This is the continuing story about Alice and Arthur (click on photographs to enlarge) Alice, one of my Dads sisters who was born in 1905 in Pasley Road, Newington, London. The seventh child of Kate and Daniel, she was just over two years younger than my Dad, and they were always very close. When she and Arthur decided to marry Dad was really pleased as Arthur was his very best friend, they were both in the Duke of Cornwalls Light Infantry together.
Arthurs family came from Chardstock in Devon although he was born in London.
Alice and Arthur married in Middlesex in 1931 when Arthur and Dad were home on leave from India.
After the wedding Alice travelled to India to live.
Alice was expecting when this picture was taken…
In 1933 they had a daughter, born in India
They lived a wonderful life out there by all accounts, Alice having servants to cook and clean for her, I think she was rather spoilt.
In the late 30’s they came back to England, Alice was glad to be near her family as the war began, her and her daughter moved into a flat in Burns Avenue, Southall, very close to her sisters and not too far from her parents.
The good times were over for everyone for a while.
My Dad and Arthur were split in their work, my Dad was chosen as an instructor here in England and Arthur to go off with his battalion to fight in France.
At the beginning of March 1940 Alice received this……………………
Her daughter was 6, she ran to her nearest sister just along the road in Carlyle Avenue and dropped her daughter off, then went to her Mums………….I cannot even begin to imagine what her and other wives, mothers and families went through when they got these sort of telegrams during the wars, and sadly still today for families of the military.
This letter of confirmation was received soon after…..
This below is the report of his death in the newspaper of the time, my Dad always kept it.
Unknown to him in death, he saved someone else’s life. He was I am told one of the first British soldiers to die in battle there during WW2.
Alice never married again, she never wanted to…………during the war, she got a job delivering milk to support her and her daughter, riding her pushbike to the depot early every morning and pushing a large handcart around the streets delivering the milk, thankfully living so near her family they both had loads of support.
My Dad never did have another ‘best friend’ He told me once that they come along in your life very rarely and he was so glad to have known Arthur for the time that they were close, and some people never have a true ‘best friend’ in their whole life.
Dad & Arthur together in India.
He always looked out for Alice and her daughter till she was grown up, often taking them on outings to the cinema etc whenever he was on leave.
Thankfully Arthur was at least given a proper burial, so many of the military were ‘missing’ there must have been some comfort there at the time, in 1948 she received this letter
and then in 1949 the next with Photograph.
This photograph was taken by some of Arthur’s family when they visited the grave at Choloy cemetery in the 1960’s.
It is a place that Alice never wanted to go to, my Dad never visited either.
I don’t know why………I am hoping to visit when we go touring France next spring in the Motorhome.
Arthurs legacy does live on though……..his daughter had 3 sons and 2 daughters and they have had 11 children between them and there are also 2 little ones in the next generation.
Alice lived to the age of 91, spending her last few years with her daughter and family, I am very close to her daughter and in regular contact by letter and telephone.
Alice was one of my Godmothers and I always remember her as being full of fun, a lovely Aunt to have, I wish I had got the chance to know Uncle Arthur too.
There is a strange note to this story concerning Alice, she was born on the 19th January 1905 but when her Dad went to register her birth he made a mistake, and on her Birth certificate it says Born 26th January………….she died on the 26th January 1996………Now isn’t that a strange thing.
Till next time then……………………………………