Patricia Dorothy ‘Pat’ Eastland (1935-2006)
'Root person' for the Eastland family history - Generation 1.
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The Beautiful Dreamer
After growing up during the war
Pat later joined the Corps
and many mistakes she made
until her ghosts to rest were laid.
Moving on with her life
she became the dutiful wife
of a man worthy of her praise
as her children he did raise.
The children she left behind
grew up loving, loyal and kind
and will carry on the 'Hamson' name
without bringing it further shame.
© Mel Hamson, 2016
17 May 1935, 28, Victoria Road North, Portsmouth, Hampshire.
Pat was born at the home of the local midwife (a more affordable option than a hospital birth) in the Royal Navy garrison town of Portsmouth, Hampshire, on the south coast of England overlooking the English Channel. She was the eldest of six children born to her parents.
She was a keen swimmer in her youth, and the pool by the local army barracks gave her the chance of swimming all year round. Pat regularly swam from Portsmouth to the Isle of Wight and had entertained the idea of swimming the English Channel, but without the support of her family during and after the war, this remained an unrealised ambition.
On the eve of World War II (1939-1945), on 29 September 1939, a register was compiled by the Registrar General of everybody living in the United Kingdom for the purpose of issuing identity cards, ration books and call-up papers. Pat and her family were recorded as living together at 68, Merton Avenue, Fareham, Southampton, Hampshire.
Between the ages of 4 and 10 years, Pat lived through the hardships and disruption caused by World War II, including air raids, food rationing, the blackout and a severe shortage of coal. This war was horrific for all concerned, most especially for those who lost loved ones, had their homes destroyed or were separated from their families through evacuation.
Percy Eastland (1898-1970) and Annie Victoria Mitchell (1910-1993).
Despite losing his left leg in World War I, Percy had a long and successful career as an engine fitter on H.M. Dockyard, Portsmouth, Hampshire. The income from this occupation, along with his war pension and additional monies earned from property investments, gave Percy and his family a comfortable lifestyle.
Graham Percy Eastland (1943-1999), Marcellin Anita Eastland (1947-2017) and 3 x living.
26 June 1954, Parish Church of St. Mark, Portsmouth, Hampshire (Pat was 19 years old).
While using the swimming pool by the local army barracks, Pat met her first husband in 1952.
1 x living.
The timing of her husband's National Service (compulsory peacetime military conscription) with the Royal Pioneer Corps, could not have been worse. His 2 year enlistment started just before their child was born, and ended 18 months later. His frequent absences from home strained their relationship and they were divorced in April 1957. After the divorce, Pat raised their child on her own.
1959, Portsmouth, Hampshire (Pat was 24 years old).
Brian David Hamson, born 2 October 1933, St. Mary’s Hospital, Portsmouth, Hampshire. Died 2 January 1996, Radcliffe Infirmary, Oxford, Oxfordshire.
Following her divorce, Pat needed to earn some extra cash to supplement her earnings as a lingerie machinist. She found this through the Territorial Army, and on 16 April 1959, joined the W.R.A.C. Corps, was given army number W/403082 and the rank of Private.
Pat thrived during her short time in the Territorial Army, regaining her self-confidence and the motivation to move forward with her life. During her time in the corps she met Brian.
4 x living.
On 1 May 1960, Pat was discharged from the corps as 'free on family grounds' after a total time served of 1 year and 16 days. She had Brian's first child 2 months later. Then in 1961, Pat and Brian moved from Portsmouth to Weymouth, Dorset, where they had 3 more children. After being offered a job as the manager of a butcher's shop in Bristol, Gloucestershire, Brian uprooted his family again in 1970.
On 5 April 1975, without warning, Brian abandoned Pat and his children after 16 years of being together. On this day he married a work colleague and cited the address where he had been living with Pat and his children on his marriage registration record. Brian and his new wife settled in Marlborough, Wiltshire, where they had three children between 1975 and 1977.
23 February 1976, Quakers Friars Registry Office, Bristol, Gloucestershire (Pat was 41 years old).
Michael Maurice ‘Mike’ Ingram, born 21 May 1933, 141, Whaddon Avenue, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. Died 20 February 2001, Frenchay Hospital, Frenchay, Bristol, Goucestershire.
After a short courtship, Pat married Mike, who was working as an engineer's machinist at Bristol Neumatics. He was welcomed into Pat’s family, and became a terrific step dad to Brian's children. This enduring marriage lasted 25 years until Mike's death in 2001.
W.R.A.C. Corps (1959-1960) and lingerie machinist (1951-2000).
Hobbies and interests:
Sewing, knitting, reading and movie watching.
9 April 2006, Bristol Royal Infirmary, Bristol, Gloucestershire (Pat was 71 years old).
At the end of a life during which she had suffered much heartache and hardship, Pat died surrounded by her children and grandchildren.
Cause of death:
Heart, renal and respiratory failure.
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