CAROLINE (BESSIE) GRANT , (nee Hall) (b. 28. 01.1892 d. 17. 06. 1975) Bessie, as she was known, was also born at Hermitage Cottages at Colemore and went to Froxfield School with her older brother Robert and sister Kit. When she left school, she secured employment in service at Basing Home Park where she was in 1907, aged 15 yrs, when written to by a friend and admirer, since a postcard exists that was addressed to her there.
During the 1914-18 war she met a soldier, James FOWLES, who was recovering from trench foot received in France. She took him home to Froxfield and shortly afterwards married him at the Registry office in Petersfield, in June 1915. Jim was eventually recalled to his unit and Bet returned to Winchester to stay with friends. There she met David Lawson GRANT a gunner in the Royal Garrison Artillery who was stationed in or near Winchester. He was Scottish and already married. A daughter was born on February 28th 1917. Her birth certificate shows the following details:
Born: 28 Feb 1917 at 145 Market Street Eastleigh; Name: Bessie Lawson; Father: David Lawson GRANT Mother: Bessie GRANT formerly Hall; Father's occupation: Gunner R.G.A. (Butcher Master); Informant: B. GRANT, mother Hall Place Froxfield, Petersfield.
Eventually David was posted back to wherever he came from leaving Bessie with 2 children, my mother and a slightly younger boy, called David. As an unmarried mother she felt unable to cope with 2 children and so she arranged to have the boy adopted. It is believed that he was adopted by a family in the area who ran a large dairy/milk business. His name may well have been changed to Desmond or Dennis and nothing more is known of him.
Bessie then disappeared for some years (causing great concern to her mother) eventually reappearing married to Arthur MOBEY. There was one child from this relationship Robert Arthur MOBEY who was born in September 1924 - he incidentally was the last on this side of the family to have had the auburn hair - but he died on July 18 1943 aged 18 years and 10 months from Tuberculosis. A school photograph of Bobby exists taken at school in 1933, in Hampton Lucy, Warwickshire which is presumably where Bessie was living at that time.
Finally Bessie met George WATKINS, they were married lived in Luddington outside Stratford upon Avon. George WATKINS died from stomach cancer in 1959 (?) and Bessie died of pleurisy in 1975. She was much loved by all who knew her, obviously from the relationships that she formed she was a lovable woman.
Robert Arthur MOBEY, George WATKINS, Caroline Elizabeth WATKINS and my mother Betty PHILLIPS are all buried in the churchyard in Luddington, only a few steps away from the house that Bet called home for the last 40 years of her life..
Most of these ‘facts’ I got from Eva HICKMAN (Bet’s sister) from a number of letters she wrote and a few were relayed verbally by my mother. Whilst she was alive I knew nothing of Gran’s history, at the time I did not want to know and she would not have told anyway
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