I have no photos of Ethel as a baby; the first one is probably from about 1916. By that time she was in the Salvation Army. She was the oldest of ten and spent a lot of time caring for brothers and sisters.She was deaf just enough to spoil her education and cause her to think she was not bright. She went into service when not needed at home and dreamed of being a missionary, until she met Jim the love of her life. I know she met Jim on March 11th 1914 because Jim gave her a Bible inscribed to Miss Ethel Hiett on the first anniversary of our friendship. Jim survived the war and they married on December 29th 2018.
I have her first passport which she needed to join Jim in France in 1919 and amazingly enough when Jim was posted back to UK Ethel had to stay in France until she could get passage home.
Their son Walter was born in 1921 and then Eric in 1928 I have photos of Walter and Eric as children but none of Ethel during this time.
By 1938 her husband left the Home and Colonial and went into business with his own stall. Ethel tried to help but preferred be the homemaker while Olive or Gwen helped Jim at Greenford market
She must have been so worried to see her son go off to war but she had the companionship of Olive for a while and then Gwen lived with her. Gwen and Walter got a house across the road so she was very involved with the children and often took me on trips with her.
Ethel always entertained a house full at Chalfont Road Hayes and when she moved to West Drayton continued to entertain all the family.
New arrivals were adored and great grandchildren loved very much
Ethel has nine great grandchildren she lost her beloved Jim in 1973 and often said that the weddings and christenings were tough without Jim at her side. However Olive could always be found next to Ethel.
Ethel and Jim had many holidays together Switzerland in the 50’s Jim loved to travel and in 1968 they went on a cruise and after 50 years married Ethel learnt to swim
By 1985 her 90th year she had been widowed 12 years cared for her brother Alf and lived alone in a large house but since her husband died she had taken up knitting again (Jim hated clacking needles) and returned to church making lots of friends at Rowledge. Once again she filled her house with the church house-group.
Tristan had two great grandmothers at his wedding and Ethel loved to stay with Gwen Walter and Olive…Ethel would go home to Rowledge to be escorted to church by a nice young man until the last visit….in October 1994 when we said farewell to the most lovely of ladies…love you Grandma and miss you