Kate (Catherine Lamin) is Harry’s sister. She was 10 years older than him. She was a successful midwife in London and later moved to Leeds where she, eventually, became a Matron of a hospital. She died in July 1948 when she was 70 years old. The evidence suggests that she is Connie’s mother. The photograph of Willie and Connie is clearly professionally produced. Ethel certainly wouldn't have been able to afford it. Kate may well have been able to help. (Sister Anita has the chair today)
It is also likely that Kate helped Harry's family through the difficult years following the war. If her daughter were living there, that would make some sense.
My sister remembers Kate as a "formidable woman".
Connie (Constance Wilkinson Lamin) was a bit of a mystery. She was brought up as Willie’s sister, but she certainly wasn’t his real sister. There are two stories.
Willie, (Bill),(who’s memory is not too reliable now, aged 90) has said that Connie was the daughter of a wealthy family in the town. As she was disabled, they advertised in the newspaper for someone to look after her. Ethel answered the advert and looked after Connie.
The true story is that she was Kate’s illegitimate daughter. Kate would not have been able to pursue her successful career in hospitals with a daughter in tow. The birth Certificate I have obtained confirms this. Kate is buried in the same grave as Connie. The grave in Ilkeston cemetery contains just the two of them.
There is a mention in a letter of Connie "walking" which made sense when I received her death certificate which confirmed that she had cerebral palsy.
The photograph is of her and Willie. She was born in 1910 and so was about 8 in the photograph. Willie would be 2.
Sadly she died at 19 years old in 1929. She was buried on Christmas Eve 1929 in Ilkeston cemetery.
Click to enlarge photograph
Posted by Pte Harry Lamin at 8:10 pm