Patricia Ann Simkin (later Mrs Pat Woods)
Patricia Ann Simkin was born in
Chingford, Essex on 7th March,1942, the first child of Muriel
Millicent Hughes (1914-2010) and John Edward Simkin (1914-1956).
Patricia's mother, Muriel Hughes,
had been born in Hackney, East London, in 1914. When Muriel Hughes
met her future husband she was working as an "Examiner and Finisher" for the
London tailoring firm Horne Brothers. John Edward 'Ted' Simkin, the man
she was to marry, was working as a porter at Billingsgate Fish Market.
Muriel Hughes married
John Edward 'Ted' Simkin at West Hackney Church,
Stoke Newington on 26th
August 1939, less than a week before the outbreak of the Second World War. A week into their honeymoon, the British Government
declared war on Hitler's Germany and the couple were compelled to return
to their home in Dagenham. Muriel and her husband were living at
98 Rogers Road, Dagenham, when 'Ted' Simkin was called up to join the
armed forces. For the duration of the war, Ted Simkin served in the
Royal Artillery, manning the anti-aircraft batteries on the south coast
of England. Muriel Simkin performed her 'war work' at the Briggs
Munitions Factory in Dagenham.
When Muriel Simkin gave birth to
her first child she was living at 18 Manor Farm Drive, Chingford, Essex.
The baby girl, who was born on 7th March 1942, was christened Patricia
Ann Simkin on 29th September 1942 at The Parish Church of St Peter &
Paul, Chingford. At the time of Patricia's birth, her father was still
serving in the Royal Artillery.
Muriel and Ted Simkin's second child, a boy
named John Terence Simkin, was born on 25th June 1945, six weeks or
so after V-E Day which marked the end of the Second World War in Europe. The
couple's third child was another son, David Edward Simkin, who was
born at the Sun Trap Maternity Home, High Beach, Waltham Holy Cross, Epping,
Essex, on 12th May 1949. At the time of David's birth, the Simkin family
were living at 42 Bernwell Road, Chingford, Essex.
[ABOVE] Muriel and Ted Simkin in 1943, photographed in
the back garden of their home with their first child Patricia Ann
Simkin, who was born on 7th March 1942.
Simkin always maintained that she was given the name 'Patricia' because
her dad was hoping for a boy and wanted to call his first child 'Patrick'.
Patricia's Mum and her two younger brothers, John and David, always referred to
Patricia as 'Tricia'. In adult life, Patricia was known as 'Pat'
by other family members. John and David always used the diminutive name 'Tricia'
when referring to their sister yet as a young woman, her friends tended to call
[ABOVE] Patricia's parents - Muriel Simkin (left) and John
'Ted' Simkin (right).
[ABOVE] Muriel Simkin, photographed with her first child
Patricia Ann Simkin, who was born on 7th March 1942. The photograph was
taken in the back garden of the Simkin family home in Manor Farm Drive,