|Name||Nellie (Eileen) Farrell|
Eulogy that was read out at Nellie's funeral service, July 9th 2009. by Shaun Growney Snr. All saints Church Hersham.
Ellen, or Auntie Nellie as we, her nephews and nieces, knew her, was the second of nine children, 7 girls and 2 boys - born on 5th July 1909 in Skehena near Ballilinen in County Liois in Ireland. Her father was a labourer but he also grew vegetables, raised turkeys and kept chickens on the acre of land around the house.
She came to England first sometime before 1935, in her early 20s, but then went back to Ireland. That time of her life is a mystery we know little about, but I gather it involved a boy and some heartache. She came back in 1935, aged 26 and remained here for the rest of her life. She worked as a cook in domestic service, initially for Lady Doughty at “River House” in Esher and later on in London after Lady Doughty’s death. Then, at some stage before the second world war, she came to work in Weybridge where she met Bill Roberts (known as Lofty because he was so tall) while he was doing a painting and decorating job at the local police station. We are not sure why she went there. Another mystery! Anyway, they were married on 13th May 1939 and after a stillborn birth earlier, Madeleine, her only daughter was born on 14th March 1941. Sadly, Lofty was killed three months before the birth in the bombing of Vickers Armstrong Aircraft factory where he was employed, by then, as a painter of aircraft fuselages.
Auntie then worked at Vickers herself as a security guard, leaving Madeleine in the day nursery.
In 1962 she married John Larkin. However the marriage was not successful and they were divorced not long afterwards. She remained a widow then for the rest of her years.
Auntie was no angel, quite cantankerous at times and she enjoyed her Guinness, her whiskey or sherry and, in earlier years, her cigarettes. Even so, we nephews and nieces thought she was great fun and always liked to go and visit her in Hersham where we could be sure of a warm welcome and a few good old Irish jokes, (not all of them in the best of taste). Yet she did believe in God and though she was not a regular attendee at mass, she kept the faith in her own way. And she received the Holy Eucharist in Whitely Village a number of times before her death, brought to her from this parish of Hersham, by Canon McCarthy.
God bless you dear Auntie Nellie – may the angels bring you to peace and joy with the Lord
Nellie (Eileen) Farrell's Marriage #2
Nellie & Madeline
Auntie Nelly is on the extreme left of this picture