Go tell Aunt Mercy

The old song actually is ‘Go tell Aunt Rody that the old grey goose is dead’. As a child, I tended to swap Mercy in and Rody out because I had an Aunt Mercy, or rather a Great Aunt Mercy. We used to see her quite often because she lived quite near us.

From the old photos we think Aunt Mercy was fond of family for in those days, close on 100 years ago, when money was short, we seem to see her quite often in family photos.

This one was taken close by my grandparents’ flat in Bexhill. I can recognise the terrace in the background as those flats – where dad was born. My grandfather would have been the photographer. I only have a negative.

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Mercy was the older sister of my Grandad. She was born in 1878 so was best part a dozen years older than my grandfather. She married George Ernest Edwards in 1903 and had five children who survived and we see the four youngest ones here. Hilda, who stands next to her mother, was born in 1905 and in front we have John, born 1914, Ruth, born 1911 and George born 1907. From that we take it that the photo dates from the early 1920s

I knew the two girls, albeit as older women. They were my dad’s cousins and they lived only three or four miles from us. I’m not sure I ever met the boys and I’d still like to know more about them.

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