
married him and moved to live with him in 16 Star Street, 
Ryde. Before she moved she received a silver tea set from 
the university in appreciation of her services. The 
inscription reads “presented by members of the Sheffield 
Trades Technical societies to Miss L Doxey in appreciation 
of her valuable services. The rapid development of this 
educational Movement at the University of Sheffield was 
due in no small measure to her consistent and loyal 
efforts”. The pieces of the tea set are all engraved with 
LB, presumably Lucy Brealey as she was married to Norman 
in 1939. Norman had a shed and many tools and was somewhat 
of a handyman. Norman predeceased Lucy. Lucy had eye 
trouble and would make trips to the eye hospital in London 
(it may have been Moorfields). After Norman’s death she went 
downhill, did not look after or feed herself properly and 
died in 1974. Mum asked John to sort out some of her effects 
but he was busy with squash (Mum wrote “bloody squash” in her 
diary) so Valerie and myself went. She had some nice antique
chairs which we have in the sitting room at 67, and we have 
her silver tea set in a nice cadenza

8sep1907 to 29jan1994.

Ena was named after the then popular Queen Ena of Spain who had her first child on 10 May 1907 and was in the English newspapers at the time.
Written at John's request Christmas Day 1989 aged 82
Ena Palmer (nee Doxey) Memories 1928.
"One day in Sheffield [107 Banner Cross Road, Ecclesall] after going to Art School [Sheffield Art College on Psalter Lane] I went into town and met my cousin Eva Walker [1909-52] in Cockayne's entrance where she worked [a large posh department store on Angel Street until the 1960's]. She said did I want to join a tennis club in Ecclesall where I lived [club has been there since 1915]. I said yes and that started something that changed my life! I liked the club and met Gertrude Palmer [1908-2002] who was my age and we got friendly. She was a very good tennis player. She mentioned that her brother Bern was coming to stay in Worksop with her sister Win Dougill and I got invited there to Win and Frank's [probably in Watson Rd] for Christmas 1929. We had a lovely time. I started to love Worksop and all the Palmer family. Bern was just back from Egypt all handsome and tall and very brown. Nicer than Sheffield boys I knew with a very public school accent! It was the best time of my life! We did not get married until April 1931. My mother wanted to keep all her children around her and I was the youngest. It was unheard of to wish to leave home but I managed it in the end. I was 23. We went to live in a flat in London. Bern worked in the city and went on a tram there every day from Highbury [North Metropolian Tramways, Highbury Park Rd to Moorgate St]. I did not work, women were not supposed to work after marriage. We lived at Highbury New Park (no 127) for about 2 years, then we bought a house in Twickenham. I had £1.50 a week house keeping money and Bern was earning £4.50 a week. We bought our new house 37 Court Way from some money Bern had left him by his mother [She died 1923] £1,000. So we worked out it was better to pay £850 for the house than £1.60 a week rent. [It sold in 2006 for £485,000] We lived there (I lived there) for 42 years. All sorts of things happened to us in that time. We lived care free lives for 9 years as we could not afford a baby. Then war began [1939] and I had visions of being alone so I had John [1940]. Then carried away with motherhood I had Rob [1944]. Best thing I did was give birth to my children. War began and Bern went off with his job to Italy [1944] and came back a dying man [1946]".

1983. Transcribed by RJP from VHS tape of Ena interviewed by JCP
She said she was born on 8th September 1907 at 74 Green Road, Netheredge, Sheffield. She remembers when WW1 broke out. Aunt Dorothy who was 19 at the time was crying behind the newspaper at breakfast time because her boyfriend (it sounds like Liam) was going to war. Uncle Billy sat in the kitchen scowling because he wanted to join up but his parents wouldn’t let him. He had trained as an electrician since he was 14, and by 1914 he was 20 and a qualified electrician. However they let him go to Portsmouth where he worked as an electrician on the ships. He was working on the Lion or Queen Elizabeth when it suddenly set sail to the battle of Jutland. His family heard nothing from him for a long time, and made frantic enquiries which led nowhere except they found out he was not on the missing list. Then they got a slightly apologetic postcard from him to say he had been too busy to get in touch. After the war he went to Valparaiso in Chile and then slipped illegally into the USA where he worked for a time before being discovered and thrown out. He then went to Ghana where he contracted blackwater fever and Mum says was never quite the same again. After getting married Mum and Dad were living in Highbury. She used to go with Dad sometimes in the morning when he took the tram to work at Cable and Wireless. The tram went past Moorfields Hospital to the Inner City where Dad worked. Mum would then spend some time doing odds and ends in London. Dad, Mum relates, left school at 17 and joined the Eastern Telegraph Company. After he first joined in 1922 he had six months training and subsequently had a great time when he was posted abroad to places like Alexandria and Portugal (Carcavelos), and Britain still had its Empire. When Dad was 22 it became Cable and Wireless and Dad was brought back to London which was not so much fun. Their flat in Highbury was rented at £4 10 shillings a month. Dad had £1000 in the bank which he had inherited from his parents. He thought it would be better to use the money to buy a house rather than paying rent, which was unusual in those days. Twickenham was chosen because of the Exiles club where Dad used to enjoy watching cricket. They chose 37 Court Way because it was near Twickenham Station. Mum wishes they had bought a house on the river. Dad commuted to the city and Mum was “bored stiff”. She said she didn’t make much effort to get a job because it was not the done thing for a married woman between the wars (she said she had learnt tracing at art school). Moving on Mum talks about holiday in Sandbanks in 1939, John’s birth in May 1940, taking John in his pram to get a baby gas mask, and the London Blitz in September 1940, which started on the night of September 7th. They slept at night in Eileen Stowell’s shelter at 45 Court Way .Not feeling safe Horwood (Horwood Barret) drove Mum, Dad and baby John to Twickenham Station on September 8th 1940 (Mum’s 33rd birthday) where they went to Worksop which they felt was safer. Mum talks about the explosive device that we set off at the bottom of the garden and the Major’s fury (he lived at 41 Court Way) and how I destroyed the fence of the front garden with one of my first cars. Also the Snowdon episode and her phoning and asking the headmaster at 9am if anyone was in charge and on hearing an answer in the affirmative asked why then have three boys been killed (news to the headmaster), and why was she not informed it was dangerous. Later Mum talks about buying #1 Hamilton Road, Corfe Mullen in the summer of 1980. I was interested and she acquiesced partly from sympathy for my near disastrous neck injury 6 months before. She paid half, but it was in my name. She got furniture at auction, and she and John worked on the garden and I actually did some painting when I was over. Episcopals from Shrewsbury, MA stayed (I actually think it was the vicar and his family), but Mum said they didn’t thank her. In 1983 she started trying to sell Robinson Drive and seemed to have found a buyer.
Mum was possibly born at 512 Abbeydale Road, or at 74 Glen Road, Ecclesall. She was named after Queen Ena of Spain who had her first child on 10th May 1907 and was popular in England at the time. She was descended from 6 generations of lead miners from Middleton by Wirksworth in Derbyshire. Her mother was 30 and Mum was the fifth of her children. Later the family moved to 107, Banner Cross Road, Ecclesall, a house they probably bought whereas the earlier addresses were probably rented. Unfortunately we do not have many details of her upbringing, except that she became a “needlewoman” and went to Sheffield Art College in Salter Lane. She used to say to me that it was a waste of time, and she also said how when she was doing a job in Sheffield her boss chased her round a table. She says how she didn’t think much of the Sheffield boys and when she met Dad at Christmas 1929, having been invited to Watson Road Worksop by Aunt Gert who she met at Ecclesall tennis club, he was tall, handsome and brown having just come back from Egypt, and with a very public school accent. Her mother wanted to keep her children round her, and it was customary for the youngest daughter to look after her parents and not marry. However with difficulty Mum extricated herself and Mum and Dad married in June 1931 at All Saints Church, Ecclesall Road which is where I believe Uncle Wilf preached to full houses and where members of the family (? Alfred and Gertrude and maybe others) are buried. Mum and Dad lived at 127 Park Road, Highbury in a rented flat, and Dad took the tram every day to Moorgate Street in the city where he worked for the Eatern Cable Company later Cable and Wireless. They had a black Scottish terrier, Mac. It was unheard of for married women to work in those days. In 1933 they bought 37 Court Way Twickenham for £850 with money Dad’s mother had left him in 1923 when she died. Dad was keen on rugby football which probably influenced his decision, also the cable and wireless social club The Exiles Club, was at Orleans Park, Twickenham. During the 30’s they spent a lot of time going to the theatre in London, especially for first night performances. They had a lot of friends from Cable and Wireless and Twickenham. Mum was keen on medieval history and would spend hours reading history books about that period. She was also interested in Nancy Astor and thought highly of Hugh Gaitskell (although he was labour and she always voted conservative except once when a liberal came to talk with her and she voted liberal but was somewhat ashamed of it). She also liked Adlai Stevenson and Margaret Thatcher. She was pro American and always encouraged me to go and work in the USA. When she drank her endless cups of tea she would “tinkle” her teeth which used to irritate me. She had no fridge, no washing machine and of course no car. She had a gas Ascot for heating the water in the kitchen which she was somewhat afraid of as it used to go bang sometimes. She scrubbed the clothes, put them through the wringer and hung them on the washing line outside. Once a salesman came to the door and somehow managed to prevail on her to buy a “Hoover” vacuum cleaner. She always thought there was not enough money, though they had £3,000 stashed away for a rainy day. John asked Mum if a man and woman could be friends without sex rearing its head. Mum thought carefully and then firmly said no. Mum used to pray before going to bed and taught me the Lords prayer. When Dad died she stopped praying. Aunt Gert said she had lost faith in God. Mum’s glass tended to be half empty, a trait I have inherited. Mum used to take me to the Exiles club to learn tennis. She arranged for Angela Blythman’s father to give me tennis lessons there. Mum thought that Aunt Doreen didn’t keep tabs on Peter McLachlan (they lived down the road) well enough especially when he was on his tricycle. She said he would get run over (their eldest daughter drowned in the sea when they were on holiday on the east coast of Scotland). She was friendly with the Stewarts up the road. They had stayed with us for a few months in 1945 when they had sitting tenants in their house. Dad liked their two daughters Jean and Shirley, particularly Jean. Uncle George only had one arm like Tommy Farmer next door (they both lost an arm in WW1). Mum used to go to the Spinning Wheel near the Odeon Cinema in Twickenham for coffee with Aunt Yvonne (Stewart), Aunt Doreen (McLachlan), and Addie Humphries. Addie lived with Billy Humphries the brother of her husband, a guilty secret Mum had let me in on. Aunt Yvonne had a sister Auntie May who lived in the same street as Aunt Addie. Auntie May was intellectually challenged and used to walk up Court Way to see Aunt Yvonne when Uncle George was at work. She was wont to have a bath at the Stewarts and left a rim of dirt in the bath which greatly annoyed Uncle George. Mum was also friendly with the Horwood Barrets in Craneford Way. When Dad died Mum kept a stiff upper lip, except when Aunt Yvonne came round when she cried. Uncle Jim came round unexpectedly. Mum answered the door in her curlers. Uncle Jim proposed to her. Mum turned him down. She blamed him for Auntie Elizabeth’s fatal cervical cancer as he never left her alone. Mum went to see the headmaster of Hampton Grammar school Mr Garfield in 1957. He said she couldn’t bring up a boy without his father, so I was packed off to boarding school. After Dad died she looked for work. First she worked at Janey Powell’s dress shop next to Timothy White and Taylors the chemist in Twickenham near the swimming pool and near where a doodlebug landed in the war. She then worked for a while in Bentalls in Kingston and a ladies clothes shop in Richmond where she was let go. Finally she worked at Wetheralls in Wright brothers in Richmond where she was manageress of the year. She lied about her age and retired at 67 in 1974. Mum quite rightly didn’t think much of me going to Tanzania on a VSO. When I got back and had the opportunity of going to Pittsburgh in 1967 she was much more positive and went to the Masonians who paid for my fare (as a one off they said). She did not generally approve of my girlfriends and did not approve of Valerie, saying her family were a flock of Baptists. She only reluctantly came to our wedding in December 1974, and then only because John had said he wouldn’t talk to her if she failed to attend. Then Linda Pearce told her after the wedding that Valerie was expecting and Mum was furious. Not long after she sold 37 Court Way and moved to Robinson Drive in Worksop where she lived with Aunt Dorothy. When Aunt Dorothy was taken ill in late 1976 mum was up a lot of the night looking after her which she found exhausting, and I have a letter from her. Fortunately Dr Venables (whose sister was the head housekeeper caterer at The Royal Masonic School) managed to get her into hospital where she died. When Mum got into her 70’s she went into atrial fibrillation, and later still had TIA’s. Nevertheless she managed to find the energy to come over to first British Columbia in 1977 and on several occasions to 196 Spring Street, the last time being the fall of 1988 when Mum had just turned 81. On one visit to Shrewsbury in the winter she slipped on the ice when going to collect the mail and sustained a compression fracture of a lumbar vertebra. On another occasion she locked herself in the garage and was rescued by Sunny Fletcher’s son. She used to say that she had no arthritis.
Robert---Mum once told me she had been pregnant before me, but lost it. Where did it go I innocently asked, Down the lavatory she said. Later she said that she saw war coming, so tricked Dad into her second pregnancy (me). From these clues, can you work out when she became pregnant for the first time? We could put this likely date into her biography. My guess is January 1938. ---John
[Sketch by JCP, see X230]
Bern worked for Cable and Wireless in central London from 1931 to 1943, through the Peace and the Blitz. In 1943, he went to Naples, Italy as a non-combatant, and Ena and John moved to her mother's house in Sheffield, which is where Robert was born in 1944. Bern returned home from Vienna a sick man in 1946. John moved to Worksop to be fostered by his Aunt Win and her husband Frank Dougill from 1946 to 1958. Ena's husband Bern died in 1957 after a long illness. Robert was sent to the Royal Masonic School as a boarder in 1957, and John came back to live at Twickenham while at London University 1958-1961. John worked in London 1961-65 before moving to Dorset in 1966. Ena worked as a seamstress from home, then in Bentalls in Kingston and finally as manageress in Wrights of Richmond until her retirement in 1967. She moved from Twickenham to Worksop about 1973 to be near Gertrude Palmer when Gert's sister Win died. About 1985 she moved to Broadstone then Poole in Dorset to be near her eldest son John. She passed away in her flat in Poole in 1994 aged 86.

 30may1868 to 07jul1922.

My paternal grandfather was born in Glapthorne, 
Northamptonshire. There is a rumour that many of the 
Palmers of Glapthorne were illegitimate offspring of Lord 
Cardigan, who led the Charge of the Light Brigade and 
returned unscathed. He reputedly ran away from home with 
one of his best friends because he was told he would get a 
good job in the coal mines in Worksop.  He wasn’t a coal 
miner for long though, partly because he was too tall. He 
married Mary Hibbard on 27th April 1898. He became a 
licensed victualler. He ran The Woodhouse Inn in Rhodesia, 
near Worksop and on the Chesterfield canal, from 1902 to 
1922 when he died. The Inn was then run by his nephew 
Arnold Medley of Huddersfield. Around 1970 the Inn crossed 
the road but kept its name. The old Inn is now part of a 
row of houses in Tranker Lane. He spent a lot of money 
educating his two sons, Wifred born in 1899 and Dad born 
in 1905. He had two daughters, Winifred born in 1902 and 
Gertrude born in 1908. They did not share in his largesse. 
He was very proud of Wilfred who like my father went to 
Worksop College. Rumour has it that he had a drink problem 
and hid in the bushes somewhat the worse for wear while 
Wilfred won the victor ludorum at sports day. He ensured 
Wilfred went into the Indian Army and not to the Western 
Front. In later life he became quite obese and probably in 
1922 was the front seat passenger when the car he was in 
was involved in an accident and he went through the 
windscreen. He died of his injuries but maybe not straight 

 04sep1875 to 07dec1923.

My paternal grandmother was born in St John Street, 
Worksop, 2nd of 12 children. She was a servant at Holme 
Carr Farm for Jepsons, and this is where she met my 
paternal grandfather, and they married on 27th April 1898. 
She had four children, Wilfred, Winifred, Bern and 
Gertrude. It seems she contracted cancer of either the 
stomach or oesophagus when she was in her 40’s. 
Anecdotally she went to London to see a specialist, but 
was told nothing could be done and she died of pneumonia, 
presumably secondary to her cancer, on 7th December 1923, 
17 months after her husbands death.

04apr1899 to 31jul1944.

Uncle Wilf was the oldest child of William Henry and Mary 
Palmer. He was born at Holme Carr Farm in Worksop. He went 
to Worksop College where he was in Pelham House and became 
prefect of chapel and anecdotally won the Victor Ludorum 
for athletics at the school sports day with his father who 
was the worse for wear at the time watching from behind a 
bush. In 1917 he joined the Indian Army. This was arranged 
by his father who didn’t want him to go to the mincing 
machine of the Western Front. Life there was sociable and 
sadly he developed a fondness for drink, which became his 
undoing. He married Mabel Wainwright in 1924 who was from a low 
social class and she had aspirations above her station. 
Also, unlike most of his contemporaries in the Indian 
Army, Wifred was from a lower middle class background, and 
did not have much disposable capital. He lied about his 
father’s occupation (publican) and defaulted on mess bills 
which may have led to him being forced out of the 
military. He subsequently became a vicar at Ecclesall 
church where he gave sermons to full houses before the 
drink caught up with him again. He moved to another parish 
in the home counties (?Buckinhamshire) but again had to 
leave for the same reason. Mabel wrote horrendous letters 
to Dad about him. Aunt Win was very protective (all her 
geese were swans). At the outbreak of the second world war 
he joined the RAF and rose to the rank of squadron leader, 
but was killed when demonstrating a grenade (apparently) 2 
days after I was born, and has a military grave
in Plymouth where he was based.

07dec1902 to 1973

John Palmer writes:
" Aunt Win was born at the Woodhouse Inn, Shireoaks near Worksop. She was the second child of William Henry, who ran the pub. She went to a C of E Primary school in Shiroaks, then got a job working at Woolworths 60-62 Bridge Place Worksop. She drove a pony and trap between Shireoaks and Worksop. She was friendly with the Manager, but in 1928 married Frank Dougill, a local draper from a draper's family. Frank was poorly educated at Ashley House, volunteered and was gassed in the Great War. They lived in 41 Watson Road Worksop, then in 1931 moved to a newly built House at 7 Sparken Hill. They decided to have no children because of a possible mental health problem in the Dougill family. (Frank's younger brother Harry later comitted suicide in 1962.) From 1944 to 1958 they fostered Win's nephew John, elder son of Bern and Ena. Win was a good cook and sociable, and ran the household. Frank became a well-to-do small-business man, good at golf (3 handicap) and captain of Worksop Golf Club. Win never improved beyond 36 handicap. They were a popular couple and had an extensive social life. Both were heavy smokers and dressed smartly. They had a line of cars: Hillman Minx, Triumph Roadster, Messerschmidt bubble car, Rover 95, Rover 3 litre. About 1955, Win began to suffer from rheumatism in hands and legs and Frank from diabetes. Win died in 1973 and Frank in 1968; they were proud to have reached the age of 70."

Wilfred's grave at Plymouth

16sep1905 to 17jan1957

Robert Palmer writes
"Dad was a public schoolboy and so were a lot of his friends and acquaintances from Cable and Wireless. We met them at the Exiles club in Twickenham and they were distinctive in that they wore blazers and tended to have nicknames for each other. One that he always used to talk about was "ding dong" Bell who lived in Hitchin. Mum was uncomfortable with them.

Jim Smith was Dad's best friend and Dad was I think the only good friend Jim had. They were in Egypt and Vienna together. Jim was an alpha male and Dad was horrified when he had a "mitzi" in Vienna. Jim was excellent at woodcarving. He had a very nice wife Elizabeth and a daughter Anne. They lived in Carshalton. Mum was somewhat disapproving of Jim, I think because he never left Elizabeth alone. Sadly she died quite young of carcinoma of the cervix. Hence you can imagine Mum's horror when she answered the door at 37 Court Way in her curlers (after Dad and Elizabeth had died) and he proposed to her (but got short shrift). I remember a long walk with Uncle Jim over Reigate Hill (it was very exciting but I don't think he said a word to me).

Dad when he wee'd into the toilet always flushed it before he had finished weeing. He referred to having a pooh as "doing your business" and I remember him saying to me that it was not an uncomfortable preoccupation.

John was at number 37 in the school summer holidays and we were off to play tennis. John twice quite loudly said to Mum "balls" purportedly referring to the tennis balls, but clearly with another meaning. Dad yelled at him for using the word in front of his mother.

We had a pet mouse called Willie. He died in front of John (probably of old age). Dad said "typical John was there". Dad used to call Mum Enega Awney (?spelling) and playfully put his hand up Mum's dress. She used to tell him off. I have never forgotten the advice Dad gave me. "However much you are provoked you must never under any circumstances hit a woman". Dad was very faithful and when he died everyone said what a gentleman he was.

A few days before he died (in January 1957) he was late coming home. Mum fearing the worst sent me out on my bike to look for him. He was at the top of Court Way slowly walking home. He said he had "fallen asleep" on the train and missed Twickenham waking up and getting off at Feltham (the 18 fast train from Waterloo). He said the man opposite him was looking at him strangely on the train (he had probably had a Stokes Adams attack, arrhythmia, secondary to his severe mitral stenosis from the rheumatic fever he first had at Worksop College and the near fatal recurrence he had in Vienna where he was up telegraph poles in the Austrian winter of 1945 1946 and sleeping rough). A few days later he died on Waterloo Station (probable ventricular fibrillation). He had a very strong work ethic. Dr Hamilton had been telling him for some years to retire but he dragged himself to work at Electra House, and walking to Twickenham station in the morning there was a slight incline by the council yard where I used to play with Michael Sacree which he struggled to get up.

Dad was keen on Shakespeare and poetry. He taught me to recite off by heart "loveliest of trees the cherry now" by A E Houseman in "A Shropshire Lad" in case we were asked about a poem on Spring at school. Quite soon after we were asked exactly that (Jasper Parry in 1A at Hampton Grammar) and I was too shy to say anything whereupon Jasper repeated that very poem.

Dad was friendly with Mr Granger at the corner shop and sent me to get some jelly babies. He insisted I ask Mr Granger for male jelly babies as I would get more for my money (male attachments) but of course I was too shy. Dad as he was leaving to go to work said to Mum the Yorkshire saying "and here's to me and my wife's husband not forgetting mesen" finishing always with "and bugger Noel Coward" which of course I never understood, and usually a remark alluding to not seeing us again, as I am sure he was aware of his mortality.

Dad was preoccupied shortly before he died with a misstatement in one of the newspapers about the Worksop College alumus and 13 times England rugby captain and drop goal expert Nim Hall. Dad used to chant "champion the wonder horse" from a TV show. He would sit in his favourite chair by the fire and periodically expectorate into the fire and the blood flecked sputum (he had haemoptysis from severe heart failure) would slide down the back of the bottom of the chimney. He always wanted a daughter (I was Mary before I was born) and was smitten with Petula Clark on TV. He had me walking up and down outside number 37 to swing my arms properly.

There was a song called little red monkey. Dad put a request in for it to be played on our behalf on the light programme. It was duly played and our names mentioned and Dad heard it as he was listening to the radio at the time. He called for me (I was playing in the back garden) but I didn't hear him and missed it (he was feeling too tired and ill to come and get me).

When Dad failed to come back the second time Mum was frantically making phone calls. At last she walked with me to Twickenham station and we caught the train to Waterloo. It stopped for about half an hour at East Sheen station (I am not sure why). When we got to Waterloo Mum told me to get the train straight back to Twickenham by myself. Unbeknown to me she had found out that Dad had been brought in dead to St Thomas's Hospital having died on Waterloo Station. When she eventually came back I was in Dad's bed in their room (as per her request) and she said to me "you know that Dad is dead" and I muttered yes as I had assumed that to be the case. I was not taken to his funeral at All Hallows Church.

Dad used to take me to rugby matches usually to watch Harlequins at Twickenham, but also sometimes to old Deer Park to watch Richmond. I would much rather have watched Fulham football club. He also took me to the Oval to watch Surrey cricket team. In 1948 when the Olympics were on he took John to the newly opened Battersea fun fair, but didn't take me which upset me greatly.

Dad arranged rummy games for when John was down in the school holidays which was something I always looked forward to. I was good at cards and won the ten shilling note prize.

I think Mum had John and me because from her experience of the first world war when they never came back she assumed that if Dad went abroad (even though he was noncombatant) he would not come back and she wanted the company and something to remember him by.

Dad used to get me to put my ear on his chest. He had a loud murmur and a palpable thrill. Dad wore a truss because he had an inguinal hernia and was obviously not fit for a surgical repair. Not long before he died Dad had a cyst on his scalp which was removed under local anaesthetic by Dr Hamilton. I am not sure that was a good idea. John was in the front garden playing. Mum was in the front room on the phone adopting her £5 accent. John threw something which came sailing into the room smashing the window. Mum glowered but her tone never changed and the person on the other end of the phone would never have known anything was amiss."

24sep1908 to 2002.

Aunt Gert was probably born at The Woodhouse Inn just
outside Worksop. She was orphaned when she was only 15.
She was always a very good sportslady and was ladies
tennis champion at Ecclesall tennis club, and later took
up golf and got down to a handicap of 3 and possibly
represented Kent. She played at North Foreland golf club
in Kent. She never married although later in life a
gentleman from the golf club did propose to her and she
phoned Mum asking for her advice. Mum gave her an emphatic
no. In Margate she worked for the millinery department of
Bobby’s as a buyer. When Uncle Frank died in 1968 Aunt
Gert went to live at 7 Sparken Hill, where she stayed
until she moved to 7 Buckingham Court in Poole around
1990. John in particular and I used to visit her. She
lived to the grand old age of 94.

Born 22apr1917.                   Taken 20oct2015 aged 98
I talked over the phone to Aunt Lu this morning. She is 
now 97, having been born in 1917, and lives in Broomgrove 
Nursing Home near the Hallamshire Hospital. Lu is the only
person in our family still alive who can remember our family
before we were born. Here are some of her memories.

Her father was Ernest Burnand who was my godfather, and 
they lived in a beautiful house, Hollycourt House in 
Silverdale Road, Ecclesall, Sheffield, which was not too 
far from Banner Cross Road, and in between the two was 
where the trams used to turn round.  She had an elder 
sister Irene, who was 13 years older than Lu, and a 
brother John, 6 years older than her. Irene was a 
physiotherapist, and in 1927 she married Dr Reginald 
Pleasance, who was a GP in Sheffield and also an 
anaesthetist, working with the ENT Consultant. Sadly they 
were not compatible, and moreover Reg wanted children and 
Irene didn’t, resulting in Irene leaving Reg after 5 years 
of marriage. Later in life Irene contracted thyroid cancer 
from which she eventually died. She lived in Reigate. John 
was the father of Peter and Christine, but sadly had a 
stroke while sitting in his car outside his house on 4th 
December 1951, aged just 40, from which he died. Ernest 
Burnand was I believe my mother’s uncle.

Aunt Lu remembers going to Cole Brothers in Sheffield to 
get a second hand cot for me in the summer of 1944 not 
long before I was born and soon after she and John arrived 
in Sheffield. In 1945 it was passed on for the birth of 
Peter. Although Mum, John and myself lived at 107 Banner 
Cross Road we often went to Hollycourt House during the 
day after I was born. Mum was given the key to the 
billiard room where John played.

Lucille Burnand never married, probably because her mother
lived until 1976 (aged 92) and youngest daughters were
expected to look after their parents in old age. Her grandmother
Emma Horrocks lived to be nearly 90 also. My mother Ena Doxey 
escaped this trap by marrying the first among her siblings 
although she was the youngest too.

107 was quite full with granny (Gertie), Mum, Uncle Billy, 
John and myself. Alfred my maternal grandfather, who like 
Ernest Doxey and Billy was an electrical engineer, died of 
a heart attack (he had angina) in 1933 when he was 67. He 
was 12 years older than granny (who was 72 in 1944). His 
pension was lost once he died and granny had constant 
money worries. Ernest Burnand tried to help her get a 
pension but it came to nothing when he found out that 
Billy was living at 107, and moreover Billy didn’t have a 
regular job. Ernest Burnand was not happy about this state 
of affairs.

Grandad Alfred introduced Aunt Dorothy to POP Bowen, who 
was quite a lot older than her. He may have been married. 
Against her parents wishes Aunt Dorothy lived with POP for 
quite some time. She did not want to marry him because 
that might have been the end of her teaching career at 
Carter Knowle School in Millhouses, given the climate of 
the time. They did eventually marry though. Aunt Dorothy 
taught the 11 plus year at the school and was very 
successful in this position. She lived at 36 Stowe Avenue. 
Much later Uncle Billy lived with her and she used to pop 
10 shilling notes into his pocket thinking he was hard up, 
which was not the case as he was quite good at playing the 
stock market, and reportedly the bank manager sought his 
advice. Later in the 1970’s Aunt Dorothy lived with Mum in 

Aunt Lucy was the secretary to one of the University 
Consultant doctors in Sheffield. She met Norman Brealey on 
a family holiday to the Isle of  Wight and they married 
and lived in Star St in Ryde. He was a guard on the 
trains. She had eyesight problems and used to travel to 
London for treatment. She died aged 74 of neglect.
Uncle Ernest Doxey was an electrical engineer in 
Sheffield. He lived for a number of years with Aunt Con in 
Devonshire St in Sheffield until they married. Aunt Con 
had a ladies hairdressing salon where they lived. He got a 
kidney infection when the army gave him a vaccination with 
a dirty needle as a young man and never fully recovered 
from this and died at 68. I remember visiting Aunt Con 
with Mum in the late 1960’s and she was overweight with 
severe angina.

Uncle Billy was an electrician in the navy during WW1. He 
was at the battle of Jutland but transferred ships in the 
nick of time and the ship he had transferred from was 
sunk. He subsequently went to the USA and South America. 
In 1944 he lived in the attic bedroom at 107 and worked 
with transformers in the basement at 107 which John found 
interesting. He was always scruffily dressed.


5 months
9 years
17 years
40 years
52 years
75 years

John was born on May 6th 1940.He was a home birth at 37 Court Way, Twickenham. This was at the end of the "phoney war" and four days before the German Invasion of Holland and Belgium, and also four days before Neville Chamberlain resigned and Winston Churchill became prime minister. It was a difficult birth and the sun set twice on our mother's labour which nowadays is an absolute no no, and of course she should have been in hospital and would almost certainly have been a Caesaresan section. I think the GP looking after her was Dr O'Sullivan, who had a surgery in St Margarets, and I believe he said afterwards Mum should have been in hospital, and said something about a projection of the "tail bone" whatever that meant. I believe John was a term delivery at five minutes past four in the afternoon I think and weighed eight and a quarter lbs. It is unclear whether this traumatic delivery caused John's epilepsy, but it certainly did not diminish his intellect. Our neighbour Mrs Farmer commented "What a time to have a baby", which enraged our mother. Mum talks of taking a baby John in his pram to get him a baby gas mask.The London blitz started on September 7th 1940 and that night Mum, Dad and John slept in Eileen Stowell's underground (Anderson) shelter. The next day, September 8th 1940, Mum's 33 birthday, and not feeling safe, Horwood (Mr Horwood Barrett) drove Mum, Dad and John to Twickenham station where they caught a train to Worksop where they felt safer. I am not sure they were there very long because they returned to Court Way and were there until the spring of 1944 when Dad went to Naples on 13th May 1944 with Cable and Wireless as a non combatant. I was by this time in utero and Mum and John soon after went to 107 Banner Cross Road near where the trams turn round for about a year. John remembers going to the garages at the top of Banner Cross Road and playing with the imaginary "magic-man". John also remembers seeing "pop" Bowen, Aunt Dorothy's husband, who used to meddle with cars. He also used to see Aunt Luc's husband Norman Brealey who he liked. He remembers Mum's mother, granny Gertrude and Uncle Billy lived in 107. Uncle Billy had a bedroom in the attic, and made transformers in the basement cellar which John enjoyed watching. Granny who was 68 in 1940 used to get cross when she was cooking, and was always worried about money. They had a bad tempered dog "Chummy" who sat under the sofa in the kitchen. We probably moved back to 37 Court Way in the summer of 1945. In September 1945 John went to Brook House school in Twickenham. He did not like it much and his reports were not good. In early 1946 Uncle George, Aunt Yvonne, Jean and Shirley Jane Stewart came to live with us for a few months as their house at 47 Court way had a sitting tenant. A little later in 1946 (maybe in the Spring), Dad came back in a hospital ship to Southampton and was admitted in the hospital. John remembers going down to meet him. In the summer of 1946 John was sent to Worksop to live with Aunt Win and Uncle Frank who had no children. It is not clear why this happened, but it is likely it was because Dad was a sick man and John a lively child, and Dad could not cope. John came back for school holidays. He stayed up there for 12 years. He lived at 7 Sparken Hill, with the Newcombes one side (Arthur and Norah Newcombe and their two sons Patrick and John who both became surgeons), and the Yorks (later Mackie's on the other side (York and Mackie taught at Worksop College). Richard York, born 1944, was a clever and adventurous lad, John's first big friend. Later there were two Mackie sons, John and Peter). John went to St Mary's Roman Catholic School in Worksop for three years (where Miss O'Brian taught him poetry and Miss Shaw was an excellent teacher), and then to Newcastle Street primary school (where teachers included Miss Steel and Mrs Bottom who was also excellent). He passed his 11 plus easily (IQ 138) and won a scholarship to Retford Grammar School (one of only 5 out of 60 who achieved this). He revelled in the teaching at Retford Grammar and came down heavily on the science side (maths and physics in particular) pouring scorn on religion, history and the arts. He was top of class in 3a. A timid lad at first while still small, his bullying ceased as he grew larger which added to his confidence. He was full of questions which unfortunately Uncle Frank was unable to answer and he did not see a lot of Dad and so he would go next door to Pat and John Newcombe and ply them with questions. Mr Mackie on the other side of 7 Sparken Hill was less welcoming. John was keen on train spotting and as a result I got keen on it too. When I was up in Worksop we would go to Retford Station to see the engines on the LNER particularly the "streaks" and even saw "The Mallard". When he came to Twickenham for the holidays we went to Clapham Junction where we saw the Southern Region engines, the Battle of Britain and West Country class in particular, also to King's Cross for the LNER, St Pancras for the LMS, Paddington for the Western Region, and also occassionaly Euston, London Bridge, Charing Cross, Marylebone and Liverpool Street stations. Uncle Frank and Aunt Win told John to stop his train spotting to concentrate on his work. He came fifth in a class of 70,and was promoted a year to the junior fifth in 1955. Meanwhile his home life was very good. Uncle Frank had a good income and Aunt Win smothered him with love and affection, he was an only child. He was leader of a small gang nearby and surrounded by fields and woods where they could play and run around. There were woods up the road where John went sledding in the winter, and went through a fence once. I well remember enjoyable visits to 7 Sparken Hill. We played cricket round the back where John was a bowler. He was also very good at throwing, particularly stones, and knocked out a boy's front tooth once. He was Nottinghamshire schools javelin champion towards the end of his time at Retford Grammar. His best friends were Mark Smith, Richard Allsopp (he had a younger brother Stephen who was my age and I was friendly with), and Manolly Rigg ("yes but!"). I also remember a boy with callipers who had had polio and the 3 Haydon Bailey brothers further up Sparken Hill who were loose canons. There was a dog Jip who came through the fence at the bottom of the back garden at 7 Sparken Hill. Also June Roper who John was friendly with. A less pleasant memory was playing tennis in the back garden against Uncle Frank and beating him only for John to manipulate the score so Uncle Frank won; my sense of injustice knew no bounds, particularly as Uncle Frank must have known. Also John was starting to play squash in 1957 at Retford Grammar, which he was good at. When he came to Twickenham for holidays we would go to the museums in South Kensington. My favourite was the Science Museum where there were lots of buttons to press. Also The Natural History Museum, and the occasional visit further afield to the British Museum and The Imperial War Museum. Back to Retford Grammar one of John's proudest moments was when his headmaster gave him two awards for being the top pupil out of 92 in his year. Uncle Frank had two cars (one a two seater Triumph Roadster which also had two pop-up seats in the boot; people would say "wow", but once John got his foot stuck under one of the foot pedals which gave uncle Frank a fright), the other a Messerschmidt bubble-car made in Germany). Uncle Frank and Aunt Win would also take John with them to posh hotels, and The Old Bell in Woodhall Spa. Alas life was too good and he did not learn to work really hard and failed to get in to Oxford or Cambridge, which with his high IQ he should have done. He did get 13 O levels, 4 A levels and 2 S levels. This was certainly good enough to get him into UCL London starting September 1958 where he met students brighter than himself he says. He failed to pass the required Russian exam and passed German instead. He was now living again at 37 Court Way. I was at boarding school until 1962, but well remember watching the Quatermass series on TV with John which had started in 1953 and went on through the 50's and early 60's. One of his regrets when he was at UCL and living in Court Way was not meeting up for lunch with Aunt Win and Uncle because he had a squash game (same when Aunt Lucy died). In 1959 while at UCL John worked for a short time at The Underwater Research Establishment at Portland. Gordon Lonsdale was also working near there at the time. In 1961 he got a BSc in physics from UCL and soon got a job with Hawker aircraft in Kingston where he worked on the vertical take off plane P1154 (later cancelled by the government in 1964). He had got keen on cycling in 1964 and when he moved from Hawkers to S.Davall in Greenford (working on an early aircraft crash recorder) he cycled to Greenford and back partly along the canal. He got fed up with the cycling and when he saw an advert for Plesseys in Poole he was interviewed and took the job. He took digs at no 10 Upper Golf Links Lane, Broadstone and went to work on a motor bike. He worked on electronic equipment for the new Severn bridge. After a time he moved to a different department, Memories, and subsequently in 1972 to 1990 with Nucleonics (later Environmental Systems) which dealt with equipment for nuclear submarines, and work on Trident detecting a low-level SCRAM. John came up with a novel idea which was adopted. Tim Berners Lee who founded the world wide web was also at Plesseys at this time. Later he met an affable gentleman Keith Norman of a similar age at badminton and shared his bungalow, 29 Sutherland Avenue, Broadstone, where he still lives. John started a squash club at The Arndale Centre in Poole, called Poole Squash Club. He averaged well over 100 matches a year for 30 years. He was captain of the Poole squash club playing at number 5, and for a year was secretary of the Dorset Squash Association. His life revolved around squash, cycling and work. In 1968 John and I bought 29 Sutherland Avenue for £5,000 (£2,500 each). Subsequently John bought my share. John had cycle holidays on the continent with Harry Hartland and driving holidays with Peter Key. In 1970 John climbed Mt Kenya. John retired in 1990 on his 50th birthday and the next day went to Albania. Not long after, he completed the circuit of Ireland (which he had not completed with me in 1961 because I gave up) by himself. In 1992 he cycled across America from the Pacific Ocean in Oregon to the Atlantic Ocean in Virginia. He travelled with a retired policeman, Peter. In 1994 he cycled across America a second time, this time with Mick, from San Diego to Florida. In 1994 he worked out he had cycled the circumference of the earth 24,000 miles,all cycle touring. John started the research for his website in 1996, transferring Parish Records 1600-1900 to database, and in 1998 he started the Wirksworth website. Then he started work on the Wirksworth census (1841-1901) from 1999 to 2003. He continued expanding the Wirksworth website and is still doing that in 2015. It has over 500,000 records and he has had over 2 million responses. He has nearly 3,000 web pages on the Wirksworth website. It is probably the largest One-Place-Study geneology website in the world. John started the www.eyemead.com website in 2003 and it encompasses 69 individual websites including Bearmead, Retford Grammar, Dad, holidays etc. His websites are undoubtedly the pinnacle of his life's achievements. The 25 acres Bearmead was bought in 2002. John has grown 250 oaktrees on his 7.5 acres. He got the acorns from the Major Oak in Sherwood Forest in 2000, and grew them in flower pots in the back garden of 29 Sutherland Avenue until we bought the 25 acres at an auction in Blandford Forum in November 2002, when he planted them in his 7.5 acres as above. He has turned the 25 acres into a nature reserve with lots of help from Rosie. We bought the shepherds hut in 2007 from Larry Skeats for £3,750, and put it next to the River Stour in field 1 (on the only part of the 25 acres that never floods). John and Rosie had five holidays in the Outer Hebrides in the early part of the new millennium. I joined him in 2004. Towards the end of my week there he held up his left hand and asked me if I had noticed anything. I said he had a ring that I hadn't noticed before. He then said he and Rosie, unbeknown to me, had got married just before he came up to Scotland. Now in November 2015 anno domini is catching up with John (also with me) but his intellect remains excellent. Rosie is in good health and has clearly been cured of the health scare and operation of many years ago in Poole Hospital.
LIFE CHANGING EVENTS ----- "mighty oaks from little acorns grow"
1940 Survived very difficult birth, health affected ---- HEALTH PROBLEMS
1946 Moved from Twickenham to Worksop to live with Uncle Frank and Aunt Win ----- BETTER LIFESTYLE
1949 Richard Allsopp called - could he watch "Railway Children" on TV ----- SPOTTING
1950 Worksop Market stall - bought a Sci-Fi mag - got interested in Science ----- SCIENCE
1954 Worksop Library - took out "Dialectical Materialism - realised religion baloney ----- ATHEISM
1957 School Squash Courts built - wasn't chosen to put on display ------ SQUASH
1958 Left macintosh at ULU sports ground - cycled there on RJP's bike ----- CYCLING
1959 Cycled in Wales with John Mounsey, stayed at Youth Hostels ---- CYCLE TOURING
1960 Got a 6 week vacation job at Portland - discovered Dorset ------ DORSET
1968 Keith Norman asked if interested in sharing his bungalow ---- BROADSTONE BUNGALOW
1968 Uncle Frank died and left me money and income ----- CAPITAL
1973 Mum persuaded me to pay off my mortgage ---- NO MORTGAGE
1976 Put Advert in YHA mag for cycle touring buddy - first met Rosie ----- ROSIE
1988 Realised I could afford to retire early while still fit ----- EARLY RETIREMENT
1991 Met American in Ireland who had cycled across USA ----- XAMERICA
1995 Alan Housden got a website - I started planning mine ----- WIRKWORTH.org.uk
1996 Raasay - saw acorns growing in a back garden ----- OAK PLANTATION
2002 Saw 27 acres of farmland for sale in Advertiser, bought it with RJP ----- BEAR MEAD
2003 Dorset Archives - found old maps showing Old Mill Stream ----- CORFE MULLEN MILL
2004 Planted 250 oak trees in Bear Mead ----- OAKWOOD PLANTATION
2011 Back started hurting - spread of osteoarthritis ------ UNABLE to WALK



Valerie was born on 31st March 1950 in Khartoum in Sudan. Her parents were both missionaries there. Her father Norman Nunn, was originally from London, England and was a chartered accountant. He had emigrated to Australia with his family when he was 14 years old. Her mother Matilda Prenter was born in Tasmania. They met and married in the Sudan. Valerie has an older sister Gwen who is married and lives in Lyminge, Kent; a younger sister Barbara sadly died of breast cancer in her late 40’s. Valerie first went to mission school in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia where she picked up her American accent. Later she was a boarder at Clarendon School in North Wales where she played for the school hockey team.

She left Clarendon when she was 17 and did a secretarial course in London for a year.

In 1969 she went to The Royal West Sussex Hospital, Chichester, West Sussex for her nursing training which she completed in 1972. Those were very happy years and long lasting friendships made. Valerie worked briefly in Khartoum after she qualified.

In December 1974 she married me; we had met in early 1972 when I was working for Mr Lynn Evans at St Richards, Chichester. We were married in Broadstone, Dorset. We lived for a year from early 1975 in Laundry Road, Southampton, and then as per my autobiography we were in Montreal, back to Southampton, then Victoria BC, Shrewsbury MA USA, Aberystwyth and Rowlands Castle. Susannah came along in 1975 in Southampton, Carla in 1977 in Montreal, and Youngest Daughter in 1983 in Worcester MA USA.

Eventually in 1990 we returned to Aberystwyth in West Wales for nearly 3 years and finally to Rowlands Castle in 1993.

From 1975 to 1990 Valerie spent most of her time raising our three daughters with a little help from me,

In 1990 she did a Return to Nursing Course and worked for two years as a Community nurse in Tregaron in mid Wales. When we moved to Rowlands Castle she continued to work, chiefly in the Midhurst area, where she joined an excellent team of Community nurses for 11 years and specialised in wound care.

She has always been very involved in the local churches where we have lived and with social justice and environmental issues. Her other interests are walking, mosaics, pilates, gardening, some cycling and trips away often with girlfriends. Out of necessity she has also always been very busy on the upkeep of the houses we have lived in. She has also been an excellent wife and mother and is now heavily involved with her 6, soon to be 7 (in May 2016), grandchildren.

From Worksop Guardian for 3 Dec 1915.
"It is our duty to chronicle this week the deaths in action of two members of a Worksop family, two brothers, Bombardier Harry Hibbard, RFA, of Woodend, Worksop and Pte Tom Hibbard, 15798, of the 9th Batt of the South Staffordshire Regiment, Pioneers, formerly of Lincoln Street, Worksop. They were both born in Worksop - have lived in the town all their lives - being sons of the late Mr and Mrs George Hibbard, of 9 Frederick Street, Worksop, and brothers of Mrs Fred Webster, Woodend, Mrs H Palmer, of the Woodhouse Hotel, Woodend, and Mrs D Appleby, of Sandy Lane, Worksop, widow of the late Mr D Appleby, JP. The gallant soldiers were well known and highly respected in Worksop, and their many friends will learn of their deaths with sincere and heartfelt sympathy."
1894 to 1914.
"The first to be killed was Bombardier Harry HIBBARD, who some months ago was reported missing. The relatives feared that he had paid the supreme sacrifice, and now it is beyond doubt that he was killed at La Bassee, apparantly in October 1914! This news is conveyed by Pte E Riff, 73224, 11th Battery, RFA, to whom Mrs Fred Webster wrote for information. He was attached to the same Battery as Harry, and writing from the Red Cross Hospital at Netley, Southampton, says "Harry was killed at La Bassee when the guns were taken. We had a very warm time of it at Mons. We lost a large number of men, but we killed hundreds of Germans, who had a hot time." Bombardier Hibbard was a regular soldier when war was declared, and of course was fully trained. He was among the very first to be landed in France, to strike a blow for dear old England, and for the cause of civilisation. He was only 23 years of age, and unmarried. An officer's servant, he was promoted to Bombardier soon after the outbreak of hostilities. He formerly lived with his sister at Woodend."
1887 to 1915.
"Pte Tom HIBBARD was killed on November 18, 1915, in France. A miner, he was working at the Manton Colliery of the Wigan Coal and Iron Company when Lord Kitchener appealed for men, and he answered the urgent call promptly. He enlisted in September 1914 in the South Staffordshire Regiment, Pioneers, and was attached to the Machine Gun Section. He had only been in France three months. It appears he was wounded in the leg on the morning of November 18th, and although everyone thought he would recover, he succombed to his injuries in the afternoon of the same day.
Some years ago, Tom married Miss Emily Keywood, of Steetley, whom he leaves with five young children, the eldest of whom has not yet seen seven summers. Up to the time of enlisting he lived with his family in Lincoln Street, Worksop, but Mrs Hibbard recently removed to 18, Woodend, Worksop."

Extracts from CENSUS

1851 Census for 

1861 Census for Broad Lane, Worksop
Thomas    STUBBINGS Head  Marr   M  51  1810  Gamekeeper            Bothamsall, Nottinghamshire
Elizabeth STUBBINGS Wife  Marr   F  48  1813  Gamekeeper Wife       Worksop,    Nottinghamshire
William   STUBBINGS Son   Unmar  M  24  1837  Gardeners Labourer    Worksop,    Nottinghamshire
Joseph    STUBBINGS Son   Unmar  M  20  1841  Gardeners Labourer    Worksop,    Nottinghamshire
Mary      STUBBINGS Dau   Unmar  F  18  1843  Gamekeepers Daughter  Worksop,    Nottinghamshire
Thomas    STUBBINGS Son   Unmar  M  15  1846  Agricultural Labourer Worksop,    Nottinghamshire
Elizabeth STUBBINGS Dau   -      F  12  1849  Gamekeepers Daughter  Worksop,    Nottinghamshire
Alice     STUBBINGS Dau   -      F   8  1853  Gamekeepers Daughter  Worksop,    Nottinghamshire
Henry     STUBBINGS Son   -      M   3  1858  Gamekeepers Son       Worksop,    Nottinghamshire
Ann       WHITTAKER Visitor  -   F   3  1858  -                     Worksop,    Nottinghamshire
1871 Census for Beaver Place, Rybon Villa, Worksop
Harriot  HANCOCK    Head     -  F  50  1821  -  Nottinghamshire
Annie    FRANKLIN   Niece    -  F  30  1841  -  Nottinghamshire
Ann      WHITTAKER  Servant  -  F  14  1857  -  Nottinghamshire
Marriage Dec 1874
George HIBBARD and Ann WHITAKER at Worksop
1881 Census for 13 Crown Terrace, Worksop
George   HIBBARD   Head    Marr  M  39  1842  Coal Miner  Worksop, Nottinghamshire
Annie    HIBBARD   Wife    Marr  F  23  1858  -           Worksop, Nottinghamshire
Helen    WHITTAKER StepDau Sing  F   7  1874  Scholar     Worksop, Nottinghamshire
Mary     HIBBARD   Dau     Sing  F   5  1876  -           Worksop, Nottinghamshire
Sarah A  HIBBARD   Dau     Sing  F   3  1878  -           Worksop, Nottinghamshire
George   HIBBARD   Son     Sing  M   0  1881
1891 Census for

1901 Census for 9 Frederick Street, Worksop
George    HIBBARD  Head  Marr  M  59  1842  Furnace Stoker            Worksop, Notts
                                            In Coal Mine (Below Grd)
Annie     HIBBARD  Wife  Marr  F  42  1859  -                         Worksop, Notts
George    HIBBARD  Son   Sing  M  20  1881  Labourer (Malting)        Worksop, Notts
Benjamin  HIBBARD  Son   Sing  M  17  1884  Coal Miner                Worksop, Notts
                                            (Trammer) Below Ground
Tom       HIBBARD  Son   Sing  M  14  1887  Pony Dr                   Worksop, Notts
                                            In Coal Mine (Below Ground)
Alice E   HIBBARD  Dau   -     F  12  1889  -                         Worksop, Notts
Charles   HIBBARD  Son   -     M   9  1892  -                         Worksop, Notts
Henry     HIBBARD  Son   -     M   7  1894  -                         Worksop, Notts
Florence  HIBBARD  Dau   -     F   4  1897  -                         Worksop, Notts
Leonard   HIBBARD  Son   -     M   2  1899  -                         Worksop, Notts
1901 Census for Holme Carr, Shire Oaks, Worksop
William H  PALMER  Head  Marr  M  30  1871  Coal Miner (Hewer)  Glapthorne, Northamptonshire
Mary       PALMER  Wife  Marr  F  25  1876  -                   Worksop, Nottinghamshire
George W   PALMER  Son   -     M   1  1900  -                   Worksop, Nottinghamshire
Death Dec 1907
George HIBBARD aged 66 at Worksop
Death Mar 1911
Annie HIBBARD aged 54 at Worksop
1911 Census for Woodhouse Inn, Worksop
William Henry    PALMER   Head    Marr  M  42  1869  Licensed Victualler       Northants Glapthorne
Mary             PALMER   Wife    Marr  F  35  1876  Assisting In Business     Notts Worksop
George Wilfred   PALMER   Son     -     M  11  1900  -                         Notts Worksop
Rose Winifred    PALMER   Dau     -     F   8  1903  -                         Notts Worksop
Charles Bernard  PALMER   Son     -     M   5  1906  -                         Notts Worksop
Gertrude Annie   PALMER   Dau     -     F   2  1909  -                         Notts Worksop
Richard Leonard  HIBBARD  Bro IL  -     M  12  1899  -                         Notts Worksop
Rose             ALLISON  Serv IL Sing  F  16  1895  Domestic Servant General  Notts Worksop
1911 Census for 9 Low Grounds, Worksop
Frederick  WEBSTER  Head   Marr  M  22  1889  Collery Lamp Man  Worksop Notts
                                              Above Ground
Alice      WEBSTER  Wife   Marr  F  22  1889  -                 Worksop Notts
Henry      HIBBARD  Bro IL Sing  M  17  1894  Joiners Labourer  Worksop Notts
1911 Census for 9 Frederick Street, Worksop
Tom            HIBBARD  Head    Marr  M  24  1887  Coal Miner Hewer     Notts Worksop
Emily          HIBBARD  Wife    Marr  F  23  1888  -                    Notts Worksop
Winifred Mary  HIBBARD  Dau     -     F   2  1909  -                    Notts Worksop
Edith Ann      HIBBARD  Dau     -     F   0  1911  -                    Notts Worksop
George         HIBBARD  Boarder Sing  M  30  1881  Coal Hewer's Filler  Notts Worksop


    John Palmer sent the following email to DERBYSGEN
  1. ------------------------------------
    My brother and I are both over 70. We are the only members of our close family still alive, another 16 are now dead and one is 97 (though she has a good memory). So we three got together, using the phone, email, the internet, old photos, a scanner, the census, FreeBMD and memory to knock up pen-portraits of all 17 members. Its astonishing how we remember different events about the same person. My little brother is doing an Autobiography about his life (but don't think I am bold enough to do mine). There are (at last count) 10 members of our family who are under 40, and not the slightest bit interested in their elders, but we are counting on that changing when we three are gone too. I persuaded my Mum at 82 to write on a card how she met my Dad; this has since become precious in the Family. There are so many things I would want to ask my elders were they still here. So, DO IT NOW before its too late! A perfect example is Gerald WALSH, who wrote his Autobiography at 70, and I have on my website (see http://www.eyemead.com/GW.htm ). I defy any reader to do better, but he had a near-perfect memory at 70. He went to the same school as me, 22 years earlier.
    Regards to all,
    John Palmer, Dorset, England
    Author of Wirksworth website

    ...which brought the following replies:

  2. --------------------
    Rose Kelland wrote:

    Much like WendyE in Florida, I also left the UK when I was ten - why is that the magical age, I know of others around that age who left!! I didn't get to spend anymore Sunday lunches with Grandma and Grandad or be with aunts and uncles and hear their version of the stories my mother told!
    Yes, as someone else said, it's only when you're a 'little older'(!) that you take an interest in your past and by then it's already too late. So I am grateful for the little things I heard from Mum, like her being a 'Pink Domino' - a Matlock Methodist drama group ( I think PD's origins are a little more shady than the Methodists would portray!) - and how the British Newspaper Archive.com has confirmed some of the stories!
    I think I've mentioned before that when Mum turned 70 we gave her a lever arch file, a new pen and a pad of paper to write down her life story and it's been a treasured possession - and much edited - over the last 20 years (She turns 95 this November!) And lately she's been asking ME, if I've started on MY life story! Probably because I'm now a granny, it's the time to start, before I forget! I did start writing it down. It's currently at 115 pages and is about 15 years behind in time!
    Today someone said that after sorting through her recently deceased mother's cottage, she'd found her handwritten diaries. She remembers how her mother would sit and 'scribble' after a day out on holiday and now she's looking forward to reading them. That's another way of recording life - good and bad no doubt!

  3. -----------------------------------------
    Celia Renshaw wrote:

    I've missed most of the "Do it now" discussion because I've been away up north in Newcastle-Gateshead and Edinburgh-Glasgow but nothing could be more truly said than "talk to relatives while you can"! While on this trip, I met up with a first cousin I hadn't seen or spoken to for over 30 years and in the course of our non-stop discussions, she asked me if I knew anything about my dad's sister Christine...
    Now to say I was pole-axed is putting it mildly. My dad died when I was 16 but I thought I knew everything about his and his parents' families. He had an adopted sister named Margaret, 2 brothers - no sister Christine. But now I've checked Scottish records I've found her, an out-of-wedlock child for my Scottish grandmother, five years before she married my grandad. Of course, in those days it was all hushed-up, but luckily my cousin had a curious nature and she listened in on her mother's chats with relatives.
    So - if I hadn't taken the plunge and contacted my cousin, I would never have known about my one and only blood-related aunt. Now I'm on the hunt for possible cousins in Canada, where we think she went. I know this isn't a Derbyshire family (unless Christine moved here of course) but I couldn't hold back this astonishing info as a contribution to "Do it now!"
    Celia Renshaw
    in Chesterfield, Derbys

  4. --------------------
    Wendy E wrote:

    All the comments on this topic bring to mind an oft quoted phrase concerning family history research: [no matter when you start] "It's already too late!" Which speaks to the idea that there is always going to be a question you wish you'd asked of someone when either they were alive to possibly answer it, or were young enough so they might remember an answer. Of course there is always the question of accuracy even if one does get answers. :D
    I do think one gets more interested in family history as one ages. There are so many things I wish I'd known to ask about when I was a child. I left the UK at ten and had little to no opportunity to overhear family conversations about this or that relative. Because of that lack I try to tell my granddaughter stories about when I was young and yes, things were very different. Thank goodness for the computer age, I'm reconnected to my UK family.
    I started researching in my 50's, early enough to talk to my UK Aunt's (while visiting). One if whom fortuitously owned a family bible (with a wealth of family B's,D's &M's written into it) an excellent memory, and an otherwise pretty good store of knowledge. She was related to me by marriage and blood. Despite a few long and fruitful sessions with her there are many things I didn't know to ask until I'd done more research. Unfortunately she had already died before I got through most of the long list of names and connections she was able to pass along to me. I'm very grateful I asked when I did, otherwise I wouldn't even know what I do.
    Another Aunt was inspired to write her own life story and do research after I started asking her about her parents, etc. several more distant relatives also dug up information on their own lines. I found some very interesting correspondence from a distant and dead Uncle of my Dad's to his daughter, he'd moved to the US just prior to WW2. Bits and bobs of all sorts of things started poking their head up after I started asking everyone in the family questions.
    In my husbands side which quickly ends up in Russia as we go back more and more information has been unearthed in Russia by interested parties -- much funded by private US money -- been made accessible and been put online as time has gone by.
    Most exciting has been the connections made to live and distant, and some heretofore unknown, family members for both my husband and I. Current family over the oceans have been stirred to take a look at the past. We have all benefitted from sharing answers and bonding while doing so. The latter result is something I'm particularly happy about since I'm the oldest cousin and moving away I lost the chance to know them as children and I'm still geographically disconnected from the bulk of my extended family.
    (Colorado and Florida, USA)

  5. ---------------------------
    Do it now - a great idea, it's later than you think!
    I started researching my late husband's and my own families back in '97 and have just finished sending off in narrative form all my research on my husband's paternal families - including transcripts of Wills, Obligations, scanned maps, and photographs - 168 pages of it via dropbox to all interested family members. I am just sad that I didn't get it finished before my husband of 53 years, his two sisters in law, a niece and three cousins passed away - all within the last two years.
    As John so rightly said - Do it now!!!
    Best wishes
    Cynthia Kimpton
    New Zealand
  6. ---------------------------
    My kids asked me to write down the stories I would tell them of being brought up during the war years in south Manchester, my various stories of my time in the forces. (It was like a Hollywood action movie) Consequently over the years I have quite a folder of different memories stored in a disk, a desk top storage unit and in my computer. It allows me to read them and add more details I might remember. But on the other hand there is no pressure to create a book but there is enough to make up several pages.
    In other words make a start writing down one memory, either yours or something you were told by a parent. It may only be pieces of a memory but its surprising what comes back as you write.
    I my case , I only had my mom who did not know her father, a grandmother (Moms mom) who gave her away at two years of age. One grandmother (My dads mother) whose husband left her during the great depression with two sons. But in a number of trees I am researching back in the 1700's. I found out my mothers fathers name and he was a solder in the 1st world war and I think as the term goes, he was rather quick on his bike. On my dads side I find the family name was changed from Fitzmorris/Fitzmaurice to Morris by my Irish catholic gg-grandparents. (I did not know any of this).
    Its a great hobby, its like doing police /detective work, but boy what a rush when you come across a clue and the answer.
    Many thanks to all the friends on the Derbyshire list who have helped me with my SPENCER research.
    All my best in your own search.
    Mike Morris
    Toronto Canada
  7. ---------------------------
    Dear John,
    I just want to say that I've enjoyed reading this post as well as many others from you, and you are never anything but inspiring. Thank you for this extra bit of motivation!
    Carolyn Hastings
    Clinton, MA and sometimes Norfolk, VA
  8. -----------------------------
    I first started my tree in the 80’s and thank goodness I did. My aunt (mum’s sister) in Matlock was still alive and a wealth of information and family lore. Much of it I have been able to prove since. It was in the days before the internet and my only source here was the local Latter Day Saints library so things were a lot harder to prove. I also started my dad’s tree at the same time, and the only thing I had to go on was his burial card. I contacted the cemetery with the plot number and they put me in touch with one of his sisters who had arranged the last funeral to be held in that family plot. I have since been reunited with family I didn’t know I had!
    Like others, my children have no interest in their history but I am hopeful they may develop an interest later. In the meantime, my son in law has taken all my family documents and photos and stored them on his computer. He seems to have more interest in genealogy than my daughters. I have started to write a biography but I still have a long way to go. But I agree with everyone else – do it now before it’s too late!
    Anne in Hamilton, Ontario
  9. -----------------------------
    A good place to start is with a timeline - or just one large sheet of paper to brainstorm your thoughts and note them down as they tumble out. A roll of wallpaper's good + a thick felt-tip pen. Be bold. One thought leads to another and you can sort them out and expand on them later into something written.
    If you are stuck you may find this website useful. http://www.lifetimememoriesandstories.com/ebooks/WritingAnAutobiography.pdf
    There are a number of commercial websites which I won't bother you with - but you could Google them as they may give you other starting ideas. Just don't part with any cash.
    If there are any oral history projects in progress in your area maybe you could join in - or start a new one.
    Hope this helps.
  10. ---------------------------------
    Timely advice, John. Thank you. In 2009, I sent my brother and sister, and the nine cousins to whom it was relevant, a CD with an account of what I had found out about the history of my POUNTAIN (Derbyshire) and WARING (Cornwall, later Derbyshire) families - that is to say, my father's ancestors. I stopped short at my father and his siblings, plus all their spouses, with the intention that each recipient could take the narrative further, if he or she so wished. There were certain irregularities on some of their lines which they might not have wanted me to record. :o) I am in the process of doing the same for my mother's ancestors, COX (Somerset, later Derbyshire) and STOKES (Worcestershire, later Derbyshire). The big snag is that no sooner than you think you've more or less finished the task, another tantalising tale raises its head. However, I began all this so late that I could only include scraps of remembered detail. I've included things people told me, such as the fact that my father's eldest cousin, Archie, was taken on a trip by his grandmother, from Chesterfield to Stoke Climsland in Cornwall, to visit 'The Great Grandfather.' In a letter to me from Archie's wife after his death, she said he told her they had a dinner of pork and all the trimmings in Plymouth then went up the river [Tamar] and were taken by a farm cart to the Great Grand Father who was then 92. When I met Archie in the 1950s, I didn't know that I was meeting someone who had met my 2GGF! So all the really historic stuff is wonderful and addictive, but recording the memories, in their own words, of family members, is a chance so easy to miss. As you say, DO IT NOW.
    Kind regards
  11. --------------------------------
    Trying writing your story in the third person. It's easier when things happen to other people and you're the observer :)
    Charani (UK)
    OPC for Walton, Ashcott, Shapwick,
    Greinton and Clutton, SOM
  12. --------------------------------
    I am writing my family history for my two children although they are not at all interested. (Both approaching 40.) Like you, I think they will when I'm gone as I'm the last of my lot being an only child... At least it gives me something to do and keeps my mind active in my dotage. I'm not very good at retelling my own life though!
    Jane In Redcar

Conceived, written and copyright © 2014, Robert PALMER, All Rights Reserved.

Compiled, formatted, hyperlinked, and hand-coded 2014 by John PALMER, .