lundi 27 juin 2016

My great aunt : Alice Lilian Offen (1912)

ALICE LILIAN OFFEN (my grandmother's sister) was born in 1912 in Ramsgate, Kent.

Hastings Observer, 17 Feb 1945

She married CHARLES H A CUMMINGS (born 1906), a Canadian soldier, in February 1945. They both served overseas during World War II. Alice was in the ATS and served in Belgium. (The Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS; often pronounced as an acronym) was the women's branch of the British Army during the Second World War. It was formed on 9 September 1938, initially as a women's voluntary service, and existed until 1 February 1949, when it was merged into theWomen's Royal Army Corps : source wikipedia)

Charles was injured on service in Italy and received a military medal. Unfortunately he was a bigamist and had a wife back home.

They had a daughter JACQUELINE A CUMMINGS, known as Jackie, in 1947. She married CHRISTOPHER J HAZARD in December quarter 1966. She was killed, pregnant with her first child, in the Hither Green train crash in 1967.

Wikipedia : "On 5 November 1967, a busy Sunday evening train service from Hastings to London Charing Cross derailed near the Hither Green maintenance depot in London, between Hither Green and Grove Park railway stations. Of the twelve coaches, many full of standing passengers, eleven were derailed and four turned onto their sides, resulting in 49 fatalities and 78 people injured.
The derailment was found to be due to a broken rail. The Ministry of Transport report criticised the maintenance of the line, especially following a recent increase of the maximum speed of trains over the route. Following the accident the maintenance of the line was improved and plans accelerated for replacing jointed track by continuous welded rail."

She married JOHN SOCRATES ASPROGENIS in 1960. He was a Greek Cypriot and they met at the restaurant where Alice worked as a waitress. He was born in 1908. There was a previous marriage listed for a John Asprogenis to Ruth Plowright in 1932 in Paddington, London. Ruth died in 1947, aged 62, in Wandsworth, London.

John died in 1993. Alice and John lived at Cornwallis Gardens, Hastings.

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