Rhoda Alice Blight
Born: August 24, 1892
Died: January 20, 1951
TO MY MOTHER
RHODA ALICE BLIGHT
BORN DEVON 24TH AUGUST 1892
PASSED LONDON 20TH JANUARY 1951
My mother was the eldest of 16 children, (in those days a family was a large family).
She went into "service" with a very lovely family, looking after their children and helping around the house, she was paid 10 pence an hour.
She was engaged to a lovely chap that loved her deeply when she was 18, when world war 1 broke out he went into in infantry, not long before the end of the war he was killed so mum was devastated.
She wanted to get away from the memories so she moved from the small village where she was born into Plymouth itself and trained to become a nurse.
Whilst there she met a man who's family were very high up, Lords in fact, they fell in love, they were going to marry but his family said my mother, having come from a farming family was not good enough for him, in those days sons and daughters did as their parents required of them. They broke off the engagement but mum was pregnant and did not tell him,
Over the years she progressed to Matron, but I digress, she moved to London when she was 39 years old and lived with my father William John Rosser , he was what we called in those days a " navvy ", doing road works and such.
Mum moved away from that hospital and did private nursing, then Joyce was born, mum's sister Flo had moved to Wales so she went to stay with aunty Flo for a while, there she met my father, his marriage was really on the rocks, mum and dad fell in love, Joyce was by now 5 years old.
They all moved to London and 6 years later ( at the insistence of Joyce ) mum gave birth to me. Mum was 41 when she had me so you could say I was turn of life baby. In the 6 years before I was born mum went back to nursing in the big hospital in Paddington, St Mary's, there she rose to the rank of Matron.
When I came along she had to give it all up to take care of me.
When war broke she went to work in a ammunitions factory as their nurse on duty.
We lived in fear every night as the German bombers came over.
When war ended we had street parties, all the children would be sat at tables in the middle of the roads. Rationing did not make for a good feast but we were so overjoyed that now we were living in peace. I can remember mum using boiled mashed Parsnip with sugar to make it taste like Bananas that we had not had for the duration of the war, dried egg powder, I can still smell it now all these years between. We only had sweets once a month.
I loaf of bread a week, We only had 8 ounces of meat each a week, many other things that are too numerous to tell. No more of those dreadful smelly gas masks that we had to carry everywhere and wear for half an hour a day in school to get used to that rubbery smell.
Mum started to take in sewing to do at home to earn a little more money.
She made all our clothes too so saved money that way.
I was a Tom Boy, loved playing football with the boys.
Mum made me the most beautiful pale lemon Sunday school dress, I had a beautiful Easter type bonnet, wide brimmed, pure white socks and black patent shoes, I looked really smart, I went to Sunday school twice, in the morning and afternoon.
I got into a fight with some buys and arrived home with my dress and hat ruined.
Blimey, was mum angry with me.
When mum was 56 she fell over in the living room and caught her breast really hard against a chair.
Later, much later she felt a small lump just under her left breast, she, having been a
Matron must have known what this meant but she said nothing.
She saw our Dr, he sent her to have x-rays, yes it was a LUMP, they took the left breast off but there was a gaping hole just by the arm pit that would not heal, she had to have radio therapy for 3 months every day, in those days you were not allowed to wash around where this had been used, she could not have a bath, could not wash her neck, she felt terrible, she was so fastidious about body and house being spotless.
I had to clean the living room every Sunday from top to bottom and she would inspect it after, I always forgot to dust the legs on the piano so she made me do the whole thing again.
I used to put a pair of dad's socks on and when the carpets were taken out to be shaken ( no vacuum then ) I had to put polish on the floor and pretend to be a skater to buff the floor.
That was fun. I was 18 in the Dec, just as I would need my mother the most. Mum passed the following month Jan. The cancer had taken over her whole body.
I miss you mum, there are so many unanswered questions that I would ask.