For my Kerrie with love

In memory of my beautiful sister Kerrie who left this world one year ago today and who is always in my heart. The pain of losing her never leaves me , sometimes I feel as though my arm has been ripped off. Thankfully the Lord blessed me with an ability to create and store images in my mind and so she is never far away from me. Thank you Lord. I love you Kerrie. Brother Alan x

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4 thoughts on “For my Kerrie with love

  1. How dreadful for Kerrie to lose her son, it must have been truly unbearable. I really don’t know how anyone could come to terms with such a loss. How I wish I’d been able to drop her a line near the end, just to say “Hi – remember that chap who used to hold your hand as we walked home from Strathmore Road Chapel. Bet you didn’t know he fancied you and often thought of you even years later.” It might have given her a laugh at least.
    Thinking of your birth family name “Morpeth” reminded me that way back in my family tree there was an Eliza Morpeth who married William Patrick Pears, so I wondered if there was a connection. I’ve taken your line back about 3 generations, and no connection found so far. Back in the early 1800s your lot were in Longbenton, mine in Blanchland. But it’s a rarish name, so maybe there’s an earlier link.
    Anyway, in the course of this I found that some of the info you quoted from your aunt Joan was wrong, and I also found who your dad was named after and who Kerrie was named after – it goes back further than your dad’s sister, and it wasn’t originally “Kerrie” but was maybe pronounced that way. Rather than try to explain all this in words as I go along, I’ll do a bit more research and I’ll draw it up on a family tree. My own family research is rather bogged down now as I’ve been at it for 40+ years and I’ve got back about as far as I can in all my lines, so I really enjoy spending a few days on a fresh quest. In the words of Sherlock – “The games afoot”.
    Watch this space. Brian
    PS Have you applied for your dad’s army records? You might find them very informative regarding his service and his injuries. As your dad and his widow are dead, you will be able to apply yourself, I realise you don’t have his army number – I saw your query on “Yahoo” – but it’s a rare name and you have his exact d.o.b., so they could almost certainly find the records. You have to complete a “Subject Access Request” where you put the details you have – Charles Henry Morpeth – dob 1-1-1920 – army driver – served c1940-1947 and state what you want – ie All available service records. You also fill in a Certificate of Kinship where you swear that you are the next of kin (Any son or daughter is considered the next of kin if the wife/widow is dead). Then you post off the forms with £30 to Glasgow and wait several weeks. They may ask for documentary proof of relationship, but they don’t usually. If you want to do this, I’ll tell you where you can download the forms.

    • Yes Brian, it was an awful situation when little Alan was killed. His father Graham was driving, Mia and her step sister were in the back seat with Alan sitting in the middle; Graham’s second wife was in the front. Sadly Alan was killed and Graham’s wife was in a coma for something like 13 years; he used to sit at her bedside most days. I don’t think Kerrie ever got over it. I know I din’t so heaven only knows how she felt.

      It’s interesting that there may be a connection between our two families; I guess going back to the 1700/1800s that wouldn’t be so unusual, and I appreciate anything you can discover about my tribe.

      I did once try to get hold of my Dads army records but came up against a brick wall although that was some years ago. Perhaps I’ll give it another go in light of what you say. As time passes those things are not as difficult to look at because I think age brings along more of an understanding of others. It’s taken me a long time to get to that point and ease off some of the anger I felt towards my parents but having been a social worker now for about 25 years I can see some of the reasons behind their disfunctional relationship and am far less judgemental.

      Warm regards Alan

  2. Hi Alan. I came across your site while idly searching for “Rowlands Gill” on Google – and it hit upon that lovely photograph of you and your sister at Rowlands Gill. I recognised the location – 26 South Sherburn – and the beautiful young lady – Kerrie Morpeth. I looked at the other photographs on the page – the cute little girl, the pretty teenager, the young lady, the mother – and then I came to that last picture of you with an obviously very sick lady, and my heart sank. I read your diary and learned that sadly Kerrie had died last April. I’m so sorry for your dreadful loss. I really can’t imagine what it must be like to lose a sister.
    I didn’t know Kerrie very well – in the early 60s I helped run a few youth groups at the Methodist church in the village and Kerrie came along to one of them. As we lived in the same street, we invariably walked home together. I well remember her shy smile and her engaging personality and I really looked forward to seeing her. One thing I think I remember – though I don’t really trust my memory any more – was that Kerrie’s birthday was 19th November, a day before mine (though six years apart).
    Then I was studying for exams, off to university, working away, and only saw Kerrie very rarely in the street or the village and we’d exchange a few words or maybe a wave. To be honest, I secretly fancied her, but six years was a big difference at that age. Then, probably soon after that photo was taken with you, I realised that she didn’t seem to be around any more. For years I looked out for her whenever I walked up South Sherburn, and even in recently years – though I’m only there once in a blue moon now – I thought of Kerrie whenever I passed #26 and wondered what had become of her.
    Sorry to hear that she’d had drink problems – and congratulations to you on beating yours – but I’m delighted that she’d found happiness with her partner, Stuart, for her last few years. I’m pleased too that Kerrie’s daughter, Mia, decided to scatter some of Kerrie’s ashes at Rowlands Gill. I read your moving descriptions of your sisters funeral and her partner’s sad passing. I won’t be able to listen to “Big River” – one of my favourites – without thinking of Kerrie, but I’ll not think of illness and death, I’ll think of the lovely young lass from all those years ago.
    Sorry too to read the details of the family break-up and your troubled childhoods. Glad all the siblings re-established contact. Brian Pears

    PS You mention that Charles Henry Morpeth married Elsie Dorritt “somewhere around 1949-50”. I’m a bit of a family history enthusiast, so I’m familar with online resources – and using one called FreeBMD I can tell you that they married in the second quarter of 1950 (April-June) in the Durham North Western Regisration District which includes Rowlands Gill. If it’s of interest to you I can probably find the exact date and place next time I visit Tyne and Wear Archives.

    • Hi Brian and thank you for your lovely comments and recollections of your memories with Kerrie, it made truly touching reading for me.

      As you’re aware it has now been a year since her passing (1st April 2012) and I still privately grieve. Of my three sisters Kerrie and I were the most alike and the closest; people could be forgiven for thinking we were twins. Losing her, as I think I said in my writings, was like having an arm ripped off but I am at least thankful I got to spend some time with her in hospital towards the end. I doubt, however, if I will ever forgive those who made the decision to split us up as children because even now at 58 I am still extremely angry about that.

      I love that you thought she was a cute little girl and a pretty teenager; for me she remained a beauty in my eyes all her life even though the drink took it’s toll (particularly after the death of her son Alan in a car crash and her divorce). Perhaps if she knew you had eyes for her things may have been very different but then life is life and that wasn’t to be.

      Kerrie lived a very abstract and checkered life moving around the country; at one point she spent a long time in Guernsey before finally ending up in Lowestoft with Stuart. I guess they lived for the moment and I know things were never easy for them. Both Kerrie and Stuart by that time had health issues; Kerrie had a mobility scooter to get around. I think what I found heart warming at her funeral was seeing how many very close friends they had and how much they were loved by everyone. Big River epitomised Kerrie’s desire to one day return to the North East, particularly towards the end. Because I knew that is why I took her ashes back to Stonehaugh which one day is where my ashes will also be laid.

      Thank you for the information on my parents marriage Brian; I would appreciate any further detail you can find out.
      Do stay in touch.
      Warm regards Alan

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