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Photo of Georgina Little

Georgina Little

Birthplace Cumberland Aspatria England Date of Birth: January 3, 1897 Date of Death: February 1, 1988


Full name of worker at H.M. Factory Gretna (and any other names they are known by) : Georgina Little

Gender: Female
Date and place of birth: 3rd January 1897 Aspatria, Cumberland
Date and Place of Death: Aspatria February 1988
Nationality: English

Childhood: Youngest of 7
Parents: George and Mary nee Edgar
Parents occupations: Ag labourer then coal miner
Schools / universities attended and years of attendance:  None known
Occupation: Anecdotally – a maid but highly likely a munitionette
Place of residence at Gretna: Not known
Marital status: Married in 1936
Children: None
Travels: None
Awards/recognitions: None
Positions held: None
Trivia / any other information: Yes

Books published (Title, year of publication, publisher):
Books written about the individual or mentioning the individual (Title, year of publication, publisher):


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Georgina Little 1897-1988

Georgina was born on 3rd January 1897 at Aspatria, Cumberland to George Little and Mary nee Edgar. She was the youngest of 7 children born in 16 years. George who was born in Wigton and Mary born in West Newton married in 1881 , the 1881 census places them as a married couple living at Newtown,. Aspatria. George 26, an agricultural labourer, Mary 24 and Anne Elizabeth 7 months. 

There is no evidence of George prior to 1881 but the 1871 census lists Mary as a 14 year old servant nurse to a 1 year old at Drumbergh, Bowness on Solway in a household of a 75 widow landowner, her grandson and wife who are farmers and their 2 children. Mary was one of 3 servants. 

Following the birth of Anne Elizabeth ( Lizzie) in 1881, Mary Jane was born in 1883, Joseph Edgar in 1885, Florence in 1888, Lilian ( Lily) in 1890, Thomas ( Tom) in 1892 and finally Georgina ( Ina ) in 1897. Mary was fortunate as we learn from the 1911 census that none of her babies died. 

Th 1891 census places the Little family at West End , Aspatria. George, born n Wigton is now a coal miner 36, Mary 32. Annie Elizabeth is 10 and a scholar. Mary Jane 8, scholar, Joseph Edgar,6 scholar all born in Aspatria. Florence is 3 and Lilian 1 born at Hayton. 

By 1901 and still living at West End, Aspatria. George is 46 and a coal hewer, Ann Elizabeth is listed in the family home aged 20 but is working as a general domestic servant locally, Joseph at 16 is a stone mason’s apprentice, Florence is 13, Lillian 11, Tom 8 and Georgina 4. 

Mary Jane is missing from this census . There is a 1901 census entry for a Mary Little aged 17 listed as niece to the head of the household at Burgh by Sands. This is a 31 year old single aunt living on own means and hosting h Mary plus two other nieces and a nephew. This seems a little improbable in that this aunt clearly has money. If it is the same Mary Little then the others are her cousins. 

By 1911, we have a specific address which is 1 Thompson Fold, West End, Aspatria. George and Mary have been married for 7 years and all children born have survived. This is a dwelling of 4 rooms housing George and Mary plus Tom 18 now an above ground colliery labourer , Georgina 14 and a grandson George aged 7. It is not clear who is the parent of George – Mary Jane, Annie Elizabeth, Florence or Lilian? At this point we know that Florence is married , registration shows that she married in Wigton district in 1910. A public member tree acknowledges a George Little born in Aspatria  on 29th January 1904 to Mary Jane Little . His father is John William Wilson from Aspatria. 

Lilian , 21,can be found as a domestic servant for a grocer in Ferguson’s Lane, Carlisle. The census lists her in an 11 room dwelling of a 75 year old widow, her 47 year old son and 43 year old daughter. 

There is no concrete evidence regarding Georgina between 1911 and 1936 other than anecdotal from a relative to the museum. Given this and the family background and probably following in her sisters footsteps she would have been in service from about 1913. The indication from her relative is that she was a maid for a Miss Tom/Toms, a manager ,  but it isn’t clear whether this was pre Gretna, at Gretna or post Gretna or a combination. 

We do know that she worked at H M Factory Gretna, highly probably as a munitionette. It would be very unusual for someone to employ their maid at the Factory. 

In 1918 when we can assume Georgina was at Gretna , her brother Josspeh was living in Washington DC. Described as a miner born in England on his US World War 1 draft card and his next of kin as his wife Alison King Little whom he married in Washington on 15th April 1918. The US marriage registration lists Alison King Archibald, 21  of Lochgelly, Auchterderran, daughter of a miner. Joseph was 32. Joseph lived in Washington until he died and he and Alison are buried in Washington . (

Death registrations suggest that Georgina’s mother died in 1931, her father in 1932 and her sister Mary Jane in 1935.

At age 39 Georgina married John Thomas Metcalfe in 1936. We know that he was a local man. The 1939 register places them at Hall Bank Cottage, Hall Bank ( Farm) , Aspatria, he a horseman on a farm. John was born on 16th May 1881 making him 16 years her senior. 

There is no evidence of any children.

They remained at Hall Bank which is where John died on 24th February 1954. Probate lists an estate of £705 5s 6d. Georgina is not cited but a John Edwin Reay baker and his wife Rachel Hodgson Reay. 

There is a vague indication that John had been married in 1904. Rachel Hodgson Reay was born in 1914. Rachel could be his daughter but the evidence trail is cold. 

Georgina outlived John by over 30 years. She died in February 1988. She also outlived her siblings by at least 25 years. Her death was registered in Wigton district. 


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