WW1 Centenary: A poignant meeting led to marriage

“Is it a war story or a love story?” Phyllis said of her mum and dad’s meeting.

Her mother Dorothy, from Betchworth, Surrey, worked as a servant girl for a gentry household.

“There was no work for girls so they all went to London as servants,” Phyllis said.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The lady of the house decided that they should take parcels to the war patients at Roehampton, where Dorothy met Sam.

Following his discharge, the pair moved into Sam’s childhood home in France Street.

According to Phyllis, Sam never received as much money he was entitled to following the war – discharged soldiers could receive a pension once home, especially those who were wounded.

But it is thought he was owed more than he got because of the extra part of his arm which was taken off after the gangrene infection.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“I have thought since what pluck my mum had, to leave her family and move away with a man who had no pension and who looked after his parents.”

The pair married soon after arriving in Batley and had a boy, Edwin, then Phyllis and her brother Fred.

Phyllis’ son Andy Trimble, 58, said: “If he hadn’t had his arm blown off, I wouldn’t have been here!”

She fondly remembers how her father managed to wash up, tie his shoe laces and attempt to paint roof tiles with his one arm, refusing to put on his heavy pot prosthetic – until Phyllis was married for the first time in 1948.

“All the men in this family have a soft nature, because they take after my dad,” she said.

Sam died in 1950 from bronchitis which developed into pneumonia, aged 61.

Related topics: