Edith Morris ("Edie") was born March 31st 1886 in Parr, St Helens. She was the daughter of Joseph Morris and Sarah (Chorley) Morris. She was christened June 27th 1886 at St Peter's Church in Parr (Anglican). Her father's occupation was recorded as miner, and the family's address as Parr.
By April 5th 1891, the family were still living in Chancery Lane, and Joseph was still working as a coal miner. Edie's half-brother John Simm, now 21, was working as a coal miner, as was her half-brother Arthur Simm, who was eighteen. Her half-sister Margaret Simm was seventeen and not in paid employment, so probably helping her mother. There were three Morris children in the household - William, now twelve; Mary aged eight, and Edith aged five. The fourth Morris child, Jane, was away visiting her married half-sister Annie (Simm) Bradbury, who also lived in Chancery Lane.
John Simm was married in 1894.
Arthur Harry Simm was married on Christmas Day 1896 at St Peter's.
Jane married Albert Ashton on April 26th 1900 at St Peter's.
By March 31st 1901, the family had moved to Bramura Street, Parr. Joseph was still working as a coal hewer. Margaret Simm was still unmarried at 27, and living with Joseph and Sarah. Two of their Morris children were still living with them - William, now 22, and working as a coal miner drawer, and Edith, now fifteen. Also in the household was a grandson, Harry Simm, who was eight months old.
Edie's mother Sarah died in 1903 at the age of 57. She was buried at St Peter's on March 17th 1903.
Mary was married on January 21st 1904 at St Peter's.
Edith must have met her future husband Harry on a visit to her half-sister Mag (Margaret Ellen (Simm) Noden) in Droylsden. Harry lived in Newton St., just a couple of minutes away. Mag's husband must have had some interesting stories to tell, having been off to a gold rush at some point.
Edith married Harry Whitehead on April 20th 1908 at St Peter's. The witnesses were John C. Simm, Arthur Harry Simm, and Mary Elizabeth Bradbury. John and Arthur were of course her half-brothers, and Mary Elizabeth was the daughter of her half-sister Annie (Simm) Bradbury.
By April 2nd 1911, Harry and Edith were living in their own household in St Helens. Harry was working as a railway inspector. They had two-year-old twins, Edith Hannah ("Ena") and Joseph Eric. Sadly, little Ena died at the age of five of bronchial pneumonia - she had always been the sickly one of the two.
During the First World War, Harry was in the 3rd Battalion of the King's Own, Royal Lancaster, Regiment. Edith spent some time in Folkestone during the war, and she had to shelter in the white tunnels in the chalk cliffs there during air raids. Their daughter May (born in 1914) retained the memory of the white tunnels as one of her early memories. Arthur Harry ("Artie"), the fourth and last child, was born in 1917 in Blackpool. He had some kind of disability in one foot, but it can't have been too severe as he managed to join the army during the Second World War.
Harry died in 1927 at 5, Addison Crescent, Blackpool. By this time he was no longer a railway inspector, but had been working as a window cleaner.
Finding herself widowed with a young family and no money, Edie rolled up her sleeves, and kept the family together by sheer hard graft. A relative described her as having a wonderful strong personality with a great sense of humour, and the focus of the family. She had beautiful blue eyes, and black hair that went snowy white with age.
During WWII, Edie and her son Eric lived with Mag at 8 Holyoake Street, Droylsden. The house would have been crowded by modern standards, as it was only a modest two up two down and was housing two families. It was typical of the area at the time. There was no bathroom or kitchen, though there was a scullery and a black-leaded device in the fireplace to cook on; baths were in a moveable zinc bath in front of the fire, on Fridays.
Edie died in 1967 in Blackpool, aged 81.
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