March 28 — Do you remember your mother’s best friend? Your grandmother’s? How and where did they meet? How long were they friends? What activities did they share?
My Grandmother had a friend called Rene Pratt. She lived with her husband Ken and their son David in Aldershot Road Guildford. Ken’s mother lived next door to them. I wondered how they knew my Grandmother and asked Mum. From what we can remember, the connection was that Mrs Pratt senior was friends with my Great Grandmother, Mary Elizabeth Elstone.
Another friend was Dick and Marge Singleton. They also lived in Guildford and from what we can establish my Grandfather and Dick Singleton were stationed together in the Army. We know from the Service Record of my Grandfather that during 1941 he was in Sierre Leone and we think that is where the photograph below was taken. My Grandfather, George Butcher is the man on the left.
Another relationship was the one between my Grandmother and one of evacuees. Joyce Moore was about 15 years old when she was sent to live in Guildford from London. This was the start of a relationship that was to last until my Grandmother passed away in 1995. During those times, there was the attendance at Joyce’s wedding, and the births of her two children.
I recall visiting Joyce during the summer, I can only have been about 3 or so and being allowed to play in the sandpit and was jointed by a rather cute frog! I also recall meeting Joyce’s father, who from a distant memory was a tall man with white reseeding hair and walked with a stick. Joyce was also Godmother to my Mum and my Mum has Joyce as a middle name. The relationship between Joyce and my Grandmother was a cross between sisters and a mother figure. It was a relationship that was formed out of necessity of war and literally lasted a lifetime.