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The Last Resort - Chapter 03|
The Canadian Better Wives Bureau had written to Mr. Frank Bowman and Colonel Candlish asking them if Arthur was a trustworthy man and capable of looking after a wife and child. They both had written back saying that Arthur was a very hard worker; an honest and truthful man. I think I still have those letters. When the papers came through giving the Army’s permission for Arthur to get married, we were married in Caxton Hall Registry Office on January 26th, 1946.
We spent part of our honeymoon with my parents in Turnbridge Wells and the rest of the honeymoon with my sister and her husband in Gloucestershire. Len, my brother-in-law drove us around quite a bit, and in spite of petrol and food rationing we had a very good time.
Arthur was sent back to Canada in March of that year and I continued my job of looking after Sally Ann for my beautiful employer. Ann was a high society lady who was always attending races, parties and theatres so I had lots of time with the children.
I hadn’t been working a month when I started feeling sick - very sick. It wasn’t too long before I realized that I was pregnant. it was with great sadness that I had to leave my job and go back to my parents where I remained until my departure for Canada.
I cannot tell you my feelings when I had to say goodbye to my parents. It was very emotional and I came very near to not going.
My sister Vi, her husband and a friend came to London with me and there I had to leave them. I had to go with all the other war brides to this large building and after we were all registered we were free to go where we wished till ten o’clock that evening. If I had only known, I could’ve spent all that time with Vi, Len and Min.
The next morning, we were all taken by train to Liverpool where we boarded the “Francona”; the ship that would take us so far away to a strange land. We all had mixed feelings as we boarded that ship. Some of the girls were crying and I sure felt like it.
Well, anyway, our sorrows were soon forgotten in the excitement of being on board a great ship. I had never had my feet off dry land before so it certainly was exciting for me.
The ship had been used as a troop ship so we were all in large cabins with hammock-like beds with little cots for the babies. There were about twelve mothers and five children in the cabin I was in, plus myself and my little boy Richard. Can you imagine all the noise going on? It took all of the afternoon for the nurses and stewards to get us settled and by that time we were all jolly hungry and ready to eat. When we finally reached the dining room we were each handed a milk carton. I looked at it and asked the nurse what it was for. She told me that it was to be used in case of sickness. What a laugh! I hd such a strong stomach so I wouldn’t take one.
How our eyes bulged when we saw all that food. The tables were beautifully laid with white tablecloths, napkins and silverware. There were lovely white rolls with butter which we hadn’t seen for four years. Our bread was very dark; our cakes bright yellow as they were made with powdered eggs and had no sugar or icing. I had always said that when the war was over I was going to buy a loaf of new bread, a pound of butter and eat it all myself. Of course I never did but I came near to it that day and made a real pig of myself with rolls and butter. There was loads of food -- all kinds of soups, fish, meat, turkey, ham and all kinds of salads. What a choice we had. I had pork chops, apple sauce, mashed potatoes and brussel sprouts. I had a rich dessert with lots of real cream although the steward had tried to persuade me to have cold ham and salad with no dessert. I expect he could see I was getting pretty green about the gills, and boy it wasn’t very long before I said to the girl sitting beside me; “Are you using this?” I snatched up her carton and used it. Boy, was I ever sick. All that delicious food gone to waste!
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