John Charles Brownbridge was born 19th February 1901 in Blyth, Northumberland the second-youngest of six children born to William Brownbridge and Eleanor Quail Ismay, and died in June 1964 in Blyth. He was my mother's father.

I was only four when he died, and have no memories of him whatsoever. My mother says he doted on me, and I have to take her word for that.

John's mother died in 1910 when he was only 9 years old, and he was raised by his father. When he was 17, he joined the Durham Light Infantry, although he never saw active service. He was attached to the Tank Corps at some point, and based once at Bovington Camp in Dorset. Apparently his father drank heavily and spent a lot of his earnings on alcohol. John left the house mainly because of this.

He met his first wife as a penfriend. She was honest with him and told him that she had once fallen pregnant and lost the child. This honesty impressed him, and he asked her to be his wife. They married in 1919 and lived in Cornsay, Country  Durham. My half-uncle Robert was born in 1923.  Unfortunately, his mother became bedfast and died in Lanchester Hospital, County Durham, in 1934 when she was only 33. John was left unemployed with a young son to care for. He walked for miles looking for work, finally coming to Blyth, where he lodged with a Mrs Margaret Self. Mrs Self had a niece called Alice Hunter, and she and John struck up a friendship which eventually turned to love, and they married in 1937.


You can see more of my family memory profiles by clicking my name above.

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