Thursday, 7 July 2011

A Sad Time

My blog this week is in memory of my mother, Kathleen Lilian Eshoo, who passed away at the age of 89 in Perth Western Australia
Kathleen was born on 3rd March 1922 in Bramley, Yorkshire.  Daughter of Herbert William Tirrell and Edith Butler.  

Sadly Kathleen's mother Edith died  at the age of 25 when her clothes caught fire as she was dusting the mantelpiece at their home. In the picture below, which was taken shortly before this tragic accident, Kathleen is sitting on her mother's lap left front.

Kathleen's father remarried when Kathleen was 5 years old. Here she is with her father and step mother. 

Herbert and Evelyn had two children, Joan and Walter.
This is mum with Joan and Walter taken sometime in the 1980s I think.

Kathleen went to school until the age of 14.  She then went into service with the family of the local vicar.  At the outbreak of World War 2 she decided, against her father's wishes, that she wanted to join the Auxiliary Territorial Service.  After the initial training she was transferred to the Isle of Wight where she worked plotting the  movement of the German aircraft.  Later she decided to transfer to the military police and became a lance corporal. She was transferred to Liverpool where she met met her husband William Cox. 

Kathleen and William were married, towards the end of the war, in Liverpool.  After the war they went to live with William's parents in Romiley in Cheshire where I was born in 1946.

Over 3 years later in 1949 my brother Brian was born

In 1967 William and Kathleen decided to emigrate to Australia.  Brian went along with them but I stayed behind, planning to follow later but never did.  The photo below with mum's parents and me and dad was taken shortly before they left.

They sailed to Australia and this photo was taken on the ship. 

Sadly my father William died 2 years after they arrived in Australia,so mum had quite a difficult time. 
At the age of 50 she learned to drive. This is her with her car. 

She also went out dancing

And started playing bowls

When she retired she moved into a retirement village and this picture shows her with Mr Bob Hawke who was prime minister of Australia and who visited the village. 

Sadly, because I did not follow them to Australia, mum did not have very much contact with her grandchildren.  Here she is in 1976 when she first met my son Darius and daughter Sophia.

Her first meeting with my next son Imran was when he was born as she was staying with us at the time.

She had a grandson in Australia by this time and this her with my brother's son Jason.

The first picture I can find of her with my 3rd son Sameer was when he was about 5. 

In 2002 she was in the UK at the time of Imran's graduation, which was a great day for her, she was so proud. 

Next came the great grandchildren.  Here she is with Stuart and Jakob in 2004. This was her last visit to the UK as she had a stroke in 2005.

I visited Australia in 2005 when she had a stroke. The doctors thought she wouldn't recover, but she was a fighter and did eventually go home and  looked after herself until earlier this year.  This photo was taken in 2005 while she was still in hospital.  Since the stroke her health had not been good as she had  vascular dementia which made it more and more difficult for her to care for herself.

The last time I saw mum was in October 2009. Here she is with me and my brother Brian and his wife Marg on my last night there.

Mum was  moved into a nursing home from hospital a couple of months ago as she was not capable of looking after herself any more.  She  passed away on 1st July following a heart attack.  The staff there were very good and looked after her so well. 
She had a long life and although she had her ups and downs I think it was quite a happy one. 


fengirl said...

A lovely way to pay tribute to your mum Sheila. I enjoyed reading her story.

Betty Watson said...

That is really a fantastic story Sheila, and how wonderful I really enjoyed reading it, take good care of yourself love xxx

Doreen said...

Sheila that is a fantastic tribute to your Mum. I loved reading it yet felt so sad. She seemed to have a good life despite her problems,
Well done Sheila. xx

rajahh said...

You are so blessed to have these wonderful photographs. It has been a privilege to read your Mum's story.

Jason Cox said...

Hi Sheila,

Mum had mentioned to me that you had this blog with some photos and Nan's story, and it has made my eyes swell with tears of sadness and joy.

Looking forward to seeing you at the end of the month.