Strength on Sunday – The Hodges

The one thing about researching the family tree that fascinates me most is that you never know what you are going to find.  Some hidden stories could be scandalous, others could be intriguing and then there are the ones that are sad and poignant.

March 1970 - Edward James Hodges and Norah Hughes

My paternal great-grandparents are Edward James Hodges and Norah Hughes.
Edward was born 24th May 1898 in Fleur-de-Lis in the county of what was then Monmouthshire.  Norah was born 13th May 1901 in Lye, Worcestershire.
Norah moved to Monmouthshire sometime between 1906 and 1910 with her parents and 2 siblings.  From her father’s occupation in 1911, I can safely say they moved to South Wales to work in the mines.
Edward and Norah married on 22nd March 1920 in Holy Trinity Church, Ystrad Mynach in the presence of witnesses, Lily May Davies and James Hodge and family members.

I’ve always been told that Edward and Norah had 3 children; Oliver, Mary (my grandmother) and a living Auntie.  I have always been saddened by the fact that they outlived both Oliver, a Sergeant in the RAF who died on 4th September 1943 on active service, and Mary, who died on 11thJune 1970 from

C. 1940 - Oliver Hughes Hodges

breast cancer.

A few months ago, I came across another Hodges birth registered in 1922 (Oliver was born 1920 and Mary in 1924).  Asking around the family, no-one knew anything about the fourth possible child, Ralph Hodges.  Hitting a brick wall, I ordered the birth certificate and yesterday discovered a Great Uncle we didn’t know existed.

c. 1965 - Mary Hodges

This post is dedicated to the Hodges.  Edward, Norah, Oliver, Ralph and Mary. To Edward and Norah, who experienced the pain of losing 3 of their children!  To Oliver, for fighting for our country.  To Mary, my grandmother, a strong and inspirational woman who died before her time.  And, finally, to Ralph, the Uncle we never knew who died in his infancy.

Now, we can remember them all!