The quiet corner setting of this resting place - sheltered by the bounding hedge of the cemetery - means that leaving fresh flowers grown in Cornwall here would be appropriate, or perhaps both a heart-themed painted stone and a poppy stone, to celebrate the sisterly devotion of Ann and Ethel, and the war-time sacrifices of their husbands. Alternatively, we can leave a potted plant of Lavender, a plant long associated with memories and devotion.
Sisters who were widowed during the First World War
Sisters who were widowed by the First World War
Ann Bullen - January 16th 1950 & Ethel Annear - 29th December 1952
Ethel and Eliza (known as Ann) were born in Heywood, Lancashire, in 1885 and 1891, in to a family with two older brothers, and a father that worked in book keeping for railway waggons. Their eldest brother, George, was working in the silk industry by the age of 13. Sadly, both parents died fairly young - around the age of 50 - and on the 1901 census, George is the head of the household - working as a textile machinist. The second-eldest brother is a Clerk at the waggon works (probably the same office where his father had been employed) and Ethel, at 16, is the Housekeeper for the family.
Change of circumstance or family connections had bought Ethel and Ann to Redruth by the time of the 1911 Census; they were living in Clinton Terrace, with Ethel working as a dressmaker and Ann as a draper's shop assistant. In the later part of 1911, Ann married Ernest Francis Bullen, who had been born in Redruth, so perhaps the sisters had moved to Cornwall as a result of Ann meeting Ernest. The newly weds lived together with Ethel on St Day Road, Redruth, and a daughter - Mary (known as Molly) was born to Ann and Ernest in 1914.
Ethel married a local mason, Noel Annear, in 1915, though by this date Noel may have already been enlisted in the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry. Both Ann's and Ethel's husbands went to fight in the First World War, and both of them perished: Noel Annear died of wounds in France in June 1916, less than a year after he'd married, and Ernest also died in France, in April 1918.
The two widowed sisters continued to live together - in Bassett Street, Redruth and on the 1939 survey, Ethel is indicated as a 'confectioner', and Ann is a 'carsetter'. Ann's daughter Molly lived with them, and when Molly married a local man, Henry Stephenson, in 1937, and the newly married couple seemed to have moved in. There is no record of children born to Molly and Henry, and Molly died tragically young, at the age of only 34; perhaps of complications with childbirth. Her mother, Ann, outlived her only by 2 years, and her Aunt Ethel passed away two years later.