From Gloucestershire to Sussex

Muriel Little's life journey from country to town

By Julius Smit

Photo:Muriel and her dog Chips, Gossop's Green, 1939

Muriel and her dog Chips, Gossop's Green, 1939

Photo from the WRVS Heritage Plus Archive

Photo:Isle of Wight Guide Camp, 1938

Isle of Wight Guide Camp, 1938

Photo from the WRVS Heritage Plus Archive

Photo:Muriel with her parents and two brothers, 1942

Muriel with her parents and two brothers, 1942

Photo from the WRVS Heritage Plus Archive

Photo:Canadian soldier; Jimmy Rock, Gossop's Green, 1940

Canadian soldier; Jimmy Rock, Gossop's Green, 1940

Photo from the WRVS Heritage Plus Archive

Beginnings

Muriel Little was born in Bismore, in the parish of Bisley, Gloucestershire on 17th June 1923. Muriel's father, a country boy, had been invalided out of the Army and had found work as a poultry man, earning twenty-eight shillings a week. Work was hard to come by during the Depression of the 1920s when poverty in rural areas was rife, and Muriel's father kept himself in employment by moving his family from place to place.

Gossop's Green, Crawley

On 22nd September 1934, Muriel and her family, including her two brothers, moved to Gossop's Green, Crawley. The family moved into a three-bedroom stone built cottage which also had an extensive garden containing twenty-eight fruit trees, an assortment of wild flowers, and a splendid collection of aromatic black poplar trees.

Girl Guides

Muriel joined the Ifield Girl Guides and went camping with them to the Isle of Wight in 1938. Although Muriel had found the discipline strict, she nevertheless took the opportunity to go swimming, and her father had leant her his Box Brownie camera, with which the photograph was taken.

Canadian soldiers

During the second world war, many Canadian soldiers were billeted not far away from where Muriel and her family lived in Gossop's Green, and there were many opportunities when soldiers and civilians were able to meet. In the sound clip, Muriel can be heard talking about one memorable occasion when Muriel's family offered coffee to the bored and lonely soldiers.

This page was added by Julius Smit on 09/06/2009.

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