Sisters widowed by World War One, who lived in Redruth
Died: January 16th 1950 (Ann Bullen) & 29th December 1952 (Ethel Annear)
Laid to rest: St Day Road Cemetery, Redruth
Ethel and Eliza (known as Ann) were born in Heywood, Lancashire, in 1885 and 1891, into a family with two older brothers, and a father who worked as a book-keeper for the railway. Their eldest brother, George, was working in the silk industry by the age of 13. Sadly, both parents died fairly young - around the age of 50 - and on the 1901 census, George is the head of the household; he is working as a textile machinist. Their second-eldest brother is a Clerk at the waggon works (probably the same office where his father had been employed) and Ethel, at 16, is the Housekeeper for the family.
Change of circumstance or family connections had bought Ethel and Ann to Redruth by the time of the 1911 Census; they were living in Clinton Terrace, with Ethel working as a dressmaker and Ann as a draper's shop assistant. In the later part of 1911, Ann married Ernest Francis Bullen, who had been born in Redruth, so perhaps the sisters had moved to Cornwall as a result of Ann meeting Ernest. The newlyweds lived together with Ethel on St Day Road, Redruth, and a daughter - Mary (known as Molly) was born to Ann and Ernest in 1914.
Ethel married a local mason, Noel Annear, in 1915. By this date, Noel may have already been enlisted in the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry, and subsequently Ernest also joined up. Both Ann and Ethel's husbands fought in France in the First World War, and both of them perished: Noel Annear died of wounds in France in June 1916, less than a year after he'd married, and Ernest also died in France, in April 1918. Ernest and Noel are both laid to rest in war cemeteries in France and Belgium and are commemorated on the Redruth war memorial. In addition, Noel is named on the Probus memorial, in the village where he was born.
The two widowed sisters continued to live together - in Bassett Street, Redruth and on the 1939 survey, Ethel is indicated as a 'confectioner', and Ann is a 'carsetter'. Ann's daughter Molly lived with them, and when Molly married a local man, Henry Stephenson, in 1937, the newly married couple moved-in with Ethel & Ann. There is no record of children born to Molly and Henry, and Molly died tragically young, at the age of only 34, in 1948; perhaps this was related to complications with childbirth. Her mother, Ann, outlived her by only two years, and her Aunt Ethel passed away two years later.
Information taken from census information, and details of the war memorial inscriptions from Cornwall War History website, run by the Cornwall Family History Society.
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