Sunday, 12 July 2015

My Memoirs - family history - My Oma's early life

My Oma, Stella Jenner, grew up in Lowestoft, on the east coast of England. She was one of nine children born to Arthur Taylor Jenner and his wife, Margaret Jenner (nee card). Oma was the second eldest.

When she was a young lady, she travelled to London and from there to be a governess in Holland. It must have been a very great step for her to take, especially in those days. Accompanying her was her friend Gwen.

Oma was born in 1890 so we are talking about around 1910, pre first world war. It was a different world in those days.

The pictures above show Oma in her governess's uniform. The first picture shows her friends, probably all governesses. Oma is standing on the left.

It must have been a very steep learning curve for Oma, to leave her own country and travel to Holland.  These days that wouldn't seem so far to go. In fact I can be there from my own town, by plane, in 40 minutes. In those days one would have to travel from Harwich to the Hoek of Holland by boat and the boat trip alone would be 6 hours. Once there, Oma would have to learn Dutch and the Dutch culture, which is quite different from our own, here in England.

This is the house where Oma went to work:

She worked for the family Rie...... and in the end she had six children to look after. The pictures are taken from Oma's fotobook, which is now more than a hundred years old!

Here she is with some of the family:

English nannies have always had a good reputation  in other countries and I would love to have been one myself. However, I didn't want to go travelling and work in another country and I didn't have to. At the time I was growing up, I didn't have to because I was able to find employment near to where I lived and my life took a completely different direction.

One cannot help wondering though, what life would have been like to do something completely different to what one did before. Something to dream on.

I am writing these memoirs so that my three sons have an idea of where they come from and the people and places that went before them.


1 comment:

  1. I think they were more courageous those days, in a way. My folks too, left family in Germany to emigrate to South Africa after ww2, knowing not a soul, not speaking the language. Strong people.


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