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My Family: Aunt Rosie, A Secret A Tragedy (1).

Updated on February 20, 2016
Try to remember this.
Try to remember this. | Source

I Found The Truth In The End.

My mothers name was Violet, she had four sisters, their names were Alice, May, Lily and Rose. This is the story of Rose truly a free spirit. Rose was born in 1910, she grew up with the rest of the family living a normal life just like her brothers and sisters, her brothers were George and William. Along came the Second World War in 1939, all were gainfully employed until Rose met Ron, a Petty Officer who was in the Royal Navy. It was still war time but they managed to see each other on a regular basis. Then the call came for Ron to move to a naval base in the South of England and Rose went with him.

The Family Ties Are Broken.

Remember there was no such things as cell phones or computers, people did not generally have telephones in their homes, besides it was war time and communications were difficult at any time. I mention this because nothing was heard from Rose for almost two years. One morning my mother received a letter. Rose told her that she had left Ron, he had been awful to her and her words were 'he used to knock me about' She said that she was alright and had gained a position working as a maid in a house in Stoke. Rose also said 'the people here are very kind to me' Stoke is a town in the Midlands of England. She also said that she was now in touch with her friend Nora, who worked in an office so she could ring her with any news. Nora had said she would pop round to see my mum with any news or messages.

Another year or so went by. Then one evening Nora called to see my mother. She told her that about a year ago Ron had arrived to see Rose. He said he was sorry for his previous behaviour and pleaded with her to take him back. One must remember here that Rose was alone and whatever her reasons she took him back.

Things become unclear here but it seems within a short time Rose had left her proper secure employment. She and Ron had taken a flat / apartment in an old house in a different part of town. Rose had told Nora not to let my mother know, until she felt that all would be well with Ron. Well all was not well with Ron, he returned to his 'old ways' and again he was called to other duties. This time Rose would not go with him and they parted again. After he had gone Rose found herself to be pregnant, alone, unemployed and with the rent to pay.

A Desperate Visit From Nora.

I now come to the reason for Nora's visit, she had called without telling Rose of her intention. Rose had called her that afternoon and told her she had to leave the flat. She had very little money and had nowhere to go. Nora had told her that she must come home but for the shame of her situation she refused. She told Nora that she was leaving the next afternoon for London. Somehow she had the address of a 'home for unmarried mothers' In those days this would be a charitable institution with only the very basic living standards. To her eternal credit Nora could not let this go unreported. My mother and father were heartbroken.They tried to let other family members know as best they could. Fortunately Nora had Rose's address in Stoke. There was no way that Rose was going to such a place no matter what her situation. They resolved to drive to Stoke early the next morning. Nora told them they were not going without her so she stayed overnight.

More Heartbreak.

They set off for Stoke the next morning. Expecting to see Rose on their arrival, they knocked on the door. The Landlord and his wife answered the door, they said that Rose had left on foot an hour earlier, she was carrying a small suitcase and two bags. They were then directed to the Railway Station and set off. One can only imagine their feelings at this time, although the train wasn't due until later in the afternoon, they parked and dashed into the Station. There was only one platform and a few people standing around. Then they saw the pregnant young woman, she was sat near the far end of the platform and she had a small suitcase and two bags.

I don't know what was said, I know there were tears then smiles and a drive back to Manchester. I know that Rose gave birth to a boy and he was named Peter. I know that they stayed within the family group for a period of time and I know that one day Ron came back and she was gone. She said she wanted to give it another go so that Peter would have his Dad. She hoped having a child would change Ron, I don't know if it did or not.

A Knock At The Door Brings Terrible News.

I do know that one weekend Ron arrived at our front door. My mother let him in, he asked her to sit down. My mother sat down and Ron's words were ' I'm sorry to tell you this Violet, but Rose is dead ' I don't know what my mum said to him in return. He said that Peter would be staying with him and that he would keep in touch. To my knowledge we never saw either of them again.

Throughout my life I asked my mother what happened to auntie Rosie, it brought a tear and sadness. So I learned that it was better to let things rest. My mother never spoke of her, my aunts and uncles over the years were asked but to no avail. Today a person might push the point and eventually find out. In those days things were very different. I don't think there was any shame in their not telling, I truly believe that the pain was too much to bear.

In my family photograph album is a black and white photograph of Rose, until the day my mother died this photograph stood in a frame on a sideboard in my mothers house. When I look at it now, I see a lovely young woman with blonde hair and a lovely smile. Her name was Rosie Ball and she was beautiful.




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Family Breakdown.

© 2012 Graham Lee

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    • JamaGenee profile image

      Joanna McKenna 5 years ago from Central Oklahoma

      Graham, how very sad for your family. Have you ever looked up the circumstances of Rosie's death? I can't imagine it went unrecorded since Ron notified the family (albeit after the fact). At the very least, there should be a record of her final resting place, and we can only hope Ron gave her a proper burial.

      Forgive me for sounding like a snoop, but was Ball her maiden name or her married name?

      Voted up, awesome and beautiful. ;D

    • old albion profile image
      Author

      Graham Lee 5 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Hello JamaGenee. Thank you for your visit and comments. We have tried to find out the facts. We do not know her whereabouts at the time of her death, nor the circumstances. We have not been able to find her on any census for the time. Having written this hub has increased my need to know even more. I will start another search from tomorrow. Ball was her maiden name.

      Thank you for the votes they are appreciated.

      Graham.

    • Sally's Trove profile image

      Sherri 5 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      Graham, every family has secrets. I hope you can discover more about Rose, a woman caught in unforgiving times, a woman who, from what you write, struggled to do the best she could, including stepping out on her own while also trying to reconcile with a man who was abusive (this much hasn't changed to this day).

      I hope you do discover more about her; it will be discovering more about you.

      Thank you for a thoughtful, poignant, and provocative read. Voted, also, as JamaGenee, up, awesome, and beautiful. ~Sherri

    • Angela Blair profile image

      Angela Blair 5 years ago from Central Texas

      What a tragic, poignant story -- we never know what does/can befall some of our loved ones. This is so well written and told in such a heartfelt manner -- I feel the pain of you and your family. Excellent Hub and voted up. Best/Sis

    • old albion profile image
      Author

      Graham Lee 5 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Hello Sherri. Thank you so much for your thoughtful comments. Yes Rose certainly struggled in her life. I will try to find out more. Thank you for the votes. I do appreciate it.

      Graham.

    • old albion profile image
      Author

      Graham Lee 5 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Hello Angela. Thank you for your very kind comments. You are right, we never know what is around the corner.

      Thank you for the votes they are greatly appreciated.

      Graham.

    • JamaGenee profile image

      Joanna McKenna 5 years ago from Central Oklahoma

      Graham, was Ron's last name Massey?

    • old albion profile image
      Author

      Graham Lee 5 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      High Jama. No not Massey. Since my last post I have spent 3 days researching. I am pleased to say that I have found Rose's date of birth, a record of her marriage to Ron, the birth of Peter and I think the place of her passing. in 1950 at the age of 31. When I am completely happy with these and other details, I will contact you and let you know the outcome of my research.

      I greatly appreciate your concern and interest.

      Best Wishes.

      Graham.

    • JamaGenee profile image

      Joanna McKenna 5 years ago from Central Oklahoma

      Wow! I'm impressed! But feel free to contact me and let me know what you've already found and I'll be happy to put another pair of eyes on any missing details. Do you know yet what happened to Peter...if he's still alive and if so, where he might be now? ;D

    • old albion profile image
      Author

      Graham Lee 5 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Hi Jama. I don't know yet about Peter he will be 70 now it's doubtful that I will contact him if I find him. I am sending today for a copy of Rose's death certificate, hopefully I will find the cause of death.

      I will let you know as soon as I get things clear.

      Thanks again.

      Graham.

    • JamaGenee profile image

      Joanna McKenna 5 years ago from Central Oklahoma

      Great! Looking forward to it! ;D

    • old albion profile image
      Author

      Graham Lee 5 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Thank you Sherri. I do appreciate your comments. I have resolved to try again to find out 'what happened' I have already made a start and I have discovered some information on roses passing. I have sent for the death certificate, hopefully this will put my mind to rest. Thank you again for your lovely comments.

      Graham.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      Hi, what a sad story, and really intriguing. I hope you can find out exactly what happened to Rose, there must be a record of how she died. Family secrets seem to run in all our families from that time, these days there would be much more of an investigation, but of course back then people found it harder to find out these things, good luck and let me know if you find anything. the other thing I was going to say was that it was strange to hear these names as Rose, Ron, and May were all my family names too! On my mums side. My gran was Rose, May was her sister, and Ron was my mums brother who also served in the war, but he was a navigator/pilot in wellington bombers, he died in strange circumstances, evidently the plane they were in crashed coming back to Kinross and he got out, it was in a river, but he went back to save his friend who was trapped, and he got drowned too. I am actually looking for a great grandad who was in the Canadian army back in 1903, he got my grandmother pregnant and went back to Canada without knowing, she was brought up as the 'sister' of my grandad instead of his mother! so it seems we are both searching for answers, good luck, nell

    • old albion profile image
      Author

      Graham Lee 5 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Hi Nell. Thanks for your visit, I have made recent investigations and am awaiting a copy of Rose's death certificate (Providing it is the right Rose) I will let you know.

      Graham.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

      Oh Graham what a heart rending story; poor Rose and also your mother's grief and heartache.

      I know what it is like not to talk about something which hurt so much.

      Also to shut everyone up with a glance or silence.

      This was me when my sister did back in 1999;I was such a different person to the one I am today.

      But oh how it hurt; and it left a void never to heal for many years.

      Sharing and talking is much healthier but it has got to be what a person wants and needs.

      I can understand what it is not to know where someone you love is and to pray to God nothing bad would happen to them.

      My heart goes out to you Graham and i keep you in my thoughts and hope maybe you will find out a little more.

      Thanks for sharing such a heart tugging story;it takes courage doesn't it??!!

      Please let me know how you get on ;I really would like to know.

      Take care and here's to so many more hubs for us both to share on here.

      Eddy.

    • old albion profile image
      Author

      Graham Lee 5 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Hi Eddy. Thank you for your heartfelt comments. I am trying to find out what happened whilst I am able to. I will let you know of the outcome. Thank you again.

      Graham.

    • Rosemay50 profile image

      Rosemary Sadler 5 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

      A tragic story. I hope you do find out what happened.

      I feel sorry for the boy, Peter he has missed out on so much of his family.

    • old albion profile image
      Author

      Graham Lee 5 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Hello Rosemay50. Thank you for your kind comments. I am making more enquiries at present. I am awaiting Rose's death certificate. I have found where she was when she died and a little more besides. Thanks again.

      Graham.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Indeed a very sad story and thank you for sharing it. You don't write much of late and I for one am disappointed in that fact. I love your stories!

    • old albion profile image
      Author

      Graham Lee 5 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Thank you for your kind comment Billy. I shall return shortly.

      Graham.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 5 years ago from southern USA

      Oh, how heartbreaking for you and your family. She sounded like a very beautiful soul. A lot of families do have those secrets. In His Love, Faith Reaper

    • old albion profile image
      Author

      Graham Lee 5 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Hello Faith Reaper. Thank you for your kind comments, I do appreciate them.

      Albion.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Poor Rose and what a life she had from the time she married. I am sure that it was a heartbreak for all of those who loved her like your mother. Her son probably had a hard time also since it was unlikely that his father would have changed his ways. Sad story! Hope that you find all that you are looking for and that you can put your mind to rest and that you can fill in some family history for posterity purposes.

    • old albion profile image
      Author

      Graham Lee 4 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Hello Peggy W. Thank you so much for your kind comments. I am researching at present and I will add another hub with the news as I find it. Thank you again.

      Graham.

    • old albion profile image
      Author

      Graham Lee 4 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Hi to everyone that has kept in touch regarding the outcome of my search for more information on Rose. I am pleased to say that I do now know a little more and I will post all my info this weekend.

      Thank you for all your kind thoughts.

      Graham.

    • JamaGenee profile image

      Joanna McKenna 4 years ago from Central Oklahoma

      Looking forward to it!

    • Motherbynature profile image

      Motherbynature 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      My heart goes out to your family. I love reading family history because it is so real and so full of emotion.

    • old albion profile image
      Author

      Graham Lee 4 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Thank you for your heartfelt comments. I have been researching more on Rose's life and I have found a little more information. I will follow on with this hopefully this week. What I have found is comforting. Thanks again.

      Graham.

    • snowdrops profile image

      snowdrops 4 years ago from The Second Star to the Right

      Oh my Graham.. this is a very sad story. I wanted to cry because one time in my life I lost an uncle..he was a navy and a very good swimmer. when he was promoted, his friends invite him for a drink (happens on the ship). then one morning, he's gone..and no one admitted what they did to him.maybe they threw him on the ocean..

      it was very sad, just like your story, it made me cry.

    • old albion profile image
      Author

      Graham Lee 4 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Hi Snow. A very sad story indeed, he just disapeared from the ship at sea ?I fear you will never find the answer to his loss. I have made further enquiries regarding Rose, I have found out a little more and will publish the hub in a couple of days. Thank you so much for your visit and comments.

      Graham.

    • EuroNinila profile image

      Fotinoula Gypsyy 4 years ago from NYC BABY

      That is sad! Poor Aunt Rose, and back then times were so much harder!

    • unknown spy profile image

      IAmForbidden 4 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

      hi Graham. this story really put tears on my eyes. i always cry about losing someone. I lost my grandma years ago but every night i cry and wished i'll see her again.

      I will also visit your hub to read about Aunt Rose. Forgive me to say this but i literally cried! Oh my...

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 4 years ago from New York, New York

      Powerful story and truly made me cry at the end. So sorry about your end and understand that back then things were so different and stuff was totally left unspoken in our family too for certain things. Voted up and sharing too.

    • Jlava73 profile image

      Jennifer Vasconcelos 4 years ago from Cyberspace and My Own World

      Touching account of Aunt Rose's difficult and short life. I wish you well on your quest for answers.

    • old albion profile image
      Author

      Graham Lee 4 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Hi EuroNinila. Thank you for your visit and most welcome comment.

      Graham.

    • old albion profile image
      Author

      Graham Lee 4 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Hi US. Thank you your heartfelt comments. Life can be so upsetting at times. We do however get over our problems with time.

      Graham.

    • old albion profile image
      Author

      Graham Lee 4 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Hi Janine. Yes things in those days were so different Thankfully we now have a more open and free society. Thank you for your vote and sharing.

      Graham.

    • old albion profile image
      Author

      Graham Lee 4 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Hi Jlava73. Thank you for your valued comment and goodwishes. I shall publish the second and last hub on 'Rose' today. Thank you for your interest.

      Graham.

    • CrazedNovelist profile image

      A.E. Williams 4 years ago from Hampton, GA

      That was an intense story, Albion. Family mysteries are the worst. Sometimes there is a great deal of tension when questions are asked and it's scary to think of what truly happened. A family secret can evoke so much emotion. Sometimes it's just too difficult to bear.

      -Aubrey

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

      I don't know how i missed this. It was so interesting. I have a feeling her life ended sadly. Thank you for sharing..

    • old albion profile image
      Author

      Graham Lee 4 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Hi CrazedNovelist. Thank you for your visit and thoughtful comments. I have just published a second and last part to the story. It does bring closure. Again thank you for your visit.

      Graham.

    • old albion profile image
      Author

      Graham Lee 4 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Hello Ruby. Thank you for your visit and heartfelt comments. I have just published the second and last part of the story, it does bring closure. Thank you again.

      Graham.

    • Movie Master profile image

      Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hello Graham, what a tragic and sad story of Rosie, and what a difficult 31 years she lived, she died at such a young age.

      Good luck with your further investigations, I hope you find out more information, hopefully the death certificate will tell you more.

      Thank you for sharing, voting up.

      Best wishes Lesley

    • old albion profile image
      Author

      Graham Lee 4 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Gooe morning MM. Thank you so much for your valued visit. Yes, Rose had a difficult life, although the care for her was there. She seemed to find unhappiness a constant companion.

      Graham.

    • Seeker7 profile image

      Helen Murphy Howell 4 years ago from Fife, Scotland

      Oh Graham what a heartbreaking story of Rose. You say that she was beautiful with blonde hair and a lovely smile - I think she must have also been beautiful inside! Always hoping for the best in people only to be let down. Then, when she tried to do the best for her son, fate was already waiting - but with what? Whatever happened to this beautiful 'free spirit' I'm certain she is at peace now. Who knows, maybe one day a person might turn up saying they are Peter or related to him? Families do have a nack of coming back together eventually.

      A sad but beautiful and awesome hub - you really are a wonderful writer Graham! Think about writing a book about your family, it would be awesome!

    • old albion profile image
      Author

      Graham Lee 4 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Hello Seeker7. Again thank you for your welcome visit and greatly appreciated comments. If you check my other hubs, you will find the second and last part of the Rose story. I did find her at last. Thank you again.

      Graham.

    • bac2basics profile image

      Anne 4 years ago from Spain

      Hiya Graham. Just saw a comment of yours on another hub, and seeing you are from Lancashire I had to check you out ( I´m from Yorkshire but lived in Lancashire for years before relocating to Spain) What a sad story. I do hope you find some news about Rose, and where she was buried etc..wouldn´t it be lovely to place a rose on her grave and let her know she was never forgotten...mind you, she will know that from the spirit world anyway. How tragic life can be at times.

    • old albion profile image
      Author

      Graham Lee 4 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Hi Annie. Thank you for your visit and comments, I do appreciate them. There is a follow up to this hub on my pages. There is more news there. I have sent a message elsewhere on your page talking 'Lanky' I hope you have found it. I am also following.

      Graham.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

      Hi Graham I know I've read this one before but it was just as wonderful second time round.

      Here's to so m,any more for us to share on here.

      Eddy.

    • old albion profile image
      Author

      Graham Lee 4 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Hi Eddy. Thank you for your second visit. You will find a follow up to this hub on my pages. There is more news of Rose. I hope you can find it.

      Graham.

    • travmaj profile image

      travmaj 4 years ago from australia

      What a sad story but I'm glad you told it and paid tribute to Rose - how difficult it must have been for her in those war years too. Thanks for this -

    • old albion profile image
      Author

      Graham Lee 4 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Hi travmaj. Thank you for your visit and comment. There is a follow up to this hub on my pages. It give more information and defines the end of my search.

      Graham.

    • viveresperando profile image

      viveresperando 4 years ago from A Place Where Nothing Is Real

      Thank you for your comment on my hub. Found this one, loved it, going to look right now for your follow up hub.

    • old albion profile image
      Author

      Graham Lee 4 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Hi again, I have left a comment on the other hub comment box. Thanks again for reading. Regards.

      Graham.

    • mizjo profile image

      mizjo 4 years ago from New York City, NY

      I hope you find your Aunt Rose, so tragically dead at 31. I only pray she did not die as a direct or indirect result of a final beating, that would be too hard to bear.

      From all I've read, an abusive spouse does not change! He could cry, beg forgiveness, swear to change, foam at the mouth. But he does not change.

      It must have been so hard for your mother to see Ron take her sister's son with him, knowing his cruel tendencies. But in those difficult post-war days there was little she could have done to take him away from his father.

      Great writing, Graham. Thank you for a look into life in those days.

    • old albion profile image
      Author

      Graham Lee 4 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Hi mizjo. Thank you for your indepth comments, they are greatly appreciated. If you check my hubs there is a follow up in Rose2, I did some more research and there is an end to the story, though a sad one. I am updating 3 hubs at present and cannot remember if Rose 2 is one of them. If it is I will update it tomorrow, you should then be able to read it, as i say it might be there now.

      Thank you .

      Graham.

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Haze 4 years ago from Sunny Florida

      How sad for your family. It horrible not knowing what has happened to a loved one. I will be watching for updates, hopefully you will find out someday.

    • old albion profile image
      Author

      Graham Lee 4 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Hi KKG. Thank you for your visit and comments. If you check my hubs you will see 'Rose2' this completes the story. Please check it out. Thanks again.

      Graham.

    • profile image

      Emeline 2 years ago

      Unleaallrped accuracy, unequivocal clarity, and undeniable importance!

    • old albion profile image
      Author

      Graham Lee 2 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Hi Emeline. Thank you for your welcome visit and comments.I do appreciate then.

      Graham.

    • profile image

      Bertie 2 years ago

      That's a posting full of insgiht!

    • old albion profile image
      Author

      Graham Lee 2 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Hi Bertie. Thanks for your visit and comment. If you check the hubs you will find a follow up to this hub. Thanks again.

      Graham.

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