Tuesday, November 8, 2011

My Mother's Friend

If you've been following for a while, you know that I had been trying to find out more about my mother's experience in England and Wales at the start of World War II. At the time, she was 14 years old and attending the Liverpool Blue Coat School - a boarding school for "orphans and fatherless children." Mom qualified as a "fatherless child", because her father had disappeared. Her mother worked as a governess in the U.S. and sent Mom to England to be cared for by relatives. But she ended up being shuffled around and wound up in boarding school. In September 1939, on the eve of WWII, millions of children were evacuated with their schools from major cities to the "country." Mom was evacuated, with her school, to Beaumaris, Wales.

I've been in touch with Tony from the Blue Coat Brotherly Society, who has been wonderful. He found a woman who remembers my mom! Her name is Carrie and she is 88 years old. She wrote me a letter, saying that Mom was her dear friend. The students had been sent back to Liverpool in 1940, because the expected bombings didn't come that first year of the war. But Mom didn't go back to the school. Instead she returned to the U.S., and her friend Carrie never knew what had happened. I don't know why Mom never got in touch with Carrie after coming home. Carrie said that Mom was the first friend to sign her autograph book, and she sent me the page from that book, with Mom's handwritten note- which Carrie had held onto all these years.

To have found someone who knew my mother back then was what I hoped for, but I didn't expect it to actually happen.I can't wait to write back to Carrie and tell her about Mom's life after she came back to the U.S.

Here are a couple of pictures of Mom from that time in her life. She's 11 or 12 in the picture with the dog. The small portrait photo was probably her passport picture for the return to the U.S. - on the back it says June 1940 and that's when she came back. The third photo is after her return to the U.S. She would have been 15 then.

My WOW BLOG TOUR continues this week with more chances to win a free book. There's a book review today on Jessica Nierad's Dream Hour Blog, and Friday, my post over at Nancy Brown's Capability Mom Blog is about The Benefits of Being a Late Blooming Writer (It's Never to Late!)

Okay, here are pictures of Mom as a young girl:
Mom, around age 11 or 12

June 1940, probably her passport picture for the return to the U.S.

Back in the U.S. 1940

2 comments:

  1. Oh how touching that she saved that page! They must have been good good friends. I am so happy that you were able to find someone that knew her then!
    Blessings, Joanne

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  2. Joanne - I am too! She said she'd looked at it many times over the years, wondering what became of Mom, but that now it was time to pass it on to me. So I've put it in my little book of treasures.

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