Los descendientes del Dresden: Pearce Family Google+

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Pearce Family

Anne me contactó hace un par de años atrás para contarme una historia y saber si teníamos algo en común.
La historia que me contó es la que sigue a continuación. Es la historia de su abuel Daisy May Pearce, la chiquita que cuando vino en el Dresden con sus padres, tenía tan solo 6 meses.
Esta es la historia:

Daisy May Asher (nee Pearce) 1888-1962 - by Anne Miles

Daisy May Pearce was born in Southampton, England on 5th August 1888. Her birth was registered by her mother Mary Jane Pearce (nee Beck) in Southampton on 7th September 1888; her father’s name was James Pearce and his profession is recorded as a bricklayer (journeyman) i.e. a bricklayer who travels from job to job. So far I have been unable to trace their marriage and as a result I know nothing about James at all.
Previous to Daisy’s birth there is a record of a passport number 15360 being issued to a J Pierce on 23rd July 1888. Mary Jane did not obtain her passport until 10th August, 5 days after Daisy was born. Unfortunately these passports have never been found.
The next occasion that records their movements is the passenger list from the SS Dresden as they arrived in Argentina on 15th February 1889. The family are recorded departing from Queenstown (now known as Cork), Southern Ireland and are logged as English. James’ profession is registered as a bricklayer and his age is 44. Mary Jane is recorded as a dairy maid and is 30; Daisy was by now 6 months old. Mary Jane Beck was actually born on 31st August 1861 in Arnewood, Hordle, Hampshire so her true age would have been 26, but maybe they were very aware of their age difference, or, their ages were just recorded incorrectly.
The story that was passed down the family was that James went to Argentina alone and Mary Jane and Daisy followed out later. The passenger list disproves this but it is possible that James travelled alone to Queenstown to arrange their trip or visited relatives prior to the others arriving later; this would account for his obtaining his passport earlier in the year.
What happened to them in Argentina is a mystery.

Twenty months later on 23rd November 1890 my grandmother, Daisy May Pearce, was baptised by her grandparents at their local parish church in Hordle, Hampshire. Her mother Mary Jane had arrived back in England, reputedly having been widowed whilst in Argentina although I still have been unable to find any record of James’ death. She is believed to have earned enough money to pay for their passage back home to England. To date I cannot find any evidence of their return voyage so do not know when they left Argentina and arrived back in England. A few months after Daisy was baptised Mary Jane had a son, Harry on 10th March 1891; James Pearce (deceased) is recorded as his father on the birth certificate. Harry would have been conceived around June 1890 so if he was James’ son, James would have died sometime between June 1890 and November 1890 when Daisy was baptised and Mary Jane and Daisy would have returned from Argentina sometime between these dates also. However the family believed that Harry was illegitimate and was the son of a member of the house that Mary Jane worked at as a domestic servant after her return. This theory could be proved or disproved if we could find out when she returned to England.
The fact that is certain is that on her return Daisy May was left with her maternal grandparents, Stephen and Jane Beck (nee Warne), for them to bring up; they lived in the small village of Hordle that borders on the New Forest in Hampshire.
Mary Jane moved to Pennington, Hampshire in with her sister, Geraldine Gates, her husband, 5 children and her maternal grandmother, Ann Warne. This was where she gave birth to Harry and worked nearby as a domestic servant. In May 1893 she married a Mark James in Bournemouth where she lived for the rest of her life. She had another child in 1901 with Mark, this time a girl. To the best of my knowledge she never saw Daisy May again until Mary Jane was very ill in 1930s when Daisy visited her in Bournemouth with her own daughter, my mother, Joyce.
What became of Daisy? She had a good life. Her grandparents were kind and gentle, although not rich. Stephen was a garden labourer and a sexton of Hordle Parish Church; he was known to enjoy a glass of beer, fortunately the horse knew its own way home from the pub! Jane had to be very careful that Stephen did not set fire to the thatched roof of the cottage when he got home as he was inclined to put his pipe, still alight, up on a high ledge in the porch! Jane was a very caring woman; she would turn out, no matter what time of day or night, to help either deliver a baby or lay out the dead. She used the horse and trap to get around and Daisy would recount how one night when going to help deliver a baby my great, great grandmother was forced into a ditch by a horse drawn carriage which disappeared as it went past! Jane was not the sort of woman who believed in ghosts!
I always called Daisy, my grandmother, ‘gran’ however she would tell me how her grandmother would tell her off if she called her ‘gran’; she would say to her “Daisy May Pearce, the Lord made the day long enough for you to say grandmother.”
When Daisy arrived to live with her grandparents, of their seven children, only one 20 year old son, one of Daisy’s uncles, was still living at home with them. Ten years later when she was 12, her uncle was no longer there but Daisy’s maternal great grandmother, Ann Warne, now aged 92 was living with her daughter Jane. They also had a boarder staying.
Daisy was very good at needlework and won a prize for it at school. This helped her to get a position at a girl’s private boarding school in New Milton when she was 14; she was employed to do the repairs to the pupil’s clothes. It was here that she met a nice young man called Frank Asher who delivered the milk to the school. The school’s cook did her best to stop them from seeing each other but love finds it own way!
Jane, Daisy’s grandmother became ill in 1910 and desperately wanted to see Daisy married and settled before she died. Daisy, now 22 and Frank, 30, would have preferred to wait a little longer but in the end got married on 12th November 1910 at Hordle Parish Church. Jane was buried on 20th December 1910 aged 78, happy to have seen her much loved granddaughter happily married. Stephen, Daisy’s grandfather died the next year at 79 and was buried on 1st April 1911.
Daisy and Frank started their married life in a small cottage in Hordle. By the time their first son, Percy Frank Asher known as Perce was born in 1913 they were living in a farm cottage in Barnham in Sussex. Frank was a dairyman, he knew all his cows by name and part of his job was delivering the milk too. Five years later their second son was born who they called James Stephen, known as Jim, followed by daughters, Hilda and Eva. Ethel Joyce, known as Joyce, was born at a small village in Sussex called Henfield as Frank had moved to yet another farm, again as a dairyman.
It was here that one day Perce arrived home from school at 9 years old with a badly bruised knee from playing football. These were days when there was no National Health Service and seeing a doctor was expensive so Daisy dressed the bruise with bread poultice. A day later it was worse so Daisy took him to the doctor who told her to continue with the treatment and it would be fine. When Perce started to limp, the doctor still said it would be alright. Eventually Daisy took Perce to the children’s hospital at Brighton, even though a referral letter from a doctor was needed and her doctor refused to write one, still insisting it would be fine in time. Fortunately, as they reached reception, a nursing sister came along and saw his knee and she immediately arranged for a consultant to see him. The consultant wanted to know why he had not been earlier! The doctor at Henfield retired shortly afterwards. The outcome might have been far worse if Daisy had not been such a determined woman.
Perce was kept in hospital where they tried to disperse the bruise. He underwent six operations but eventually they had to amputate the leg, leaving just a small stump. Perce was fitted with an artificial leg at Roehampton Hospital in London at a cost of £50; a fortune in those days. As Perce was only nine he kept growing to over 6 foot so he regularly had to have new artificial legs at great expense but somehow Daisy and Frank always managed to afford it.
It was a year after Perce had had this accident that my mother, Joyce was born; now Daisy had three girls under 3 and Perce had temporary paralysis in the arms due to using his crutches and as a result, he was unable to feed himself. Life must have been very hard for a while.
Perce grew up and became a successful business man, running his own cobblers shop (shoe repairing) in Sussex, he married Rose and they had two sons, David and Gordon.
Jim became a market gardener in Hampshire and, after having married Dora, had two children Michael and Elizabeth.
Hilda and Eva were in the Auxiliary Territorial Service during the war where they met and married their husbands, Jim and Hughie. Hilda went on to have four children, Susan, Philip, Sheila and John, and they lived in Sheffield until they moved back to Sussex; likewise Eva had two sons, Frank and Hughie and they lived in the home country of her husband, Scotland.
Joyce, my mother became a nurse during the war and met my father, Les True as the war ended. They married and had three daughters, myself, Anne, and my sisters, Linda and Sylvia. We moved quite a bit due to my father’s job; we moved from Salisbury, Wiltshire to Bedford then onto Cyprus and back to Buckinghamshire. I often wondered if James’ and Mary Jane’s nomadic genes had been passed to my mother!
Frank died 1944 after an appendicitis operation due to a blood clot, leaving Daisy May to find a job as a housekeeper to two bachelors in Horsham. They were very kind to her and treated her like one of the family; she stayed with them for the rest of her life.
Whilst we were in Cyprus, Daisy May became very ill with cancer. She had several operations but eventually died on 28th May 1962, aged 73. I was 13 and last saw her when I was aged 11. I remember her as being a very gentle, kind lady; very tall and upright with the most beautiful thick, long grey hair which she would tie up in a bun during the day then take down at night to brush. I have learnt so much about her start in life that now I marvel at the fact that she, a small, helpless, 6 month old baby, survived the ‘Dresden Affair’.