This photograph of my maternal grandmother was taken around 1904 in Southsea, Hampshire. I believe she worked as a cook in a 'big house' before her marriage. After marriage women were not expected to work outside the home. I never met her for she died in hospital in great pain of stomach cancer when relatively young. The doctors told my mother that they could not increase the morphine dosage as it would kill her! In those days, the late twenties/early thirties, doctors adhered strictly and not always humanely to the Hippocratic oath. After her death my maternal grandfather, a policeman, went to live with my parents and their young daughter, my sister Beryl.
Here are my mother and her parentsin 1904. She had two older brothers and I wonder why it was not a family portrait? Perhaps they were more expensive. My mother and the younger of her brothers were very close. Indeed, when my father sailed away on a three-year commission in the Royal Navy when Beryl was three weeks old, many people assumed Charlie was my mother's husband as they were so often together with the little girl. It must have been confusing for my father's name was Charles too, though my mother always called him Charles or Char.
My mother said that her parents were strict but never unkind; it was not quite a case of being seen but not heard but they were certainly expected not to talk at meal-times.