Ann Ridout

At the age of 3 Ann was an orphan. Her father had died when she was just 6 months old and her mother when she was 3. She was passed from pillar to post until she came to live with her father’s mother, ‘granny’, in an apartment within her aunt’s three storey house. She remembers well walking to school one day to find only a pile of rubble and also recalls sitting in bed with her granny smiling serenely at her whilst the plaster fell from the ceiling and close neighbours were being bombed. 

When Ann’s mother passed away, another aunt, who had been unable to have children of her own, had asked to adopt her, but with granny unwilling to let go of an important family member Ann had stayed with her until the evacuation call had been given. On this day, her granny travelled with her to Euston Station, where she met her aunt and uncle, and was quickly whisked off as they were very nervous of being in the city. 

Ann had a lovely childhood once she had settled in Tamworth and made some close friends at school. Click the link below to hear her talking about her life there and how she felt being away from London and her granny:

Ann talks about her life in the Tamworth countryside

Transcript of Ann’s audio clip

 Later in the war, Ann tells us that her granny became too old and weak to have her back once the war was over, and was looking after her daughter who was ill in London. This image is a copy of the heartfelt letter sent by Ann’s granny to her aunt and uncle, asking them to keep her “my little orphan grand-child”.

So, after one final visit, Ann returned to stay with her aunt and uncle. She has stayed in Tamworth ever since, and her only regret is that she was never formally adopted, as she still has a feeling of ‘not belonging’.