As you already know, I’ve been delving into my family history again, of late. This time I’ve been looking at a line on my dad’s side ~ the Pink family. My great-great-grandfather was one George Pink. He was one of nine, with eight managing to survive childhood. However, he died early, at just 28, from Typhoid in 1877. He left a wife, Elizabeth, with four small children. One daughter, Jane, pre-deceased him in 1876, aged three-and-a-half. She died from Tabes Mesenterica, something I’d never heard heard of ~ Tuberculosis of lymph glands inside the abdomen. It was an illness of children caused by drinking milk from cows infected with tuberculosis. How tragic.
George’s 4th child was Emily (1876-1964) and she was my great-grandmother. She was raised in the Church of England but became a Roman Catholic when she married John in 1905. Apparently she embraced Catholicism wholeheartedly and was thrilled when one of her sons became a priest in the mid 1930s. This is her in the photo below.
The very stylish lady in the photo below is Emily’s daughter Gloria (1907-1988), George’s grand-daughter and my grandmother. This photo was taken in 1949 at Emily’s other daughter Ivy’s wedding. I have strong memories of my grandmother, she was very much a part of our lives when we were all small and, if asked, I would use the word elegant
to describe her.
George’s great-grandson is my dad (1942-1995), Gloria’s only child. We all miss him still. Today would have been his 68th birthday. I was talking with my mum last week and we agreed that my dad’s legacy is not only his two much loved grandsons, but also the impact he made on the lives of hundreds of young people through his long involvement with the Air Training Corps
There’s a lot more still to discover about the Pink line, they were a prolific lot! George lost a nephew and a grandson in the First World War: his grandson John Ford Pink (the son of Emily’s brother William) died in 1917 and is buried in the Bailleul Military Cemetery in France.
By a bizarre twist of fate, the above photo came from the War Graves Photographic Project
, on which both my sister and I are volunteers. She has photographed most of her bit of NE Scotland and I have photographed West London and Hong Kong (on honeymoon!). You should check them out if you ever want a photo of a British or Commonwealth Military grave.
And then there is the Infant Mortality Rate to consider. The Pinks produced lots of offspring, but, as I’m discovering, an awful lot of them died extremely young: Eleanor Margaret at 15 from Scarlatina (the only sibling of John Ford Pink, a double tragedy for their parents), little Hector John at 1 year from Acute Bronchitis, and 2 year old Wilfred from Measles. I am so grateful for the high standard of childcare and medicines available today. But that’s the thing about family history, you have to take the rough with the smooth. For every family with a Victoria Cross winner or an inventor of something amazing, there are more families like mine. And the really odd thing is that I’m very proud of my Pink line: hard working, working-class and poorly educated, but still attempting to do right by their loved ones. And, after all, that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it?