When Bess' parents, Harry & Jane Blaney returned to Birmingham with their children, Louise and Alfie in October 1930. they were taken in by their son Edwin (Ted) Harold Blaney at 12 Heathfield Road, in the King's Heath area.
Ted was born in Birmingham 17 August 1900. He served in the Royal Navy for two years from 15 June 1921, until 14 June 1923 and married Florence Sophia Whitehouse that year.
By 1930 they had two daughters, Florence (b. 1924) and Margaret (b. 1928) so an additional family of four made it a little crowded. Ted was a leather worker and likely had work during this time. It also came in handy fixing the family's shoes.
Their son John was born in March of 1932 and the 1939 Register shows Ted employed as a boiler attendant and Florence working part time as a shop assistant.
Bess' youngest brothers Albert (b. 4 September 1904) and Stanley (b. 16 January 1906) were both living in British Columbia, Canada.
By 1929 Albert had a floor laying business and he met Helen (Nellie) Atkinson in the Vancouver boarding house where they both lived. She was also new to Canada, arriving in June 1920, age 24, travelling alone to her brother in Winnipeg. She worked there for a short time and then moved on to Vancouver where the weather was not so severe.
From 1934 until 1938 Albert belonged to the Legion of Frontiersmen a version of Special Constables that was for a time affiliated with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
Things were actually worse in the city where they experienced hunger as well as unemployment. Stan worked at every odd job that came along, they took in boarders and over time he found steady employment as a leather worker.
Thanks to Patricia (Blaney) Koretchuk for sharing her memories of Albert & Stan.
Bess's "big brother" was William ( Bill) Blaney born January 9, 1896 in Birmingham. Bill joined the Royal Navy at the age of 15 1/2 entering as a Boy II on a training ship in 1911 and didn't return to Birmingham to live.
In 1919 Bill married Rosetta (Rose) Amy (Wallis) Huxley whose first husband Henry John Huxley had died in France during WWI. Bill remained in the navy until the end of WWII and they lived many years in Feltham in Middlesex, about 150 miles from Birmingham.
In 1920 Bill received a medal for his part in the rescue of a fellow seaman who could not swim.
In September 1931 near the beginning of the Depression The Invergordon Mutiny occurred. It was a strike by thousands of sailors from about a dozen Royal Navy Warships docked in Cromarty Firth Northern Scotland while participating in a naval exercise.
Rumours were swirling that wage cuts of up to 25% were coming in order to reduce government spending. News of the strike spread upsetting the stock market and undermining the British Pound. It was settled by allowing those on lower rates of pay to remain on the old rate, effectively cancelling the 25% pay cut in favour of a universal 10% cut.
Next: Growing Up in Toronto