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Ronald Basil Girdler

1925 - 2017


Helene Girdler

1927 - 2020


Frederick was always known as "Uncle Buller". I understand that this nickname arose from the fact that he loved to play at soldiers when he was young and always wanted to be General Buller, the General who relieved Ladysmith in S. Africa during the Boer War. He was in the Army during the First World War and became a regular soldier as a career after the war, rising to the rank of Major or Captain. During a visit to my parents at 22, Court Way, Colindale, London, he met Margaret Pfeiffer, the daughter of friends of my parents who lived at 15, Court Way. They later married and spent a considerable part of their married life abroad due to his Army career, mainly in SE Asia. I remember that they were in Singapore for some time. When they were in England, they lived at 35, (or 39?) Court Way, in a house directly opposite my parents on the other side of the Court Way green.

Uncle Buller and Auntie Millie (as Margaret was knowm) had 3 sons - Michael, Peter and David. Towards the end of his life, Uncle Buller had very low blood pressure and had to wear a special "pressure suit". By this time, they had moved to Broadstone, near Poole in Dorset. I remember that it took ages after he got up before his blood circulation had got going enough for him to stay upright, and he spent his last years either in bed or in a wheelchair - it was an effort for him even to speak on the phone. When he asked me in 1973 to arrange Auntie Tel's funeral, he had to be brief and concise in order to speak before his strength gave out! He finally died in 1978 at the age of 82, the fact that he reached this age being no doubt due to the constant care and attention given to him by Auntie Millie.

Regarding his sons, Michael married married Beattie and they lived at Sandbach, Cheshire, where Michael was working in the chemical field, but they have recently moved to Clayton, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire. Peter went to Sandhurst to emulate his father in an Army career. He married Siti ---  and they are presently living in Redditch, Worcestershire. I do not know what happened to David, but Auntie Millie lived near Peter in Redditch for some time after Uncle Buller died, and has recently moved to a warden-controlled flat in Newcastle-under-Lyme.


Catherine was always known as "Auntie Kit". She and her younger sister Louisa (my mother) were very close and went everywhere together. During the First World War, they worked in a munitions factory in Ipswich and lodged with a Felixstowe family named Ball. After the war, they worked at the Spa Pavilion as usherettes and programme sellers. They left Felixstowe at about 18-19 years of age and went to London with their sister Tal. In London, they had lodgings in Kempsford Gardens, Earls Court, and worked in Fracati's Restaurant, Earls Court, where Auntie Kit was preparing the salads. It was while they were in London that they met Basil Girdler ansd his brother Arthur (my father) one day on Putney Bridge. This meeting resulted in the subsequent marriages of 2 sisters to 2 brothers.

Auntie Kit married Basil George Girdler on 14th June 1924 at Fulham Registry Office - she was 25 and he was 26 and a "hot water fitter" by trade. They moved to Shalford, Surrey where they lived first at No.2 and later at No. 5, Juniper Terrace (No.2 was the house of Basil's parents). I have very happy memories of their house in Shalford, as we used to spend most of our holidays before the Second World War with Auntie Kit and Uncle Basil. Uncle Basil was the captain of the local village cricket team and we used to watch the cricket matches with great interest.

Auntie Kit and Uncle Basil had 4 children - Fred (b.31st Dec. 1924), Kath (b.29th July 1930), John (b.1932) and Peter (b.1936). My happy memories at Shalford include all the families and friends playing cricket on Shalford Common, having "tuffet fights" on the common, exploring Pea Pond at the end of Juniper Terrace, playing snooker with my father, Uncle Basil and cousin Fred at Shalford British Legion Club, having "midnight feasts" of ginger beer and peanuts with Fred, and visits to the Parrot Inn, where we watched the locals playing a game like quoits outside the inn, but using what looked like horseshoes instead of quoits.

Auntie Kit was always cheerful and liked a good laugh. She worked very hard and did some work at the Parrot Inn as well as looking after 4 children. Unfortunately, she died prematurely of a stroke in 1947 at the age of only 48 - I remember being very shocked and sad when this happened. Uncle Basil was looked after by his daughter, Kath, and later moved into the Parrot Inn with Kath and her husband after Kath's marriage. He died eventually of cancer in 1972 at the age of 74. The children of Auntie Kit and Uncle Basil are as follows:-

Fred, the eldest son, married Elsie White at Shalford Parish Church in 1950 and they moved to Finches Rise, Merrow, near Guildford, where they had 2 children - Marian (b.1951) and Colin (1).1953). Colin married Jackie Fowler in 1982 and they now live in Aldershot with their daughter Claire (b.1988). Marian married Graham Hitchens and they now live in Tregaller, N. Devon, and have 4 daughters - Kathryn and Natalie (twins-b.1977), Laura (b.1981) and Jennifer (b.1989).

Kath married Harry Cordery, the son of the landlord of the Parrot Inn, in 1950. After the death of Harry's father, they took over the running of the pub for many years. They had a son, Ian cb.1955), and now live in New Road, Chilworth, Surrey. Ian married Diane Padwick on 23rd September 1989.

John married Catherine Avenall in 1953 and they had 2 sons - Kevin (b.1953) and Nick (b.1957). Kevin married Chris Mowbray and they have 2 sons - Stuart (b.1975) and Paul (b.1978). Nick married Paula Rapley and they have 2 children - Kelly (b.1980) and Leah (b.1984).

Peter married Hazel Payne in 1961 and they lived at No. 5, Juniper Terrace, Shalford Common. They had a daughter, Debbie 0).1961), and a son, Neil (1).1971). Debbie has now married Dennis Overton and they have a son, Adam (b.1985) and a daughter, Kylie (b.1988). Peter, now divorced from Hazel, is still living in the same house in Juniper Terrace. Peter and his brother John started up a business together in the building and decoratiog trade.

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