If the best family histories should be "rich in detail", my mother's Danson family fit the bill, and has been a source of many blog posts. I grew up with my mother's relatives and regard Poulton-le-Fylde, Lancashire as my spiritual home. Also the collection of old photographs at my grandfather's house was a great stimulus to finding out more about the people who featured in them.
|Alice with Edith, Kathleen, |
Harry & baby Billy,
one daughter of James Danson and Maria Rawcliffe of Poulton-le-Fylde, Lancashire. In 1907 as a 22 year old labourer, he married Alice English and then went on to have six children - Edith, Kathleen (my mother), George (who only survived six weeks), Harry, Billy and after the First World War Peggy.
During the First World War Grandad fought at the Battleof Passchendaale and won the Military Medal at Givenchy. He sent back from Flanders a wonderful collection of postcards that remain among my family treasures and feature on many of my blog postings.
Like many of those who had experienced the horrors of the First World War, he would never talk about this time. He lost two brothers during the war - John and George.
In 1924 the family moved from a small terraced house in the centre of Poulton to a new 3 bedroomed semi-detached house, bought on the deposit of £67 - I have the receipt. It looks quite big, but, with only three small bedrooms, it must have still been a squash for parents, 3 daughters and two sons. The front door had a round stained glass window which I thought was very posh.
|Alice English - could this be a wedding photo, |
given she is wearing a corsage?
Was she born in Manchester or Bolton? There were stories that her mother had been a matron, with some Irish connections; that Alice was orphaned and her uncle went off to America with her money and never called on her to join him, as arranged.
It would have been lovely to have known my grandmother Alice, as my mother and aunt Edith spoke so well of her. Her home became my second home as we were frequent callers there to see Granddad until we moved across country with my father's work. It remained the family home for over 70 years, lived in by my unmarried aunt and uncle until their deaths in 2001. My mother's Danson family played an important part of my own life and I am very grateful for that close link.
|William and Alice, c.1916 |
My grandmother Alice, with her three daughters
Edith, Peggy and Kathleen (my mother), c 1940
|My grandparents (centre) William, Alice with their children|
Edith, Peggy, Harry and Kathleen
with youngest son Billy missing from the family group c.1940