Born in Meonstoke in 1916 and shortly to celebrate her 100th birthday
Edith Cavell SMITH
Edith a twin was born on 17 November 1916 in Meonstoke and was baptized there in St Andrew’s church on 14 January 1917. Her twin brother was Lloyd George. They were named after the WWI nurse Edith CAVELL and Prime Minister Lloyd GEORGE. Their parents were Albert SMITH and Alice Mary BIGNELL who were married in Meonstoke on 13 April 1915. Albert’s father was William SMITH and Alice’s father was Francis BIGNELL. Both families were long-time residents in the village.
Edith will be the first centenarian in the family. Her siblings all lived to an old age with Frederick and Mary still alive and could also reach the centenarian age. Albert William born on 5 April 1915 was baptized 9 May 1915 and died aged 89. Lloyd George died aged 81 in Zimbabwe. Frederick Charles was born 27 June 1918 was baptized 21 July 1918 and currently lives in a home in Alton. Mary Beatrice was born 1922 and is now 94. Nora Alice was born 1924 and died aged 81.
From Meonstoke to Southampton
The family lived in King’s Farm in the centre of the village. Village life for a child in the 1930s was idyllic. Apart from school and the church the surrounding countryside was a playground. Life changed in 1930 when Albert SMITH moved his family to Southampton. He had a shop in Northam. This was a dramatic change from the country life to town life. Edith’s first job was household help followed by training as a parlour maid for a county coroner.
Edith and Charles ABRAHAM
Edith met Charles H. ABRAHAM on Southampton Common and they courted for four years. When they could afford to they were married in 1938 in the Southampton Registry Office. Shortly after this they moved to Lymington and later Pennington. Their children were Edward born in 1938, Alan born in 1942 and Stella born in 1949. They also had foster children after the war. After Charlie died in 1999 Edith remained in Pennington until she moved to a flat in Lymington. Due to failing health she eventually moved to the Forest Court Nursing Home at Calmore near Southampton. This is where she will become a centenarian and celebrate her 100th birthday.
HGS Research Centre