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story icon What Was Her Story?

Contributed by: Karen Farrell
1865 - 1910


My Great Great Grandmother was from Secunderabad in India. Sometime around 1865 she met and married my Great Great Grandfather William Smith, who was a soldier serving with the 39th Regiment of Foot. She took on the Anglicised name Elizabeth and had three children with William while he served in India, Elizabeth, Ruth and my Great Grandfather David.

Sometime before 1881 they journeyed to England to settle in Bury St.Edmunds where William was born, and they both lived until a ripe old age.

But what was her story? As a child I was always fascinated by my Indian Great Great Granny. How must she have felt arriving in cold grey England? What from her culture did she pass onto her children, (apart from sallow skin and Asian noses)? Did she try to hid her background? Or did she celebrate it in private? What name did her mother give her?

It is a terrible loss to me, even three generations on, that I don't know these things.

I would love to hear some stories that have been passed on from other families who moved here in the late Victorian period.





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