Alice Mary was born in 1885 to John and Louisa Major, one of six children. The Majors owned and worked the blacksmith forge in Fore street, Bishopsteignton. Louisa and her daughters Alice and Lily worked at Kittoes House.
On 31st August 1908 Alice married James Edward French,born 1879. He was the son of Aaron and Sarah French. Aaron French was born circa 1835 in Manaton, Devon, and Sarah Turner was born in Bishopsteignton circa 1840, they married in 1858. The family lived at Fore St , Town Tenement , 3 Radway Hill and later in Post Office street.
James was in the army, and within days of the wedding, James and Alice left Bishopsteignton for London to sail to India, where James was posted to Bangalore, Madras, India. Sadly, James who was a farrier in the Royal Field Artillery of the army, was killed on 19th November 1908, age 29; they had been married less than 3 months. James is buried in Bangalore. He had been in the army for 11 years when he was killed.
Alice stayed in India and became a children’s nanny to families of the British Officers. Over the next 11 years Alice traveled back and forth to India 3 times. In 1919 she remarried an Army Sergeant, Walter Samuel Dilley, in Meerut, India. They had a daughter, Hazel Mary Dilley, who gave birth to Jean, whose story this is.
Alice’s daughter Hazel was born in Dartmouth. The next 4 years were spent with the Army in Germany; when they returned to England they settled in Bedfordshire.
Alice’s sister Frances Loveday Major went on to marry Frederick Back, son of John and Lavinia Back in 1927, and her sister Lily Louisa married Frederick Leach.
Alice’s Aunt, Mary Major married Daniel Coombe. Their son was Philip Coombe whose daughter was our own Molly Coombe.
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