Genealogy

The Courtship of Ann and Tommy – Part 3

Wedding bells at last! The long awaited marriage of Ann and Tom took place at The Church of the Advent, in Westmount. on May 31, 1947. They were married by Ann’s father, Canon Sydenham Lindsay, after a passionate four year courtship.

1947 May Wedding - Ann and her Tommy
1947 May Wedding – Ann and her Tommy

After their honeymoon in Bermuda, the newlyweds lived briefly with both sets of parents as there was a shortage of apartments at that time. Lucky for them, however, a friend had to vacate his place on Prince Albert Avenue (only blocks away from their families) and offered it to them. Finally, Ann and Tom had a place of their own, albeit quite small. Two years after they married my brother Bill was born and the apartment was suddenly very crowded.

Ann’s parents gave them a piece of land just up the hill from them on St. Sulpice Road in October 1951. Tom designed the house himself to fit the lot and to this day it remains an original and sophisticated design.

3170 St Sulpice - 2010
3170 St Sulpice (2010) – built by Ann and Tom in 1952

In order to proceed with building the house, Tom needed a loan, which was difficult to obtain at that time. Eventually, Standard Life approved the loan and the house was built for about $18,000. According to the financial records, the loan was paid off in five years.

The interior of the house was completed, with Ann’s help, only as needed and in between children.

Their first son Bill was not an easy child, according to my father, and my mother found herself consumed by his needs. No small wonder it took five years before they had my sister Margaret. After Margaret was born, they really had their hands full and before they knew it my brother John was on the way. My father said the doctors were concerned but Ann seemed to thrive on motherhood. And three years later, in 1957, I was born.

Somehow during this busy time Ann wrote a short story which described a night in their life with small children:

“…Another wail woke them up. Then another, then tears. John was crying, so was Margaret, yelling hard and Bill was coughing and in tears. They both moaned, hopped out of bed and started laughing. Pandemonium had broken loose! ‘There’s nothing like a good night’s sleep’ she mused. ‘The advantages of bachelorhood are extremely obvious at a time like this’ he chuckled and then each picked up an unhappy child.”  (Ann Lindsay Anglin – March 17, 1955)

1959 - The Anglin Children
1959 – The Anglin Children

As the family grew and thrived during the first twelve years of their marriage so did Tom’s engineering business. Sometimes Ann was able to join him on the odd business trip. It was during one of these trips in March 1960 that she felt ill.

The devastating diagnosis was cancer.

During the year and a half that followed, my father did his best to juggle children and career with taking care of his beloved Ann. He wrote long desperate prayers and took up yoga in an effort to cope. It must have been heart-wrenching for him to watch my mother endure the effects of experimental chemotherapy. Advertisements were submitted to the local newspapers in search of “a capable woman willing to do her best to look after a home and four children”. Both families scrambled to assist in any possible way.

In November 1961, my dear mother and Tommy’s Ann, passed away at the age of thirty-five.

Their love lives on in each and every one of their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

I feel very fortunate to have been part of their extraordinary love story.

The Priest

The Courtship of Ann and Tommy – Part 1

The Courtship of Ann and Tommy – Part 2

Genealogy

The Courtship of Ann and Tommy – Part 2

My father Tom was already a McGill Engineering graduate and employed in his field when he met my mother Ann, who had just begun her college studies. This meant he got to enjoy the McGill “scene” and social life for a second time around! He happily escorted Ann to all the school’s social functions. According to Dad, he was a really good dancer and they made a handsome pair dressed in their evening finery.

Ann’s 1946 diary describes these dances, parties and charity balls in detail with most entries closing with a rather ecstatic declaration of affection for her “Tommy”: What a man, what a love, what a darling! I love him so! What a passion I have for him! Tommy is more wonderful every day. The more I see you, the more I love you, Tommy. What a darling you are-Tommy-the loveliest things are part of you. The happiest days are always with Tommy.

Whew!

The diary entry for May 12, 1946, refers to “the best letter ever!” from her Tommy. They wrote each other almost daily during her summer breaks from college when her parents kept her “busy” and out-of-town visiting family and friends. What a thrill it was to find this very letter in my “dusty old boxes” of family memorabilia! And, yes, it is pretty special. It is a profound and lengthy letter analyzing love in different relationships such as a mother’s love, Christian love and love between a man and a woman. Tom wrote to Ann “…but all these things seemed outside forces and not within myself”. He continued to describe himself as “naturally a little cold emotionally and that his character and training encouraged reason.” The letter closes with “but since I’ve known you my darling, I’ve experienced love from my own heart responding to yours.” Good for you, Dad!

Clearly, their letter writing was not all romantic fluff!

At one time, they discussed buying a piece of property together – “Would you like a lake shore place rather than a place at the bay?” wrote Tom and included some rough number crunching for her opinion. Another lengthy letter summarized his fundamental thoughts on the universe: “…we can conceive of the universe finite in mass and energy yet with no boundaries and no centre.”

But what speaks volumes is that he consulted Ann in the planning stages of his own engineering company – the company name, his percent interest, his monthly salary and other essential decisions. Shortly before their wedding in May 1947, there was a letter to Ann written on the company letterhead – T. G. Anglin Engineering Company Limited.

I can only imagine Tom’s emotional state when he began dating Ann in the summer of 1943. In May of that year, his only brother went missing in action with his RCAF crew during WWII. I like to think his brother was watching over them and paving their way to a life together.

Ann always seemed so positive, happy and full of life. Her diary was filled with daily exclamations of Fun Galore! Swell! Wonderful! Simply Perfect! What a garden/view/weekend! It wasn’t long before my father, mesmerized by her optimism, gaily signed a letter with his initials made up of x’s and o’s.

It was not all that surprising to find Ann’s hand-scrawled note on a scrap of paper, hidden amongst their numerous letters and photos, promising not to have children for the first two years of marriage thus protecting their time alone after a passionate four-year courtship.

1946-04-08

Genealogy

The Courtship of Ann and Tommy – Part 1

Before my father, Tom Anglin (1919-1995) began his four-year courtship of my mother, Ann Lindsay (1926-1961), he went out with her older sister. It must have been awkward when he showed up on the Lindsay doorstep the first time asking for their younger daughter Ann instead of her sister Mary! Tom was 24 years old and Ann was only 17.

Who was this Ann Lindsay who would become Tom’s wife and my dear mother?

Her best childhood friend, Jean, wrote: “She had a beautiful inner soul that shone out through her eyes. A kind of pure innocence, a kind of angelic aura that surrounded her and there wasn’t a mean or selfish streak in her.”

Ann 1945
Ann Lindsay (1945) – 19 years old

Ann was affectionately described in the “Netherwood School for Girls” magazine in 1943:

Someone giggles ingratiatingly – it is Ann Lindsay … “Look at my hair!” she cries, and all behold her golden locks standling up  on end, a memorable sight! … What would we do without her? What would we do without the dependable giggler who sees that every joke gets a laugh? Whose sense of humour appears unexpectedly in the middle of the staidest lesson? …We may wonder how Ann will enjoy McGill, but we know McGill is going to enjoy her!

Her sister, Kay, wrote: “…your mom wrote the entrance scholarship exam to Dalhousie University (although already accepted to McGill) on a dare from her maritime roommates. She just did it for a lark never dreaming she would win!”

The Anglins and the Lindsays lived right across the street from each other which enabled their relationship to flourish. Her friend Jean recalled “… your mom was lucky to find your dad when she was so young … all I remember was how HOT this romance was and they both wore their hearts on their sleeves.”

Ann’s parents insisted that she finish her college degree before she married Tom. Consequently, Ann was kept “busy” and out-of-town during the summer breaks in her schooling.

Her friend Jean wrote: “One summer, Ann and I went to a camp for underprivileged children as volunteer counsellors. Your dad spent his weekends visiting your mom. The air fairly crackled with fireworks when those two got down to smooching.”

1945-07-01 (1)
Letter from Ann – July 1st, 1945

During these summers they wrote letters to each other almost daily. He always signed his letters lovingly with “Tom” and she invariably always addressed hers with “Dear Tommy” or “Darling Tommy”. In fact, all through her diaries she refers to him as “Tommy”. As far as I know, no one else ever called him anything but “Tom”.

After a bit of practice, my father got the hang romantic letter writing and on July 3, 1946, he wrote:

“You are lovely in every way – beautiful, charm, wit, kind, companionable are all yours plus many things too spiritual, for me anyway, to put into words. I love you with all my heart and mind and may we always be happy together throughout both calms and storms of life.”

Ann’s 1947 McGill Yearbook entry summed up her recent years nicely:

To laugh, to love, to live.”

Attended Trafalgar and Netherwood Schools- for girls only.

So went to McGill in 1943 to study the “Arts” of men. This proved to be successful!

Ann and her “Tommy” were married just weeks after her graduation keeping their promise to her parents.

Genealogy

Uncle Paul to All

The headline read: “Bachelor awaiting his 11th child”. The 1969 newspaper article covered my Uncle Paul’s month-long trip to Korea, Hong Kong and the Philippines to visit “all his children”[1]. He sponsored his first foster child in 1961 and, only eight years later, he had 11 foster children.

IMG_3028
1969 – Uncle Paul travels internationally to visit his foster children.

My uncle, Paul Lindsay (1923-1987), was my mother’s only brother. He was interested in how the money raised by the Foster Parents Plan[2] was spent helping children and their families in developing countries. So, in 1969, he booked the first of several trips at his own expense and visited all his foster children in person. He was greeted like a hero everywhere – sometimes with a banner across the main street reading “Welcome Uncle Paul”.

Foster Kids 1969
Uncle Paul with some of his foster children and their family.

He served for 20 years as a director of both the Canadian and international organizations of Foster Parents Plan. His ultimate dream was to have two children, a boy and a girl, in each of the areas served by the organization.

Uncle Paul was a stockbroker most of his working life with the Montreal brokerage firm MacDougall, MacDougall, MacTier.  Every weekday afternoon, he left work early and volunteered two hours of his time at The Montreal Children’s Hospital, playing with the kids in the orthopaedic ward. He was much appreciated and recognized as one of their principal volunteers during that time. Years later, I wrote and dedicated a children’s book to him called Bonnie – The Car with a Heart.[3] All proceeds from the sale of the book were donated to the Montreal Children’s Hospital in his memory. But not even “Bonnie” had a heart bigger than Uncle Paul!

After his retirement in 1983, he moved from Montreal to Amberwood, a small community just west of Ottawa. He settled quickly into his new neighbourhood and before long he became a well-known member of the community. One of his proudest moments was being approved as a block parent – Uncle Paul to all – with a sign to post in his window. Only four short years later, after his death, the local park he helped develop for the neighborhood children was named after him.

Paul Lindsay memorial
Paul Lindsay Park Dedication
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Uncle Paul’s Nieces, Nephews and Family – May 2018

Another of his passions in life was music, listening to a high-end audio system in his own home and singing as a member of the Montreal Elgar Choir for 30 Years[4]. When I was very little, he would cup my ear and say my pet name, “Little Lou”, in his deep baritone voice. The vibration tickled and made me shiver with delight.

Uncle Paul loved games! Perhaps it was the child in him. All kinds of games: golf, bowling, cards, Scrabble … and betting games at racetracks and casinos! He had a holiday apartment in the French Riviera (possibly purchased with his casino winnings?) When in town, the French children would gather at the local café waiting for “Oncle Paul,” eager for the promised coin or two. I stayed there one night in 1974 while backpacking around Europe with a high school friend. The next day, he bid us “au revoir” each with a bottle of French perfume.

My cousins and siblings all have fond memories of our Uncle Paul.  We never minded sharing him though; after all, he was Uncle Paul to all!

[1] The Province, Vancouver, BC – August 12, 1969

[2] https://wiki2.org/en/Plan_Canada – as referenced August 12, 2018

[3] Bonnie – The Car with a Heart, written and published by Lucy H. Anglin – September 2010

[4] https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/montreal-elgar-choirchorale-elgar-de-montreal-emc/ – as referenced August 12, 2018

Genealogy, Quebec

My Formidable Tante Marie

I trail closely behind my petite 97-year old aunt as she pushes her walker towards the residence dining room. Her recently repaired hip doesn’t appear to bother her as she purposefully maneuvers herself to the front of the line.

Ironically, she was born with a curvature to her spine and the doctors pronounced baby Mary “delicate” informing her parents that she would not have a long life.

“Ha!” she has been known to utter on many an occasion.

Another favourite saying has become “I shall never surrender!”[1] It is stated with such passionate theatrical flair leaving no doubt that she means what she says.

Her parents, Millicent and Sydenham Lindsay, provided their first born child with numerous quiet diversions such as books, art supplies and writing materials during her childhood. She was not to tax herself physically much to the dismay of her brother and two sisters. Consequently, her artistic talents and imagination flourished and by the time she completed high school, she was ready to perform!

Mary was a talented actress and enjoyed memberships in several different theatre groups in and around Montreal during the 40’s and 50’s. She also occasionally designed store windows in connection with the theatre that drew the attention of the local paper.

“A departmental store window display, depicting characters in a scene from Kings in Nomania has aroused considerable interest and admiration to the gratification of Mary Lindsay, talented young display artist who designed the window.”[2]

In 1950, Trinity Players and The Montreal Repertoire Theatre produced the play “Jupiter in Retreat” and 30-year old Mary won the best actress award for the Western Quebec Region in the Dominion Drama Festival for her leading role. The Herald raved about her:

“Mary Lindsay Kerr, actress playing a leading role, gave a performance of confidence, sincerity and absolute conviction. This artist didn’t put a foot wrong. She played right from the beginning with ease, and she had the power of making lines appear spontaneous.” [3]

The prize was a beautiful handcrafted painted wooden bowl that she later passed on to me. It currently hangs on my kitchen wall as a proud memento from my much-loved aunt.

Mary was blessed with a true soulmate when she married Robert Black-Byrne Kerr in 1946.  Not only did he continue to look after her but he shared her love of the theatre! They were known to host house parties with themes like “Ye Gods” where guests dressed in togas as Roman Gods and probably ate and drank excessively!

Lively games of charades were played at every family gathering. Halloween was a fabulous excuse for a little play-acting! Mary would dress up as a witch and stir a giant pot of steaming “witch’s brew” in the large front window while Bob handed out treats to anyone who dared to come close enough!

In the 50’s, they moved to Vancouver for Bob’s job and Mary was welcomed enthusiastically as “a prize winning actress” into the Vancouver Theatre Guild. She also developed a reputation for radio work (Trans-Canada Matinee on CBC) and several TV and screen appearances (she was the voice of Clarence the Caterpillar on the children’s “Peppermint Prince” program).

As they didn’t have children of their own, Mary and Bob took great pleasure in doting on their nieces and nephews. When they moved back to Montreal in the late 60’s, Mary taught me how to bake a “four egg sponge cake” folding in the stiffly beaten egg whites just so. Weekly tea parties featuring just the two of us were a real treat. Sometimes she would serve “backwards dinner” starting with dessert first!

Over the years, we were often treated to hand painted watercolour cards sent to us for every special occasion. Her joie de vivre was obvious throughout her notes by the abundant use of exclamation marks. They were always lovingly signed: “Big Hugs, Tante Marie!”

(Tante Marie is presently residing in Ottawa, Ontario, where she is now doted on by her nieces and nephews.)

[1] Based on Sir Winston Churchill’s famous WWII speech.

[2] Newspaper clipping, personal collection – “Novel Store Window illustrates C.A.T. Play (Canadian Art Theatre), December, 1944.

[3] The Herald, Montreal , Friday, March 10, 1950.

Genealogy, Newspapers, Ontario, United States

Social Media – Then and Now

My hitherto unknown relative pulled open an old book of Tennyson poems from the bookshelf and out fluttered a newspaper clipping that had been there almost 100 years.

The clipping was a photo of two small boys posed in their Sunday best from a Philadelphia newspaper published in 1921[1]. The names of my father, Thomas Anglin, and his brother Bill were printed at the bottom.

 

Jenn Garro, who found the clipping, Googled the names and my recent story about Uncle Bill Dear Uncle Bill on the Genealogy Ensemble website was the first hit. She located me on Facebook and sent me a message:

Was I the daughter or niece of one of these boys? My answer – Yes!

The boys’ mother, my grandmother, Josephine Eveline Sherron, married William Wendling Anglin The Stock Broker, of Kingston, Ontario in 1915 in Philadelphia.

Not only do I have a copy of this newspaper clipping, I also have the original photo. My grandmother relished the world of the newspaper social pages and this early photo of her boys was their introduction into that world.

Another photo, taken six years later, captured the boys lovingly looking over their mother’s shoulder while she read to them. It was first published in the Philadelphia Inquirer in December, 1927[2], and then again in the June 1930 issue of Mayfair Magazine.[3]

 

Josephine began modeling from an early age. She modeled hairdos, hats and fashions of the day, and the photos were widely distributed. One such photo, published in the December 11, 1915 issue of the Philadelphia Evening Ledger[4], featured her wearing a black lamb’s wool hat and muff with matching coat. The caption announced that her marriage had taken place that day.

 

Like many other people at that time, her mother and sister contributed regularly to the newspaper’s social pages, with announcements of teas, luncheons and bridge parties. Special events, such as the 1924 June Ball at the Royal Military College near Kingston, provided eager readers with short descriptions of the ball gowns that the “distinguished guests at the social event of the season” were wearing: “Mrs. Wendling Anglin, rose georgette beaded.”[5]

Most surprising, however, were detailed announcements of the comings and goings of the family.

“Mr. and Mrs. W.W. Anglin, Westmount, Montreal, Canada, will be the guests over this week-end of Mrs. Anglin’s mother, Mrs. William Thomson Sherron, in Germantown.  Mr. and Mrs. Anglin will leave by motor on Sunday for a several weeks’ trip to Florida.”[6]

Then, a short while later:

“Mrs. Sherron has as her guests over the week-end her son-in-law and daughter, Mr. and Mrs. W. W. Anglin, of Montreal, Canada, who arrived in this city Friday from Florida, after spending several weeks in the South.”

IMG_0006

One visit from her sister was followed so thoroughly that it was announced on four separate occasions!

To begin with, it was announced twice in her local Germantown paper:

” …will leave next Wednesday for a visit of several weeks with her brother-in-law and sister, Mr. and Mrs. W.W. Anglin, of Westmount, Montreal, Canada.”

And then,

“…has left for Montreal, Canada, where she will remain for several weeks as the guest of her sister…”[7]

Again, on the receiving end of the visit, in the Montreal Daily Star:

“Mr. and Mrs. W.W. Anglin have as their guest, Mrs. Anglin’s sister …of Philadelphia, Penn.”

And finally, home again:

“…who has been spending a month with her brother-in-law and sister, Mr. and Mrs. W.W. Anglin, in Montreal, Canada, taking part in the winter sports, recently returned to this city.”[8]

Any decent burglar could have seized these well publicized opportunities to plan the perfect theft!

These newspaper articles from 80 years ago are very similar to posts that enthusiastic friends might share on today’s social media networks. Nowadays, anyone can share family activities and photos with the whole world in a similar fashion. Nevertheless, I wonder whether any family photos will flutter into a distant relative’s inbox 100 years from now.

Meanwhile, my newly discovered relative Jenn lives in Bolivia, and we are keeping in touch by messaging on social media.

Note: 

On the inside cover of Tennyson’s Poems is written the name “Lizzie Gould”. Lizzie (Elizabeth) Gould was the sister of Harriet Gould (Josephine’s mother-in-law and my great grandmother, Mrs. W.G. Anglin Surgeon and Mentalist). Their brother Harry (Henry) Gould was the father of Pearl, who was Jenn Garro’s great-grandmother.  It appears Lizzie kept the clipping of her sister Harriet’s grandchildren in the book of poems. Jenn inherited the book and the clipping.

 

 

[1] Public Ledger – Philadelphia, Sunday Morning, July 3, 1921

[2] The Philadelphia Inquirer – December 19, 1927

[3] The Mayfair Magazine – June 1930

[4] Evening Ledger- Philadelphia, Saturday, December 11, 1915

5  The Kingston Standard – June 17, 1924 

[6] Local newspaper, January 28, 1938

[7] Germantown local newspaper, January 4, 1935

[8] Germantown local newspaper, about February 4, 1935

Genealogy

You can go back!

“It’s so much smaller than I remember!” was overheard again and again as we five sisters toured our childhood home.

The family matriarch awoke one morning weeks before our annual Christmas get together with a brilliant idea! She wanted to organize a family visit to our old home that my father had built 65 years ago. She helped raise his seven children in the 40 years that we lived in that house.

The new owners of the house cautiously agreed to the idea. Little did they know that there were 22 of us gathering at our mother’s Kensington apartment that day! Only twelve of us actually toured the family home.

The memories came flooding back the minute we stepped through the front door.  We were tripping all over ourselves reminiscing about this and that and all the good times. There were sad memories as well  which were acknowledged and gently released.

The most impressive feature of the house was the sunken living room with an entire wall of windows overlooking downtown Montreal. Opposite the windows was a spectacular floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace where many a family photo was taken over the years. The mantelpiece, however,was still annoyingly off centre! The walls echoed with years of children’s dress-up performances and lively after dinner family games of charades and fruit basket.

IMG_1542

The dining room was the scene of more than a hundred birthday parties over the years. We would march around the table singing and bearing gifts for the celebrant. There are tons of photos depicting this very special family tradition .

BirthdayWithGeorgeTooley62

Sunday nights we watched the Walt Disney movie on the 12″ black and white TV with supper.  Sometimes we would have lemon and sugar roll-up pancakes or for a very special treat Chalet BBQ chicken dinner was ordered in and devoured.

We all remember the delicious roasts (and legendary roast potatoes) for Sunday lunch after church. Somehow the table stretched to include old aunties and uncles or grandparents who would join us. “Dad would methodically carve the roast but we could not wait to eat. I doubt he ever actually enjoyed his dinner as we always clamoured for gravy bread (bread dipped in the meat juices) and seconds.”

The kitchen had been completely renovated (although our stove was still in use!) but it didn’t deter our memory of Dad sitting on his stool at the end of the counter with his water jug from Vermont, eating his healthy breakfasts. On the kitchen wall behind him was the family bulletin board dotted with scraps of important notices and a handmade birthday calendar.

We delighted in seeing the original wood floors and doors, the built-in cabinetry and the bannister (since reinforced). The glass door knobs on the doors throughout the house stood out although I never remember giving them a second thought growing up. The wood floor in the upstairs hall triggered giddy memories of running and sliding the entire length of the hall in stocking feet.

Thanking our hosts, with a promised donation to a homeless shelter, we strolled back to the Kensington apartment to join the others. “Upon entering the crowded  apartment, we were greeted with the delightful smell of roast lamb dinner and we knew we were home”.

3170StSulpice2010

Photo:  3170 St. Sulpice Road, Montreal, Quebec – The house my father built  in 1952.

England, Genealogy

Dear Uncle Bill

Dear Uncle Bill,

While rummaging through the Dusty Old Boxes containing family memorabilia, I came upon letters written by you to your only brother, my father, Tom.  There were also letters written to your sweetheart during WWII while you were stationed in England serving with the RCAF. So I thought the best way to remember you would be in the form of a letter.

Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Lucy and I am one of your nieces.

Our paths never crossed.  I was only born in 1957 and you died in 1943. Your brother had seven children.  I was his fourth.  His eldest son, born in 1949, was named after you – William Sherron Anglin II.

While staying with my family in England in 2016, I visited you in person at your last known address:  Runnymede Memorial[1], Panel 179, Surrey, UK.  My grandchildren, who always enjoy a challenge, accompanied me in my search to find you. It didn’t take them long to find your panel and you – or your name, that is – inscribed on one of several stone walls, along with 20,000 other airmen,  at this dedicated memorial building on Cooper’s Hill overlooking the Thames River.

Your name was too high up for the children to touch but I brushed my fingers lovingly over your name and told you we were there. I am quite sure you knew it. You had an interest in mental telepathy, as did your grandfather, and his story was documented in the family boxes as well.  (Surgeon and Mentalist)

Throughout your letters to Tom, along with childhood memories, you shared and referred to an interest in The Rosicrucian Order which “is a community of mystics who study and practice the metaphysical laws governing the universe”.[2]

You maintained the belief in an ability to “project” yourself and to send mental messages. I can only guess that a feeling of closeness to your brother by any means must have consoled you greatly while away at war in England.

In your letters to your sweetheart, you described England in general (with the usual complaints about the rainy weather), your life with the RCAF, weekend leaves to Scotland and dances in the mess hall “wishing you were there”.  Although I don’t have her letters in response, I am sure you took great comfort in hearing from her.

You were sent on a training course at the end of May 1943 and, while away, your crew went on a mission without you – never to return. In the last letter to your girl, you confided that you were feeling “depressed” at their loss.  On the very next mission, you went missing as well.

Last picture of Uncle William
Last picture of Uncle Bill (far left) – 1943

Not long afterwards, your sweetheart sent a bundle of your cherished letters, wrapped in a bow, to your mother and wrote “I know I want to forget as soon as I am able, everything – and so I am sending you the few letters I had saved from those Bill sent me from England.  I hope that you would rather have them, than not … perhaps they will make you glad to have something more – to know something else of Bill’s life in England … rather than rake up memories you are trying to forget. For while I want to forget, I feel so sure that you will want to remember.”

Your mother never gave up hope that you would return one day.

Wendling & Josephine Anglin and sons Bill and Tom (1940)

Bill, Wendling  (the stock broker), Josephine, Tom and family dog (1940).

The abundant number of photos found with the letters in these boxes show your 27 years filled with family times – gatherings, annual trips, formal portraits, a few pets and a full life.

You will not be forgotten.

Lovingly,

Your niece Lucy

Note:

http://www.aircrewremembered.com/richmond-bruce.html

William Sherron Anglin was an Air/Gunner and Warrants Officer II with the 429 Squadron flying in a Wellington X bomber, Serial no. HZ471.

Reason for Loss:

Took off from R.A.F. East Moor, North Yorkshire at 22.36 hrs joining 719 aircraft attacking the town of Wuppertal, the home of the Goldchmitt firm which produced Tego-Film, a wood adhesive used in the production of the HE162 and TA154 (aircraft).  Around 1000 acres was destroyed in the firestorm that followed – 211 industrial buildings and nearly 4,000 houses were totally destroyed. A figure of 3,400 fatalities on the ground has been recorded. Bomber command did not escape lightly on this operation losing some 36 aircraft.

It is thought “probable” that HZ471 was shot down by Lt. Rolf Bussmann, flying out of Venlo airfield, and attacking this Wellington at 3,700 meters with the aircraft falling into the sea off Vlissingen.

429 Squadron possible loss area

[1] https://wiki2.org/en/Runnymede as at November 19, 2017

[2] https://www.rosicrucian.org/ as at November 19, 2017.

Genealogy

“Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”

“Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” called out my grade two teacher as the last word on our daily spelling test. It was the surest way to get our full attention on that April Fool’s Day!

When I begin to work on a story about one of my ancestors, it is not always clear on how to best start the story.  One very helpful tip, from the Genealogy Ensemble writers group, has been to find a way to capture the reader’s interest in the first few sentences.

Dick Francis, a famous British jockey and thriller writer (and one of my favourite authors), began almost all of his books in this fashion.

Here are some examples of excellent openers from stories posted on our website Genealogy Ensemble:

  1. A Small Life by Barb Angus – https://genealogyensemble.com/2015/10/21/a-small-life/

“I hold the documents as gently as I would the child for whom I have searched for so long. A birth certificate. A death certificate. Four days apart.”

  1. Call me Ismael by Mary Sutherland- https://genealogyensemble.com/2015/11/04/call-me-ismael/

“He arrived when the service was almost over. He walked to the pulpit and announced the last hymn “Seigneur Tu donne Ta Grace.” As the organ played he collapsed to the floor. So ended the life of Ismael Bruneau, my great grandfather.”

  1. The Cipher by Sandra McHugh – https://genealogyensemble.com/2017/02/08/the-cipher/

“When I say that my grandfather, Thomas McHugh, worked as a cipher, Bletchley Park, MI5, and Russian spies immediately come to mind. He was neither a Russian spy nor did he work as a cipher during the war. His employer was the Bank of Montreal and it was his first job when he came to Canada in 1912.”

  1. No Fairy Tale Ending by JaniceHamilton https://genealogyensemble.com/2015/02/11/no-fairy-tale-ending/

It must have been a happy wedding. For a girl from relatively humble American roots to marry the owner of one of Quebec’s vast seigneuries, this must have seemed like a wonderful match. And the groom had recently lost his parents, so family members were no doubt pleased to see him marry. Unfortunately, there was no fairy-tale ending to this story.”

  1. Like Father, Like Son by Lucy H. Anglin – https://genealogyensemble.com/2016/06/01/like-father-like-son/

“My husband was mesmerized by the photo of a young man hanging in a sling close to the giant propeller of the airplane he was repairing.  He had never seen it before.  It was a photo of his father, Allan, in his early twenties.”

Nonsensical words are great fun for children, but I think the opening sentences of these stories are excellent examples of how to capture my interest as an adult reader.

Genealogy

The Stock Broker

His timing could not have been worse.  Just a few years before the great stock market crash of 1929, my grandfather, Wendling Anglin, started up his own brokerage branch office in Kingston, Ontario.

The market crash was followed by the Great Depression, the worst economic crisis of modern times.  The stock market and Wall Street were plagued with uncertainty throughout the 1930’s.

Wendling gave up the Kingston office to take over the Toronto office.  But business was too poor to carry on and that office had to be closed as well.  So he transferred to the Montreal, Quebec, office in 1933 and became manager of Johnston and Ward.  This brokerage firm later changed its name to G.E. Leslie and Company, and ultimately became Nesbitt Thompson.

In July 1940, while Wendling was struggling to make a living as a stock broker, Canada joined the allied forces of World War II.  He writes in a letter to my father, Tom, his youngest son:  “Business is fierce, nothing at all … and I cannot get to first base with the government.  I will go after private industry.  I certainly want to do something in war effort.”[1] The answer:  Victory Bonds.

Approximately half of the Canadian war cost was covered by War Savings Certificates and war bonds known as “Victory Bonds”. These bonds, which were loans to the government to allow for increased war spending, were sold to individuals and corporations throughout Canada. War Savings Certificates began selling in May 1940 and were sold door-to-door by volunteers as well as at banks, post offices, trust companies and other authorised dealers.[2]

In December 1942, he wrote to his oldest sister, Mamie: “Market has been better, and business picking up somewhat. This I am thankful for as it was an awful let down coming back after Victory Loan. Worked hard on Loan and raised 1/4 million from my dozen companies, but as I was loaned to the government by our firm, just received my salary as usual.”[3]  Six months later, in another letter to his son, Tom: “Have been very busy on Loan, received order for $880,000 from my 14 companies – $80,000 over objective – so feel satisfied I did a good job.”[4]

The eldest of his two sons, Bill, joined the RCAF in May 1942, so raising this government money might have enabled him to feel a little less helpless in supporting him and bringing him home safely.

Sadly, Bill was declared “missing in action” in May 1943, age 27 years.  Wendling’s hopeless frustration is obvious in his August 1944 letter to my father:  “Wish this damn war would end so that we might get some news of Bill should he be with the underground—.”[5]

The much needed closure from an official notice of his death never came.  However, Wendling and his wife, Josephine, never gave up hope on their “missing” son.

Meanwhile, their younger son Tom and his wife, Ann (my parents), offered them a joyful diversion with their growing family of three grandchildren.

Wendling died of lung cancer in 1955 at age 63 – still waiting for his oldest son to come home.

[1] Letter written to his son, Tom Anglin, July 16, 1940 – author’s collection

[2] Wikipedia – Victory

[3] Letter written to his sister, Mamie, December 1942 – www.billanglin.com – as viewed October 24, 2015

[4] Letter written to his son, Tom Anglin, May 17, 1943 – author’s collection

[5] Letter written to his son, Tom Anglin, dated August 7, 1944 – author’s collection