Edna May Harris (Brown) 1920-2016

Edna in Timber corps dress uniform

Edna in Timber corps dress uniform

Edan May Harris was born Feb 19th, 1920. Her mother was Lydia Harris and her father was William Charles Brown.
Edna was born illegitimate and only discovered her father in her 90’s.
Her life had more tragedies than most people have to cope with. On top of her illegitimacy, indeed because of it, she was raised by her grandmother as her mother’s new husband, George Dunn, wanted nothing to do with Edna.
Edna was married for the first time August  31st, 1940 when she was 20.  She married Edmund Packwood. A draughtsman and her intellectual equal.
Tragedy struck again just a few months after when her husband, Edmund, fatally fell off a roof the day before her 21st birthday  in 1941 after only a few months of marriage.

Then, in 1942,  when Edna was just 22 her half-sister, Patricia Dunn, died aged just 6 from meningitis.

Because she was widowed she was eligible to be called to do war work. She joined the Land army on the 13th of July 1942.  She transferred to the Timber Corps on the 28th January 1943. Records show she resigned from the Timber corps just a few months later, on the 23rd April 1943.
There is a note on the record for Warwick office to  “check up on the 18th October 1943″.  One can but speculate on the reasons for this. I’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions. However, Edna persisted, right up to her death, she had been in the Timber Corps for the entire length of the war. That is clearly incorrect as there are pictures of her in the ARP unit ( air raid precautions ) and her autograph book shows signatures from fellow ARP types, Policemen and the like, for 1944. She also had a silver ARP badge.
Again, I’ll leave you to your own conclusions but this ‘only child’ is convinced I have a sibling somewhere.

Edna Married again September 1945. This time to Arthur Barton 1920-1988, my father. He was  recently demobbed from the Eight Army (The Desert Rats) which had fought under Montgomery in North Africa, the Middle East and Italy.  Arthur was then a labourer in the local Gasworks and a postman towards the end of his working life.

Edna had various jobs including working in a laboratory, a wages office and as a civil servant in Birmingham law Courts.

Edna died after a prolonged stay in a nursing home on the 9th April 2016 in Lincoln Hospital. She was 96. She was cremated at Yardley Crematorium, Birmingham.

Pictures.

Edna. front row far right with glasses. Timber Corps

Edna. front row far right with glasses. Timber Corps. 1943

Edna, Lydia Mumford, Stanley Dunn (child) Lydia Harris.

Edna, Lydia Mumford, Stanley Dunn (child) Lydia Harris. Circa 1930

Edna in the late 1970's

Edna in the late 1970’s

Edna and Edmunds wedding

Edna and Edmunds wedding. 1940

Arthur Barton. Me as a baby and Edna

Arthur Barton. Me as a baby and Edna. 1949

Edna with her mother Lydia Harris.

Edna with her mother Lydia Harris. 1950s

Edna 2012

Edna 2012

 

This is a work in progress. If you have additional information on the person detailed on this page, or, for that matter, corrections to what is written then please make contact here.

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