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 Only a Servant Chapter 1 Fourth of Ten Children (Part 2)

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Tim of Aclea
Triumviratus Rei Publicae Constituendae
Tim of Aclea

Posts : 510
Join date : 2011-12-31

Only a Servant Chapter 1 Fourth of Ten Children (Part 2) Empty
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PostOnly a Servant Chapter 1 Fourth of Ten Children (Part 2)

On 4th December 1915 I was born at The Cottage, Windsor Road, Bray, Berkshire (near Maidenhead); despite being christened John, my family always called me Jack. My father was then a poultry man (domestic). On 10th January 1918 our poor mother had twins – Leslie and Gilmore at another home, Holyport Village, halfway between Maidenhead and Windsor. My Auntie Beat, she was married to Robert Whittle (Uncle Bert) used to tell the story of our father sending a telegram to her “Rose is having twins – come immediately”. Auntie Beat found mother overwrought and she spent two weeks just facing the wall. Apparently Auntie Beat saw father skulking around and told him to “go out and shoot something for supper, preferably yourself!” Much later, she also told one of my daughters that, although she was married, she had no idea how babies were actually born up until then. Auntie Beat had to get me on the bottle and I was a “sod”; and yelled and yelled, according to her. She and Uncle Bert had just one child, a girl called Evelyn.

Our mother kept the twins in a tea chest and from time to time they would be given a crust with lard and sugar, they seemed to me like rabbits. The twins, I believe were born after seven months and were not identical twins, Leslie had dark hair and Gilmore fair; they talked to each other in their own language. Each evening mother would wash the tea chest and put it out in the garden to dry. One day Leslie found he could get his leg out of the chest and father had to put up a bar by the door so that mother could open the door on a hot day for some fresh air.

Before the end of the War, our parents and six children moved to Tangier Park Lodge, Wootton St. Lawrence, Basingstoke, Hampshire where he became a gardener for a Colonel and Mrs Blane. It was quite a nice estate with a small village life. During the winter of 1918-19 our father was very ill with Spanish influenza and the cook from the main house used to come down with some broth for him. Father had a stick and he constantly seemed to be banging with it to get mother’s attention.


The War ended on 11th November 1918 and the Treaty of Versailles was signed with Germany on 29th June 1919. Soon after the War, we had white bread for the first time since 1914. Father said “mother it is lovely, it is like cake, it is cake!” I thought to myself, “you fool, bread is bread and cake is cake”. To celebrate the end of the war, there took place at Tangier Park in June 1919 a sort of fete with a big tent and the whole of the village seemed to be there and I vaguely remember a big tea with lots of current cake, jellies and orange juice for the children. We were told to be on our best behaviour which I found very difficult. Of course quite a few women were widows as a result of the War and many of them were still wearing black, but everyone was given a medal and seemed very happy. Since we lived in the Lodge, we saw everyone coming and going. I remember the ladies with hats with artificial fruit and they fixed their hats to their head with big pins. Many had long boots, not shoes, and their clothes were down to their feet. Looking back on life, I suppose they were over-clothed. I remember that when a lady wanted to go to the toilet, she used to say “I must take my hat off.”

Sometimes we would go and look around the ‘big garden’ at Tangier Park. Since the Colonel was becoming senile they had a nurse to look after him. Sometimes the Colonel would run our in his night shirt and father or other members of staff had to get him back. At lunchtime father would tell mother of the efforts to jolly the ‘old gent’ to come home. In the house at Tangier Park was Mr Hoar the butler, Mrs Hoar the cook and either two or three young maids who always seemed to be very clean and smart.

The outside staff consisted of father, Mr Dix who was the head gardener, Mr Ellis, Arthur, the garden boy, and Mr Blackburn the chauffeur. I believe Mr Blackburn also had to ‘make’ electricity from a generator. I think that Mrs Blackburn used to help him out in the house. Mr and Mrs Blackburn lived above the garage at the back of the house. Father would talk about Mr B or Mr D or Mrs B ‘up yonder’ – the big house, or ‘down yonder’ the village. Arthur the garden boy would come from time to time for an order of vegetables from the garden and he would come back with the order. Father would shoot rabbits and at tea time, about 5:30-6:00pm, we often had rabbit with vegetables and rice pudding or porridge pudding and a cup of weak tea.
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Only a Servant Chapter 1 Fourth of Ten Children (Part 2) :: Comments

Hi Tim,

I am making a big effort and trying to read your blogs properly and then Nordmann's story. Fascinating little bits in this, especially for me about the twins' birth. Hard to believe your aunt knew so little about birth - though I do remember when I was pregnant with my first child, seeing a baby who I decided must have been very premature but when I talked to the mother he was two months old and about 8lbs at birth. So I suppose expecting Victorian women to have been told a lot is expecting too much (she can't presumably have been a member of a large family though, or at least not an older member of one).

I think perhaps your father's early memories may lack some extra bits - even during the war the little ones surely ate more than bread and lard. I suppose to a three-year-old their eating habits might resemble rabbits. But I'm fairly certain that at three he not have been thinking of his father with "You fool". He might have puzzled over this or thought it wasn't right, but little ones don't think of their parents as fools.

One of the most famous crimes in the south of NZ was of the only woman here ever executed for murder and she was always accused by the public and folklore of using hatpins to kill babies (I don't think this was the case).

Cheers, Caro.
Tim of Aclea
Re: Only a Servant Chapter 1 Fourth of Ten Children (Part 2)
Post on Thu 10 May 2012, 12:12 by Tim of Aclea
Hi Caro

the story concerning my great aunt, my father's aunt, was given to me by my sister and that is certainly what she said. I 'inbedded' into my father's writings because I thought it was an interesting story.

I agree with you about the bread and the cake. I thought to myself that this does not seem likely. I suspect it is more likely that my grandfather related this to my father when he was a bit older and that was then my father thought that his father was a fool as cake was cake and bread was bread.

regards

Tim
Tim of Aclea
Re: Only a Servant Chapter 1 Fourth of Ten Children (Part 2)
Post on Sat 12 Jan 2019, 13:36 by Tim of Aclea
Alfred and Rosa Whittle

Link which I hope will work to photos of my grandparents Alfred and Rosa Whittle.  The other adult in one of the photos is my great-aunt Beat and the child is Clifford who was their 3rd child.
PaulRyckier
Re: Only a Servant Chapter 1 Fourth of Ten Children (Part 2)
Post on Sat 12 Jan 2019, 19:38 by PaulRyckier
@Tim of Aclea wrote:
Alfred and Rosa Whittle

Link which I hope will work to photos of my grandparents Alfred and Rosa Whittle.  The other adult in one of the photos is my great-aunt Beat and the child is Clifford who was their 3rd child.


Tim, the link works.
What I see are pictures that could have taken from my grandparents from both sides. For me the fashion of that time seems to be international as the "coiffure" of the ladies and the "costumes" of the men...
Only a Servant Chapter 1 Fourth of Ten Children (Part 2) Henricus_johannes_josefus_helleganger_1860_familiefoto__augustus_1920_
Only a Servant Chapter 1 Fourth of Ten Children (Part 2) SqN45wuDqljMDMdQ3o7qhMFrHNAlNRXpGRzPS5BoNmJcl7mpDYh9TBj6gVZlkeIx81AcLylVkD1XW7AuGtjTlcvnLGuvynvqYuTDd7C86bzJhkVG-cEM5izRiJBcMTsyM4Xx5cKlJ_mpCYArGsgnCa14Ra3Wrmx3K4OpSr4FEIYhEd835oFmDlSDLb4sz0mSdVAiZXS8RX_qMqcd93XsQqvGGk6KGz1D1C4corg2amx2QX1pS8q77md4LmhQ8iFGFt-g18eI0uGerMOE_o9ks7CcDKSox-3dquV-Ga9xQmY0UPgDcqX9gZiYNN2DzNKghbes4siKaXJ4wxw4Vla-vUShAvmLH6yDckougdRP53kcHY9Q95yznf4cpYv4rI4ml968yb9nl6pvPkeTdEN9Z2s0KL1pGnLrUSsy-Zdo8wksijcNcv3TdSBbMGYDjKzIk0D9x-Fkur7-eJXLFJ81QDqYs_qf44NhPD0ARXQDVxwM2GE51_C1N1GB5dhkUe9YGz-vexjsOJ8uXLzTe6blqZY8Els8nXBuf9SPoiOp0-1ETHxZiC-Enjcqm8oatdC_iTA1RYT2dE6TFHfnCwqC_rvCL2KvQnq3g_YmvvcyKZCqnzTVEbcFxS8iKEm1anmPEcSnivG3-ZPQnARhIj0N3WRBRkAbBfXGJxxQmXfJxkLDWBpNy_5wi_nn83HXAC6iqH4-_ub3t3Ye=w461-h697-no


In the Sixties, when I was on the Ostend-Dover line for one month the British men's fashion was in my eyes a bit more "modern", extravagant?, American? than ours on first sight and in my opinion...checked (checkered?) trousers...I wonder what MM thinks of this English extravagance in the Sixties?
Only a Servant Chapter 1 Fourth of Ten Children (Part 2) Trsmaepas0_2

But his one is a modern one that you can buy nowadays
Or was it pure coincidence that I saw that many checked trousers on the boat...

Kind regards from Paul.
Tim of Aclea
Re: Only a Servant Chapter 1 Fourth of Ten Children (Part 2)
Post on Thu 24 Jan 2019, 17:39 by Tim of Aclea
Hi Paul

with regards to the clothes, my understanding is that photographers used to keep sets of smart clothes that working class people such as my grandparents could dress up in to have their photos taken in.

regards

Tim
PaulRyckier
Re: Only a Servant Chapter 1 Fourth of Ten Children (Part 2)
Post on Thu 24 Jan 2019, 23:12 by PaulRyckier
@Tim of Aclea wrote:
Hi Paul

with regards to the clothes, my understanding is that photographers used to keep sets of smart clothes that working class people such as my grandparents could dress up in to have their photos taken in.

regards

Tim


Tim, perhaps here too Wink

But on this particular photograph of 1920 I guess it were all their original clothes, as I remember from my childhood (first things in depth from 1948 on) from the clothes most older people wore and even younger ones it was still that fashion...
And there was a war in between...no new clothes till 1944-45...my uncle was a taylor...had to turn the clothes for people inside outside to give them a new look...I think my first "frak" (frock?) was made by my uncle from second hand material...

Kind regards from Paul.
 

Only a Servant Chapter 1 Fourth of Ten Children (Part 2)

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