Volume 1 – my life begins – chapter 1 – the maternal name is Jones – part 3 – Mary becomes Mrs. Bishop
My father was stationed in India for a period of maybe 15/16 years, and the system was to serve I think it was four years at a time before taking accumulated leave back in England. It was during one of these leave periods that he married my mother, and after a honeymoon at Blackpool, they returned to a rented house until it was time for him to return to his post in India. They married in 1932 and the following year I was born, with my father away he was not to see me until his next leave when I was 3 years old. The next time he returned to India my mother and I were with him. Life in India was a privileged one but my mother never settled to it, and when I became ill with dysentery that was all she needed to steel her resolve.
She declared that we were to return to England, and strong though my father was, he had no option but to agree to her demand. This wedding group was taken on the steps of the Fenton Town Hall, where the reception was held; thanks to the influence of my maternal grandfather, who had been a city councillor for a number of years. The only people I can identify in the wedding group are my mother’s mother who is to her left, and her sister, my aunt Nin second to her left, and her father, Grandfather Jones, who is on her far left. I was interested to see that my father was in his dress uniform, which had a crown on the right sleeve, just below the elbow; which indicated that he was a Warrant Officer. He was on leave from India, and after the honeymoon he returned, leaving my mother with her parents.
This picture of the happy couple shows the crown on my father sleeve much more clearly. It took him twenty years to reach the highest non-commissioned rank of Warrant Officer First Class, but once the war commenced in 1939 it took him only six years to reach the rank of Major.
After the wedding they went to Blackpool for their honeymoon, where the following photograph was taken. It appears that the English weather has not changed much over the years, when you see them in their raincoats which are bespattered with raindrops.
Finally I include a picture taken in 1944 which shows me at the age of 11, and my brother Paul who is 4 years; Paul was the best of us, but sadly he died at the age of 23, in 1963. The youngest of the three boys that my mother had was Douglas who was not born until 1946.