This photograph was taken by my Dad in 1955. It shows my Mum with her Mum and my two brothers. They are pictured outside a Convalescent Nursing Home in Herne Bay where my Nan was trying to build her strength before a stomach operation. Her name was Mary Martha Harper .... or, Martha Mary Harper. Apparently even she wasn't sure of her own name. Nobody knew her real age either because, in those days, you lied about your children's age so you could get them working and into 'Service' earlier. I was really shocked when I learned that was what had happened to my Nan.
My Mum and Nan were very close. My Mum was the youngest of several sisters and half-sisters and during the war, when they were all evacuated, my Mum refused to go and stayed in London to look after her Mum who was already in poor health.
Strangely, I was tempted to call my daughter Martha when she was born. We chose Hannah instead. Had I known Martha was my Nan's name, I would've more likely made that choice. Hannah wouldn't have been pleased.