“A Time to be Born”.
Typescript. 98pp. 1976.
Memories of her childhood in 1920s and 1930s. Born c.1920.
Begins with memories of Hong Kong and her amah. Narrator was part of an army family, and lived in Warrant Officer’s quarters. Events- typhoon; Chinese funeral; landslide. School. Tradesmen- Flower man; canary man. Picnics; swimming in the sea, Christmas parties. Cinema.
Father given commission in England. Voyage home. Stories about parents, and their experiences in the Isle of Wight and Malta. Family lived in Bembridge, Isle of Wight, and Chester. Memories- Roman Catholic convent school; General strike. Sundays- church, games. Father then posted to India, to Quetta, Baluchistan. (Now in Pakistan) c. 1928.
Voyage. Port said. Suez Canal. Aden. Then train journey from Karachi (now Pakistan) to Quetta.
Quetta. India. (Pakistan)
Life in Quetta. Their bungalow. Servants. Organisation of household. Severe winter. Local bazaar. Natural beauty of area and its wildlife. Army community in Quetta, and the social life. Trips in car, ie. to Mach, Sibi.
School- went to Roman Catholic Convent school; ethos; lunchtimes; journeys to and from by car, tonga, and bicycle.
School friend’s family ran a hotel. Visits to her home. Mother did voluntary work at hospital dispensary.
Letters from home. Family holiday at Ziaret. Family slept outside during summer- could hear band of the Scind Horse regiment playing. Outings, i.e. to Hanna valley.
Christmas- everyone her father had dealings with during the year would visit to pay respects and leave gifts. Diwali. Ramadan. New Years Day parade.
Plagues of locusts.
Narrator’s sister, Betty, aged 16, was sent to Lawrence Royal Military School at Sanawar near Simla.
1931- earthquakes, earth tremors.
1932-narrator’s father taken ill, died within 24 hours. Family returned to England.