Lizzie Murphy. Mum came to England when she was in her late 20’s /early 30’s. She worked in London as a parlour maid and met my Dad William Burt who worked at The British Museum as a messenger. They got married in 1930 when she was 36 and they lived in Islington until 1937. We came to Ruislip at that time when I was 3 years old. I have a younger brother William James Joseph Christopher. We often wondered why he was given so many names! Looking at my great grandmothers children my mother must have tried to get as many uncles as she could into the one son. I was christened Mary Margaret Christina, which also links into Crowley/Murphy names. My mother Elizabeth (she hated being known as Lizzie) said her mother died giving birth to her. Found out later from my cousin Sean Hurley (Julianne’s son – eldest Murphy) that my grandfather, John Murphy, was a Market Gardener. My mum loved gardening and during the Second World War we were never short of food: she grew everything vegetables, fruit, She was always in the garden. It always looked a picture.
My mother’s eldest sister was Julianne who married a Hurley. She was widowed young. Her eldest son was Sean, other brothers Jim and Con and daughters Nora, Peg and Phil. They lived in Cork.
Molly, the next sister married a Mick Callaghan. They also had several children- Rita (I think she was eldest), Eileen and can’t remember other names. They also lived in Cork.
Christina- I never met her but have a vague recollection she married a man who had been in prison. I remember Mum was very fond of her.
I remember there was a brother called James (Jimmy) He died in an accident aged 36, he fell off a horse and cart. He was the only brother; I think she was very fond of him also.
I remember Mum mentioning an Aunt Maggie who was very strict. I believe both my grandmother and Aunt Maggie brought up the Murphy family in the absence of their parents. The only Maggie I can remember is the first time I went to Ireland when I was about 15. We went to Friars Walk where I also met Maggie’s daughter Peg who took us everywhere and took the mickey out of any English accent. She drove a car.
My cousin Sean Hurley (sadly now deceased) also told me some years back that my grandfather was a widower who married my Grandmother. He already had children who all died of TB at an early age. Also Sean told me when my mother was in Ireland, before coming to England, she was a bit of a rebel. There was a politician called JJ Walsh, don’t ask me which party during the Irish troubles that she followed. The women’s movement then was called Cumann na mBan. It was fascinating listening to her talk about these times; she was a De Velera supporter. She told me about the Black and Tans who were let out of prison during the 1914-1918 First World War and caused havoc in Ireland, very much hated by the civilian population. The British army she respected and she married my dad who was English and fought in the First World War where he was saved by a Canadian when in France. When she was working in London as a parlour maid she worked for Lawrence Bingham who wrote the poem always read on Remembrance Day 11 November. It ends ‘At the going down of the sun we will remember them’
If I remember rightly he was in a wheelchair and a lovely man. He and his wife were very kind to my Mum and through meeting them and their kindness I am sure she never had any hatred of the English and never passed that on to my brother or myself. She hated injustice and always stood up for anyone who was being bullied. She could be very feisty and would call a spade a spade!
Mum died in 1973 she was 79.
I married Henry O’Connell from Mallow Cork, in Ruislip, London in February 1956. I have 2 children – David and Maureen both married. David has 3 children: Daniel 22, Richard 19, and Katrina 18 Maureen has 2 children Emily 16 and Harry 13.
My brother, William married Barbara McWilliams. He has 2 children: Caroline 42 and Katrina 39. Caroline has 4 children: Nathan, Jamie, Jasmine and William. Katrina (Tina) 2 children Olivia and Teagan.
By Mary O’Connell aged 78 formerly known as Mary Burt November 2012