More Characters

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


Anonymous said...

i have just discovered this wonderful historical weblog. this is what i see as a perfect use of the new online multi-media tools, such as blogging. history and discovery, on a personal level. i am sure it has been a labor of love for you, and i thank you for what i am sure will be an enriching experience for myself.

i do have a question.
is it possible for you to include a photograph of the grave/gravestone of the final resting place of katie and connie? i love the history resplendent in cemeteries, and the constant mystery of what stories those headstones could tell, if only... well, this unique blog would be a 21st century way of connecting the history and mystery.

i have often wondered if i myself could take on such a task, perhaps photographing small rural South Carolina cemeteries, and then finding bits and pieces of the history to go with the tombstones.

thank you, from across the pond...

Anonymous said...

have you found out more about that son?

Pat Tobin said...

You say that Kate helped Harry's family out after the war. I hope this does not give a hint of what may have become of Henry (Harry)... said...

Very nice find...I don't know how the girls stood those awful boots!

Anonymous said...

It's clear from the way Connie's leaning on the chair that standing was difficult for her.

It'd be great to see some photos of Connie, Willie, etc, when they're older, if any can be found. Maybe these can be posted later.

I'd also like to hear some thoughts from Willie about his father, maybe after we've learned Harry's fate!

Tea N. Crumpet said...

When I see pictures like this, I hear Rod Stewart singing, "Forever Young" in my head. This is touchingly sweet.

Anonymous said...