Erin’s story

Submitted by Helen:

Erin was born in the late Victorian era in South Africa, where she was an actress, and very beautiful in her day. She fell in love with John who had been disowned by his own father, a vicar, when he became an actor. Her mother had died and her father refused to let her marry for many years because he needed her to help look after her younger brother.

John waited for her and finally, when her brother grew up, they were allowed to marry, and they moved to London where John tried to further his acting career. They lived in a very small flat. John struggled to get work as an actor, but acted regularly every summer in Regents Park outdoor theatre, Shakespeare season. They both regarded Shakespeare very highly and my grandmother, their only child, could quote large speeches, until fairly late into her dementia.

Erin helped make ends meet by making costumes for theatre productions, for which she was well regarded. She was a terrible snob and was always ashamed of her work because it was manual labour, but she was very good with her hands.

She was a Christian Scientist, although after John died she became a Quaker. She said she loved the meeting houses because everyone sat in silence, and it was quiet.

She was always slightly ethereal. My grandmother remembers their love as being particularly strong and romantic throughout their marriage.Erin finished her life in a home for retired actors, where she used to talk to ‘John’ all the time.

Find out more about the women in your family, contact Once Upon A Family Tree.

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