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Email from Nancy’s grandson, June 2021:NANCY NOTMAN was born on the 10th of July 1893 at Mossband Cottage, Nether Quarter, Kirkandrews, Cumberland. She died on 27th May 1963 aged 69 at her home, 29 Newington Crescent, Annan. As you will see from her leaving reference she was only employed at the factory for 13 months. By way of background if you look at her photo and blow up the group photo you may see a rather somber looking person. This relects her then circumstances. She had been in service as a Lady’s Maid at Thornton Hall, Stony Stratford, Buckinghamshire between 1914-1916. Whilst there she had a child, my mother, born on 15 April 1916. She had to leave her job when she became pregnant and stayed with friends in Buckingham until returning “home” to Annan in 1917 to live with her father and stepmother. She was not married but the father of her daughter was a sergeant George Frederick Tompkins (1879-1917) who had been a regular soldier (1893-1905) and after his service was a mounted policeman with the City of London Police. He was recalled or re-enlisted at the start of the war and was initially responsible for training recruits in the Royal Buckinghamshire Hussars. However he returned to active duty and was posted to Palestine in late 1916. He was killed in action against a Turkish force at the battle of El Mughar (now part of Israel) in what was described as the last major cavalry charge of the British Army. He was killed on the 13th of November 1917 just six days before Nancy started work at the factory. Whilst your focus must be on the story of the Factory and how that gave many women their first taste of independence and industrial employment I guess this snapshot of one woman’s life at that time illustrates the countless other stories of people’s lives all around them.
Notman family February 1918, From left Margaret (Madge), Jane (second wife of William and stepmother to Nancy, David and Madge), Elfreda ( baby daughter of Nancy), Nancy, William (husband and father), David (in uniform) and William (son of William and Jane). Nancy’s sister, Margaret, also worked at the factory and is in the database.