another journey

I have a cousin by the name of Pat Lyddiard from Woodford Green who received an MBE for some 60 years of service a few years ago. She came across this small blog about her aunt from Canada and sent it on. Jo Sherrin, an amazing lady, was 97 when she passed recently, but this note relives a moment in the past where many of us came from.

Mrs. J R Sherrin (Jo) – married to Lance Corporal John R Sherrin

“Jo” is my Aunt who was born in Walthamstow, London. England in 1922. She was one of 9 children – and the only one to settle abroad.

The 2nd World War broke out in 1939, and the Canadian Army became involved (see message from 1st Canadian Commander) 26/12/43

In 1941 my Aunt had a blind date with Canadian Army soldier JACK SHERRIN – by the Lions at Trafalgar Square in London. They fell in love almost from the start of their friendship – and Uncle proposed in St James’ Park, London – and they married in 1942.

Because of the austerities of the war it was to be a small, simple Wedding in 1942 – until about 50 Canadian soldiers turned up at my grandparent’s home. My grandmother almost had a fit – How would she feed this number of strapping soldiers, as well as invited guests. What she hadn’t expected for was that every Canadian soldier arrived with a parcel of food to share with everyone, and also gifts for my grandparents.

What a wonderful celebration to start their marriage – and I was there as a very young girl.

They had their 1st child Anne in 1944, and then Michael in 1945 – and when he was a couple of months old all 3 of them came to Canada on the troop ship bringing the war brides to Canada. Uncle returned some months later after his discharge.

Subsequently they had 2 more children. 2 of her 4 children are still alive.

She came to Edmonton in 1945 and was a very active and respected member of the community, and a member of St Paul’s church, Edmonton. A few years ago failing health took her to live in Kenora, Ontario where friends cared for her.

Auntie lives in Canada to this day, and now aged 97 lives in a Nursing Home in Strathmore, Calgary.

My grandparents visited in 1947 and received such a warm welcome of hospitality from everyone they met; they also went through the Rockies.

I was the next family member to come to visit from the UK in 1970, and what a welcome.

I have visited many times since then, and my sister, her husband and daughter emigrated and have lived in Edmonton since 1975; my niece and her business partner run Vivid Print on Whyte Avenue; my nephew, born in Edmonton is now a Private banker in England.

If there is more information you need please do email me and I will do my best to answer your queries.

All of Aunties siblings have died, and I have kept in touch with her all these years, and with all her UK nieces and nephews.

I have enclosed;-

1. Their wedding photos

2. Uncle’s Army colleagues

3. Victory Day celebrations in London, May 1945

4. The telegram giving her 24 hours notice to pick up the ship to Canada – May 1945, just after VE day, that my aunt went to in London

5. Immigration Identification cards

6. On ship the menu cards, berthing card for Auntie and 2 young children

7. Telegrams/newspaper cuttings, Uncles return and welcome home notices

8. New Years eve celebrations 31/12/1945 at the MacDonald

9. January 1947 Aunties reply to UK Newspapers following criticism by some war brides on their reception into Canada and the USA.

She remains very positive to this day, she retains her great love for England and we celebrate that with her on specific occasions, but her love for Canada, its people, and the beauty of this country, is profound. She has showed me so much of Edmonton and the surrounding area and I love being here.

If you think it will add interest to the story I do have Aunties wedding headdress – which I am prepared to send to you with the above.

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