Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

Talking About Joan 1

I want to talk about my aunt Joan. She was really my great aunt but because she was by some way the youngest in her family she and my father were more like older sister and kid brother than aunt and nephew. All the other great aunts- on both sides of the family- were distant figures as far as us children were concerned- but Joan was fun. What I didn't know at the time was that she was also stalwart. She was the last member of the family left standing and- as life bashed  them about-  the one they all fell back on.

She was left holding the death certificates.

Here, once again, are the Bridges family. This picture must be dated about 1914. They were a jolly lot- fond of amateur theatricals, who- according to a letter from a distant cousin who was in on the merry-making-  knew, like Scrooge after his change of heart, how to keep Christmas. I know nothing about my great grandparents as people. Great Grandad was a draper with a shop in Maidstone and- later- in Gillingham. They retired to Erith- where their love of am-dram brought them into contact with Ethel Grist and her brother Cyril- who was to marry Violet..

The children in the back row are, left to right- Kathleen (who I remember as a fluffy little thing and profoundly deaf), Violet my Granny, Harold- always with the hankie in the breast pocket- and Ethel. I remember Ethel, but I don't remember anything about her.

And in the middle, standing between her parents, Joan.
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