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Elizabeth Smith (nee Alker), the only child of her humble, working class parents, was born in Pemberton, Wigan. She seems to have had it all, a fortunate start with loving parents followed by a happy marriage, caring children, and a long and healthy life. Yet, everything has not been quite so straightforward for her. Fate has a way of disrupting even the smoothest of paths, and that’s how life was for Elizabeth.
A series of illnesses and deaths marred her teenage years leaving her an orphan, bereft of close family. She married young and, still reeling from the loss of her immediate family, her loving husband did his utmost to ease her loneliness and shock. That is, until fate threw her world into chaos again. As WW2 loomed, her young husband was conscripted and sent away, leaving her alone with her firstborn.
Follow her on her journey through an extraordinary life, sometimes tragic, sometimes hilarious. An ordinary young woman living her life in the same area and time frame as George Orwell’s study of the working class ‘The Road to Wigan Pier’, she would probably have witnessed the same scenes he depicted. Although he concentrated on the negative side of the 1930s Great Depression, Elizabeth’s recollections show the sheer grit and determination of the community at that time. It is eighty years since Orwell published his work in 1937, a fitting time to publish the memories of Elizabeth Smith.
About This Book
My years of family history research inspired me to encourage my mother, Elizabeth Smith, to write down her memories, so that her following generations may know about her life experiences.
The words in this biography are mostly hers. I corrected them only when necessary to ease the grammar, make the meaning clearer, or to place events in chronological time periods. Bearing the above in mind, I edited the work and added references gleaned from my own studies.
Hopefully, this fascinating account will have a wider reader appeal, not just for those researching their family in the Lancashire area. Surnames included in this book are:
ACKERS, ALKER, BARTON, BOOTH, BUTTERWORTH, CULSHAW, EDGAR, EVANS, FISHWICK, FOURACRE, HALLIWELL, HOLT, JOHNSON, RAWSTHORNE, PENNINGTON, PHYTHIAN, REDDINGTON, SMITH, SPENCER, TABERNER, THISTLEWOOD, TURNER.