So as a sort of segue from one side of the family to the other, I thought it would be interesting to imagine what each of my four grandparents might have been doing 100 years ago today, on 12 January, 1914. It was a Monday and bitterly cold. (I like to think it was cold - we're having a heatwave here at the moment.)
|Model T Ford c 1910|
|Annie Kenney and |
The 18 year old Rose Beales was probably working as a domestic servant with the Orsborn family in Ipswich, as she had been when the census was taken in 1911. Work as a domestic servant was the most common occupation for unmarried women at the time. Like her parents, the Orsborns were members of the Salvation Army. Their first daughter, Maria Evelina, was born in Colchester in 1910 so the two families no doubt knew each other. According to my father, Rosina was very much appreciated by her employers.
For the 10 year old Albert Edwin Orton in Pendleton, near Manchester, it would likely have been a school day. His father would have been at work at his gentleman's hairdressing shop, his older sister Edith May was working in a cotton mill and his brother Harold, 15, had probably also started work. His mother Sarah Jane may have been at home, or she too might have been working.
|Gazette du Bon Ton|
fashion plate 1914
While some were predicting war ahead, no-one could have forseen how drastically the coming years would change the lives of these individuals and the society in which they lived.