Quantcast
Channel: Croydon Advertiser Latest Stories Feed
Viewing all articles
Browse latest Browse all 5354

Fanny, 100, recalls her first memory - a German airship hovering over her Croydon house in the First World War

0
0

AS FAR as first memories go, there are not many people still left who can say theirs was the sight of a Zeppelin flying over Waddon.

But for centenarian Fanny Hughes, who was aged just three at the time, the first moment she recalls was a German airship hovering over Croydon ready to bomb the town.

Mrs Hughes, who turns 101 later this month, was born in Croydon in 1913, the daughter of Waddon Bridge House's resident doctor Walter Paget.

Although she spent the early part of the war down in Ramsgate while her father was away with the Royal Army Medical Corps, she returned to Croydon aged three.

Speaking in the week marking the centenary of the outbreak of war, she told the Advertiser: "I remember it well. The council set off some loud booms to let us know there was danger coming and we were in the garden.

"We were running inside and I heard the Zeppelin coming over. There was quite a lot of damage after that attack."

Mrs Hughes, whose grandmother ran off with the founder of Australian airline Qantas, lived at the Waddon Road medical practice until around 1950 – where she was a self-proclaimed "lady of leisure".

She had been educated at the now defunct Woodford House School in Dingwall Road, East Croydon, and, without television, she had read the complete works of Charles Dickens and Walter Scott before the age of ten.

Her mother and father both tragically died during the Second World War.

A direct hit on their house led to a marble fireplace falling on her mother and she died two weeks later, while her father died of natural causes during the war as well.

She said watching the war centenary commemorations with her daughter Alexandra, 63, had been a "moving experience".

"I really enjoyed the service. It must really have been very hard for all the soldiers in the trenches and it is important to remember them," she said.

After the Second World War, Mrs Hughes was pursued by a man named James who was drawn to her after hearing her voice over the phone.

She eventually married him and had three children but his chronic gambling problem lost them their home and he died of tuberculosis. Mrs Hughes buried him on her 40th birthday.

Mrs Hughes, who lives in a retirement home in Dorking, now spends her time doing crosswords and watching Strictly Come Dancing.

Fanny, 100, recalls her first memory - a German airship hovering over her Croydon house in the First World War


Viewing all articles
Browse latest Browse all 5354

Latest Images

Trending Articles





Latest Images