My aunt, Beryl Marjory Mollekin, the daughter of Edith Mary Pinder and John Gilbert Molleken was born in 1926, in her grandmother’s home on Bethel Road, Eastwood, Rotherham.
Beryl lived the first few years of her life at 33 Bentley Road, Bramley, Rotherham, before moving to a newly erected house on Melciss Road in Listerdale, Wickersley.
As a teenager, Beryl began working as a Clerk at the Masbrough Goods Railway Station in Rotherham. Before joining the Army, my father also worked here.
My father remembered Beryl having a Polish boyfriend who was a pilot in the Royal Air Force. I can’t remember this gentleman’s name, but I seem to recall my father saying that he gave him sweets etc. and was good-natured and friendly towards him. My father remembered how one evening, his sister was in a hysterical state, with her parents trying to calm her down without success. My father surmised, years later, that this was when her Polish boyfriend had been killed in action.
Nineteen days after her nineteenth Birthday, in May 1945, Beryl married Andrew Beulah Kennedy in Saint Alban’s Church, Wickersley. Andrew was a Corporal in the American Air Force, stationed in the local area.
A U.S. AIR FORCE BRIDEGROOM. – Miss Beryl Marjory Mollekin, only daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J. G. Mollekin, of 109 Melciss Road, Wickersley, was married at St. Alban’s Church, Wickersley, last Saturday, to Mr. Andrew B. Kennedy, only son of Mrs. Kennedy, of Hampton, Tennessee, U.S.A., and the late Mr. A. B. Kennedy. The bridegroom is in the U.S. Air Force. The Rev. H. Lee officiated and the hymns sung were ‘O Perfect Love’ and ‘Lead Us, Heavenly Father,’ Mr. S. Briggs the organist. Wearing a gown of white lace, with a net veil and coronet of orange blossom, the bride was given away by her father. She carried a bouquet of pink carnations, sweet peas and maiden-hair fern.
Shortly after their marriage, Beryl and Andrew left England to live in Andrew’s homeland, which was Tennessee, America. This was also an exciting time for my father, as he would receive gifts of items from America that he wouldn’t otherwise have obtained in England. My father was also looking forward to a planned holiday in Tennessee. When Beryl began her journey to America, at the railway station, she gave my father a small, toy, railway engine.
In Tennessee, Beryl became a Bible Teacher.
In September 1946, Beryl gave birth to my cousin, Linda. Beryl sadly passed away four days later.
Coincidentally, Beryl’s great grand aunt, Martha Pinder, died following childbirth 75 years previous in 1871. Both Beryl and Martha had lived at an address, numbered 109. Martha died at 109 Hope Street in Rotherham, whilst Beryl’s last residence in England was 109 Melciss Road, Listerdale, Wickersley.
After Beryl’s death, my grandmother frequently communicated with Linda’s relations in America as she wanted to bring her to England so that she could be raised in Wickersley. It was decided however that Linda would remain in Tennessee. My grandmother passed away just six years later without ever seeing Linda, but my grandfather was finally able to make a trip to see her in 1963.
Below are a couple of newspaper articles pertaining to Beryl’s death.
Our deepest sympathy with the members of a Wickersley family has been given to them in the sad and sudden loss of their daughter in child birth. Beryl Mollekin, as we knew here, was married here a year last May to Andrew Kennedy, who was in the American Air Force. He was a very nice young man, and they were very happy together. Just after Easter, Beryl went out to America to join him, and last month gave birth to a baby, living only four days after the child was born. Beryl was a member of the Church and a Sunday School teacher. In their deep sorrow, her parents have the consolation of knowing that she was a good girl, and we hope and pray that, though she died so far away from home, they will be granted faith to realise that they may look forward in patience, hope and trust to seeing her again in the eternal home.
ELIZABETHTON, Sept. 14. – Mrs. Beryl Mollekin Kennedy, one of Carter country’s war brides and wife of Andrew B. Kennedy, Jr., of Hampton, died at 11:50 a.m. Friday, in St. Elizabeth Hospital, after a brief illness.
A native of Yorkshire England, she was married in England May 19, 1945 and came to this country in April. Her husband, who was stationed with the Eighth Air Corps in England for three and a half years, arriving home last January. The young couple had been making their home with his parents at Hampton. She was a member of the Church of England.
Besides the husband, she is survived by an infant daughter, Linda Kay; parents, Mr. and Mrs. Jack Mollekin; and two brothers, John and Barrie Mollekin, all of England.
Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday at Hampton Baptist Church with the Rev. B. N. Canup in charge. Burial will be in the Hall Cemetery.
Pallbearers will include Harlan Oakes, Hazen Brumit, Don Hazelwood, Bobby Oakes, Ray Waycaster, Jack Stevens, Sam Young and Charles Baker.
The body will remain at the Roy Hathaway Funeral Home, which is in charge, until 1 p.m. Sunday when it will be taken to the church to lie in state until hour of services.
Although Beryl is buried in Tennessee, she is also remembered on the Mollekin family grave in Saint Alban’s Churchyard, Wickersley.
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