The story page six.
Iris, now that the saddest few hours of her life have been told, went on with Ethel’s earlier life.
“Alan, you probably don’t know this. Mum, as a beautiful young girl, had an affair with a soldier and had a child, she was sixteen. The child was adopted.
“She worked in Bleriot’s factory in Addlestone, next to Lang’s Propeller Works, where she met Charlie.
“Two years later they were married. They soon started a family and moved into a new council house in Chertsey, on the same day as Mrs Salmon’s family, they became our best friends.
Iris carries on with the story of the years after losing her father that she remembers so clearly.
“For the family, the next few months are not without some problems, although the living arrangements for the children are working fine. Mum, losing the baby is a terrible blow, she becomes very depressed.
“All the rest of us accepted our lot, as children do in these circumstances, Don and you are now living permanently with Mrs. Salmon. Bernard and Chris are very pleased to be only next door with Mrs Leigh and her daughter ‘Belvie’.
“We were very lucky to be a ‘good cause’ for a rich lady. Miss Chase, who lives in ‘The Grange’. She keeps an eye on us, and the larder full. We are often taken for a ride in her Roll Royce shooting brake, we love waving to all our friends.
“Deirdre is now working at a woollens shop, and helping with the cost of things.
“We take in a lodger, Fred Barker, he comes from Yorkshire, his money really helps and at last things are looking up, that is, until the ‘Poor-aid’ ladies found out about Fred, and stopped the little payments they have been making.
Iris looks over her glasses.
“I never really liked Fred, he was very familiar with Mum.”
In this, Iris was right, they become partners.
For my part, he is great, he is very handsome, he has thick, dark curly hair, with grey bits in it and very blue eyes.
He must have been some man to have taken on a broken family of six young kids. I never called him Dad—it was always Fred or his nick-name, Yorkie.
He was a brilliant cook, and knew lots of tricks and jokes, he sometimes made me laugh till I ached.
I can remember the excitement in December 1937, when my Mum gave birth to a son.
David Peter Weguelin—despite being Fred’s baby, his legal surname had to be the mothers name Weguelin, he was a true Weguelin as far as we were concerned.
David’s early childhood was dogged with illness, he spent some time in hospital.
A few years later it was turned out to be TB in his leg, we were all tested and Fred was also found to have the disease.
Both Fred and David were sent to TB hospitals, for several weeks at a time,
Once again money was becoming a problem.
David fully recovered and grew up to be the mirror image of his father, with the same sense of humour, generosity and, unfortunately the love of gambling.
Fred, although still ill, managed to carry on working for several years, with just a week off now and again for treatment in Milford Hospital.
He was a real tough Yorkshire man.