2:486 LORD, Annie, ‘My Life’, MS, pp.12 (c.2,750 words). Brunel University Library.
Born around the turn of the century, probably in the district of Hornsey. From a family of 15. Suffered from deafness in one ear from birth, but the ailment was not discovered until later in life. Left school at age 14. Married at the age of 25. 3 sons, 1 daughter. Lived with her son following death of her husband.
Domestic servant (aged 14); dismissed from various employments because of her deafness; around the period of World War I she worked for the Hornsey gas company on the sulphur plants, for the Land Army and in a munitions factory; worked as a domestic help after her marriage, still working when in her seventies.
No details of interests or activities.
A moving story of a long struggle against a series of difficulties, evidencing a complete resignation to her lot in life. The problems started when she was born deaf in one ear and continued through her very poor childhood when Christmas dinners consisted of the heads of rabbits and pigs. She had been married for two years before her husband revealed the serious extent of his war injuries and made family life a misery through his drunkenness, jealousy and violent assaults on his wife. Unable to get a separation because of lack of means, the author battled against the odds to raise her young family only to see them taken away with the outbreak of war. Fiercely independent and strong-willed to the last, she was still working in old age. Written as one sentence with little regard for conventional syntax or spellings
Lord, Annie. ‘My Life,’ Burnett Archive of Working Class Autobiographies, University of Brunel Library, Special Collection Library, 2:486
‘Annie Lord’ in John Burnett, David Vincent and David Mayall (eds) The Autobiography of the Working Class: An Annotated, Critical Bibliography 1790-1945, 3 vols. (Brighton: Harvester, 1984, 1987, 1989): 2:486