Bertha, 1889-1966 and George, 1893-1967
My late father-in-law’s mother, Bertha, married George Maidment in 1919, the year after the end of World War One. Her first husband, Pte. Frederick Maidment, was killed in action on 28th March, 1918, aged 29. He had only just returned to the ‘front’ after a short leave.
Bertha’s youngest sister, Eva, wrote in her journal, “This was a great tragedy, and Bertha was so shocked, that she and Reg and Ivy came home to stay with us for long periods.”
Her life turned upside down, and left with two young children to raise, Bertha gradually saw a future with her husband’s younger brother, George. They duly tied the knot and, together, they had two more sons; Albert, my father-in-law and Maurice.
Eva went on to write, “George was a very good husband, and became a kind and generous step-father to Reg and Ivy. He was a wonderful gardener.” “Bertha was a very clean and thorough housewife, with a very high standard of cleanliness and discipline: each child had certain tasks to fulfil."
“When Bertha and George were in their 70s, they had to move to an old cottage as a new road was being built, and their house had to be demolished. Bertha had a very long illness when she was middle-aged, suffering from cancer. But she made a miraculous recovery and lived until she was 77.”
In the picture, above, Bertha and George are enjoying a day trip to Stonehenge. The photograph was taken by their youngest son, Maurice, who is still alive and well today.
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© 2010, copyright Martin T. Hodges