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Mary Shillingford (aka Polly)

My wife’s grandmother was employed at a Brighton aircraft factory during World War One which may well have been the one mentioned by Peter Clark. (Comment posted 30/04/2007 ref:- Local Folk. Working Men & Women). Her name was Mary Shillingford but she was known to her friends and family as Polly.

Polly later married Hugh Pearson but died from kidney failure within five years of giving birth to my wife’s mother, Beulah, born in 1921. As health and safety in factories at that time was never a big issue, one wonders whether the fumes from the ‘dope’ assisted with her early demise.

The date of the photograph appears to be 1917, I can just about make out this date from a very faint pencil inscription on the rear. The photo is very clear and Polly is sitting in the second row from the bottom ninth from the left hand side. It will be interesting to see if anyone in this photograph can be recognised as one of their family’s relatives. I rather doubt that any of the staff are still around.

Beulah’s war time contribution was at Bletchley Park assisting with code breaking during the Second World War. She is alive and well and living with my wife and I.

Brighton Aircraft Factory in WWI: location unknown
From the family collection of Dave Cresdee

Comments about this page

  • Beulah passed away in the Royal Sussex County Hospital on Sunday 27th September 2009. She would have been 88 on 2nd October 2009. She is sadly missed.

    By Dave Cresdee (29/09/2009)
  • I wonder if anyone could help identify one of the girls in this First World War photograph. She is pictured fourth from the right on the second row from the front and looks very much like my grandmother who lived in Brighton & Hove at the time.

    By Mark Dickens (28/08/2012)

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