Dorothy  Holden's Memorial

Dorothy Holden
(1926 - 2010)

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General Details

Name: Mrs Dorothy Holden
Maiden Name: Smith
Gender: Female
Age: 84 years old
Lived: Tuesday, 2 February 1926 - Tuesday, 17 August 2010

My Story

Dorothy was born in Manchester on 2nd February 1926 to parents Fred and Harriet Smith; she had an older sister Laurie, and a sister Edith who died in infancy in 1923.

Her father served in two wars, and was at one time a policeman, before becoming a pattern maker in the steel industry.  Her mother, like most married women of that era, managed the home.  Growing up during the Great Depression, Dorothy followed her sister into Whalley Range Girls High School, the best girls’ school in Manchester, where amongst other subjects she learned German and French.  At the outbreak of war in 1939 she was evacuated to the country to continue her education as many school children were.
Leaving school at age 15 in 1941, she started work as a pay clerk at one of AVRO’s aircraft factories where they built the wings for Lancaster Bombers, remaining there for the duration of the war.

Dorothy met and married her first husband, Roy Ford, in 1945.  Roy was a Londoner, and was based at RAF Ringway (now Manchester Airport) with a Parachute Regiment. Dorothy had one child with Roy Ford; son Peter born in 1946.

Dorothy also had a daughter, Susan Anne, born in 1955.  Unfortunately Susan died in England in 1982.

As a single parent, following separation from Roy Ford, Dorothy worked full-time while bringing up the family.   She worked as a typist at a major paint company, a trading company, and finally from 1957 with Manchester County Court until she left for Canada in 1979.  While working at the court, Dorothy studied for and passed various Civil Service exams, and in 1967, she was appointed Superintendant of Typists. 
Despite the exalted title, women were not paid well, and life as a single parent was hard, leaving home at 8am and returning at 6.30pm to run a house and supervise children.  There was no bank account; the wages paid in cash on a Friday had been spent before the next Friday.

Dorothy always enjoyed music, particularly the songs of Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra.  Her pride and joy was a record player, bought on hire purchase in 1956.   She also loved dancing in her younger days, and spent many a Friday evening dancing the night away at the likes of the The Ritz Ballroom in Manchester.

Son Peter married in 1967 and the following year emigrated to South Africa with his wife Jaquelyn and their first son Martyn (second son Christopher was born in South Africa).  Dorothy visited Peter and his family in South Africa in 1976.  Peter moved to Australia with his family in 1980, and Dorothy visited there in December 1982.

In December 1978 Dorothy married Arthur Holden and the following year they moved to Canada, where she became a Canadian Citizen.  Unfortunately Dorothy’s marriage to Arthur Holden didn’t last, and her employment opportunities in Vancouver became very grim, so she moved to Australia, to be closer to family, on 24th December 1984.

Dorothy spent her retirement in Australia, and lived in Glenhuntly, Victoria, from the time of her arrival.  But she never forgot her friends left behind in Canada and England, with many extremely long letters exchanged over the years.

During the last ten years Dorothy’s health declined following major surgery.  There were many visits to hospital, and it was during one of these visits that Dorothy passed away, on 17 August 2010.

Dorothy is survived by son Peter, grandsons Martyn and Christopher, great-grand children Emma and Mitchell.  Dorothy’s daughter Susan had a son Neil, born in 1978.  Neil was adopted in England, and his whereabouts are unknown.

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Passing

Place of Passing: Sandringham Hospital
Date of Passing: 17 August 2010

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