Cyn’s great friend from college, Dottie, may have had the same training in High Class Cookery as she did, but Dottie’s path during the war was very different. She had married towards the beginning of the war, and her husband George Burton was an officer who died in 1944, leaving Dottie with one son. Later she married Ken Wilyman and lived a long and happy life in Sutton Coldfield, bringing up 4 boys, and dying in her 100th year. She was my godmother, and encouraged me in this project. When I sent her my commentary on my grandfather Gordon Ewing* (whom she loathed, she said), she returned it as a letter that gave her opinion of him and summed up Cyn’s life until she left for Canada. I include it because it gives a different perspective- not only from a friend, but also from the distance of 50 or 60 years later.
Dear Linda – I hope this passes as a letter.
When Cyn first lived in Walkerville & lived next door to the Sheedys & opposite to Nan & Mrs. Allan she also knew my George & Neville? who was our best man. (Both George and Neville died in the war.) They all played badminton at a local club – also one Roly Cassidy who was a friend of George’s & George & I got them together for dances- he was very keen but Cyn wasn’t too impressed! Next one of George’s architect friends who came from a rather grand family in Co. Durham. Dr. Ewing was impressed (he was a snob!)
Cyn was a great pal to me when I had a baby & lost my husband in 1944. I was always encouraging Cyn to leave home. Incidentally they lived near me when we were at college & only returned to Walkerville when he (the Doc) retired.
Once Cyn left home she really began to live her own life- during the war she met Hugh (then a major in the U.S. Army but billeted in this country. He was a stunner! (but married.) I met him when he was with Cyn and believe me- they really did make a good couple & she must’ve been very upset when the war ended & he went back home.
It was super when Cec came on the scene at the end of the war. By then Carol was with Cyn in Cambridge & everything went well. Old man in the local asylum & Cyn did visit him. I remember she made a special visit to him before she set off for Canada. Bless her she was a lot more forgiving than I would have been.
* see earlier post, ‘Dr. J.M.G. Ewing, my grandfather.’