Mes racines / my roots

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The Meeting of

The Meeting of Thomas Edward Nadin and Neta Jean McTait

We saw that at the beginning of the World War II, Neta Jean McTait, daughter of Peter McTait and Emily Pinfold, (For the Family of Peter McTait and Emily Pinfold, press HERE.) was married to Vernon Gerald Walker who was working as a civilian instructor for the Royal Air Force in Birmingham. He was nearly two years younger then her, being born on the 21st March 1915 and she, on 17th of April 1913. His parents were Valentine Augustus Walker and his mother Ethel Dora Harris. Neta Jean McTait and Vernon Gerald Walker had a son, Michael V Walker, born in the third Quarter of 1939, around the time that war broke.

He was mobilized by the RAF to continue to perform the same important job of forming pilots in Birmingham, but it was decided to evacuate mothers and young children from tbe most obvious targets of the Luftwaffle, and Birmingham was certainly one of them, with its airfields and industries. Evacuation meant resettling mothers and children in other parts of the country deemed safer where there were accomodations available. Torquay, a seaside town which would normally take in quite a few tourists either in hotels or in family homes, was one of these places. There were no war industries there.

So Michael V. Walker and his mother were evacuated to Torquay, to the house of Ernest G. Gray, a Metropolitan Police Pensioner and his wife born Hetty Esther Kirby. They had three children living at home officially in 1939, Eileen Nadin, born 26th June 1912, Thomas Edward Nadin, born 17th August 1914, children of Hetty Esther Kirby's marriage with Benjamin Nadin Junior, and Llyod J. Gray, born 14th February 1922. (For the Family of Benjamin Nadin Junior and Hetty Esther Kirby, press HERE.) Eileen Nadin officially married Thomas Cecil Saunders in June 1948, but a son was born from their union on the 20th of September 1938 at Teignmouth, Devon, called Neville Timothy Saunders. She probably was not living with her mother and step-father with her child. Thomas Edward Nadin was of enlisting age but of a sickly constitution as he and his step brother Llyod J. Gray had contracted rhumatic fever as children. This debilitating illness has lasting effects on the heart. Lyod died aged 24 years old in December 1946 partly due to that.

Thomas Edward Nadin was enlisted by the Royal Air Force although he was sickly. He had to be discharged after it became apparent that he was indeed unfit for service. So both Thomas Edward Nadin and Llyod J. Gray were living with Ernest J. Gray and his wife Hetty Esther Kirby probably by the time Neta Jean McTait came to live there with her son Michael V Walker. He might have been sickly but he was also a charming man. Neta Jean McTait had no family in Torquay; all her family was in Birmingham. So was her husband. It seems that his leaves of absence from the RAF were only partly used to visit his wife in Torquay. He certainly did not give her the impression he was that eager to be with her.

War has terrible effect on families. The young women were left behind as the young men went to war. They did not know if the young men would ever come back. Birmingham and Torquay both lost their young men. Those left behind for a reason or another - either because too sick to serve or doing important War work home had all the young women to themselves, married or not. This meant that, for instance, when the Canadian soldiers came to England to fight the Germans, many found young women available there. Quite a few Canadians ended up marrying English girls, who became known as War Brides. One of my married uncles talked about Peggy, a young woman he saw a lot of in London during those times.

Thomas Edward Nadin is known to have fathered two children, a boy and a girl, who ended up in the same class at school and looked liked brother and sister. The boy was born of Neta Jean McTait Walker, and first his birth was registered in Newton Abbot, Devon, the first Quarter of 1942 under the family name of Walker, which was changed to Nadin. It was apparent who was the father of this child; there was no way it could have been passed as the husband's.

Exactly what happened then I do not know. Would the husband have taken is wife back is unknown to me. That she was in love with the father of her latest child, there is no doubt. She chose to spend the rest of her life with a sickly man, in a state of poverty, rather than go back to a man with a good job and status, assuming he would have wanted her back. She married him after the divorce (their marriage is recorded in Newton Abbot Devon in the third trimester of 1943) just like he married in December 1944 Irene Cecilia M Stratford.

The child born of Neta and Thomas was acknowledged all along. She lost her child Michael V Walker being the guilty party: he went back to Birmingham with his father.

Not everyone wanted that marriage: in fact Hetty Esther Gray was dead set against it. I have the impression that she never got reconciled with it. But Neta and Thomas never looked back.

For their Family, press HERE.





Jacques Beaulieu
jacqbeau@canardscanins.ca
Révisé le 28 février 2019
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depuis le 9 mai 2004