Sunday, 22 March 2009

Tribute to My Mother Edith White

Edith Kate, born 16 August 1924 elder daughter of Fred and Alice White.

She and my father, Maurice Hatley met at Vicker’s Aircraft factory during the war. Edith would come over to Maurice’s work bench and chat with him and they became firm friends. When not at the factory they would walk miles around the beautiful parts of Hampshire, along the Rivers, Test and Itchen or on the hills around Winchester. The couple became engaged. When Edith left Vickers, she went to work for the Corbett family in Itchen Abbas as a nanny and companion. Her next job was with the Chandlers Ford family of Doctor Sibley. Edith loved music and was a keen dancer. She could play the piano and the spoons. Their courtship lasted some ten years.

Before their marriage Edith was taken seriously ill and was sent to Kent to stay with her aunts. Working out in the fresh air on the farms and in the hop fields seemed to restore her health. Thought to be TB, but it was never really explained as to why she was ill. When Maurice’s father’s health started to fail Edith helped to nurse him until his death in 1952.

Edith did learn to drive, but had her confidence shattered after an accident with a cyclist and did not drive regularly after that.

After the war when Maurice left the factory he set up his own business, buying and selling government surplus vehicles, he and Edith travel all over the country bringing them back to the yard at Chandler’s Ford.

Once the children came along Edith became a full time Mother to her two children. Then in the early 1960s we began to keep donkeys and, then ponies, followed by cattle. Edith loved having the animals around, and even though she had not handled them before, she was a natural with them. Then we had the dogs and they played a very important roll in her life. When we moved to Devon in the mid 1960s Edith threw her heart and soul into the farm.

Edith was a quiet and calm woman, who had a hard working fiery man for her husband. The business worries all led to difficult times, but Mother saw us through these times with a calmness and serenity.

Looking back she gave me so much to know how to run a home and family, and cope with being married to a self employed man. Her death in 1985 from cancer was devastating to us all. I feel so said that she has not seen my son grow up and enjoy what would have been her two great grandchildren.

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