"There was another incident which had a profound influence on my life. In the early Summer of 1939, when there was a War threatened, and Conscription was beginning to gather boys to the Army, I awoke one night by a torch [flashlight] being flashed onto my face. Catching a glimpse of a white shirt, and then feeling a ‘bump’ underneath my bed, I called out for my Dad to come, ‘There’s a man under my bed!’. It took him a little while to get the message, trying to persuade me that I had had a bad dream. At my persistence he finally, looked under my bed, and sure enough…!
My visitor turned out to be the 17 year old son of a farmer friend, from some miles away, near Canvey Island, who had absconded. He had come for Dad’s help; seen a front window open and climbed in. Not knowing whose room he was in, he had shone his torch onto me to see whose bed it was. He was very sorry for upsetting me, but….. to this day, I am frightened of the dark, and will not go out alone if I can help it. To get into bed, I would take a running leap, in case someone was underneath the bed."Janet found her true love while she was a nurse and he was her patient. They married in 1951. It was a match made in heaven. She describes it this way, "We were as one person, and never exchanged a cross word."
Sadly, their time together was very short. They had one small child and another baby on the way when her husband was killed in an explosion at I.C.I. Powfoot, on 11th February, 1954. "A twisted end of a pipe was packed with explosive, and it went off like a cannon, killing both the worker, and Walter. The explosion was heard for many miles. At the age of 22 years (23 in six weeks time), I was too young for a Widow’s Pension of 10s. per week (50p) which was paid to widows under 60."
How sad is that?
I've learned so much from my cousin and she continues to inspire me and give me advice.
Thank you, Janet.
Just when I think I have nothing left to learn about genealogy, it surprises me again.