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Osborne, Eileen Margaret

1922 - 2003
United Kingdom

For a child, one of the problems of being born on Boxing Day is that your birthday is combined with Xmas. The result is that you do not get so many presents or celebrations in the course of the year as your friends do. This is what Eileen found out after she was born the third child of Tom, a farrier in Croydon. Her elder brother Sid, was living with his grandparents in Caterham and since Sid's birth Tom had married again and had two daughters by Elizabeth, Eileen being the youngest.

Living at first at 46 Howley Road, Croydon, in 1926, an incident was once again to bring grief to the occupants of 46. One day her sister Joan was no longer there. Eileen's parents tried to explain to young Eileen about what had happened to her sister but Eileen was only able to make sense of it many years later. Joan had had an accident. Attempting to stand up under the big table, she had hit her head and the resulting injuries led to her death. Hospitalised, Joan had apparently caught meningitis. Within a few years the family moved to the huge house at 117 Upper Addiscombe Road, near East Croydon Station. Here Eileen was brought up in a family environment, with aunts and uncles visiting and occasionally living in the same house. Her elder brother Sidney eventually rejoining his father and step mother there also with his new family.

When she left school, Eileen took advantage of the nearness to East Croydon Station to pursue a career in London. During the War years, she joined the Civil Service, working for the Central Office of Information for many years. Most of this time was spent in the Exhibitions Division in SE1. One of the highlights of those years was Valentine's Day 1967, when the Queen visited the COI.

Eileen's familiarity with London was probably the reason why one of her nephews Bruce's early recollections was a trip to the Festival of Britain in 1951 with Aunty Eileen and staying at 117 where he had a candle by the bed.

Eileen never married and her interests were her succession dogs, Rick, Kim, Rusty, etc. that she would walk over the Shirley Hills and her garden, where she relaxed.

It was not until 1979, after the death of first her father in 1966 and then her mother in 1970 that she decided to move from 117, retire and buy a bungalow in Pulborough, Sussex. She had spent thirty six and a half years with the COI.

Eileen died peacefully in bed at her Pulborough home on the 26 June 2003, having been in residence since 1980. Her ashes were scattered over Pulborough Brooks where she loved to walk her dogs. Her estate was left to a number of female friends and relatives.

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Sidney Thomas Osborne

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Elizabeth Osborne (formerly McCarthy)


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England - Southern

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