Family History Notebook

Millicent Mary Swindale ("Lily")

Daughter of Joseph Swindale and Mary Jane Gregg, born on the 10th of April 1883 in Haverigg 1

Married  John Stephens ("Jan") (3/8/85 - 19/1/63)

Children

John Swindale, born 1919 (died in infancy)
Hilda Joan, born on the 25th of October 1921

Died on the 2nd of September 1942 in Liverpool 1

" My mother was known as Lillie (or King of the Kids, from her fondness for looking after other peoples' babies) and she grew up to be a telegraphist and counter clerk in the Post Office in Millom. They moved to No 4 Crown Street in Millom in 1892, opposite the Baptist Chapel, and Joseph helped to install the organ there; he played for the services for a long time, and when he retired my mother took his place until she married and left the town. It can't have been a very peaceful house, with seven of them in and out, especially as they all played some sort of musical instrument - William the violin, Tom, the cello, Clara, the mandoline, Lillie the piano - I don't know what Jack did, maybe he just sang with them!
Mary Jane died in June 1903 after a long illness, and gradually the family dispersed .... Willie to Nantwich in Cheshire, where he married Henrietta Barnet, and had one son, Joseph Barnet; they had a very good confectioner's shop there, and one in Crewe, too. Tom, after an adventurous career in the army and in America, married and went to South Africa, Clara went to work in Liverpool where she married Edward Owen Roberts, and Jack taught in London, where he married Mabel Minnie Larkins. Lillie stayed in Millom, working in the Post Office, playing the organ at church, and singing in the Operatic Society and the Choral Union until her marriage to my father in 1914. Her father, Joseph, married again to Barbara ------, and there was some sort of family disagreement about this time, but I don't know what it was about, or even if she lived at home, as she never mentioned her stepmother to me, so I know little of that period. She married my father, John Stephens, in November 1914, the year her father died, and her brothers and sister returned to Millom to attend the wedding, Willie giving her away, and Clara's young daughter, Beryl Millicent, being her flower girl.

John and Lillie went to live in Liverpool at 27, Cedardale Road, Fazakerley, not far from where Clara and Owen had a house in Chapel Avenue, This was at the beginning of the Great War, 1914-1918, and John who had been working for the Cooperative Society, joined the King's Liverpool Regiment in, I think, 1915. For a time, Lillie's sister-in-law, Mabel Swindale, came up from London with her first son, John Alexander, and there her second child, Harold, was born. When my father, John, was reported 'Missing, believed killed', my mother went back to Millom to stay with her mother- in-law in Devonshire Road; some time later the news came through that John was a prisoner of war in Germany, which must been a great relief to the whole family. After the Armistice, when John was released and returned to Millom to be discharged on medical grounds, he and Lillie went back to their home in Liverpool and to his work in the furnishing department of the Co-op." 1
 

Notes

1    Information from Joan Shrewsbury

2    Margaret Swindale says John Stephens was of Cornish extraction, a strong Methodist and very keen organist/choirmaster. After Lily's death he remarried - Muriel, who died 'shortly' before December 1979.

3    John Stephens remarried to Muriel who survived him.