Molly, London, 1937
Delia Bridget Hogan was born on 29th July, 1914 in Thurles, Tipperary, the daughter of James Hogan and May Faulkner.
Delia left Ireland in her teens to join her elder married half-sister, Ivy, in Sutton, Surrey and she took a job in London. There she met and married Wallace Trevor Abbott, a young civil servant from Wales who was on leave, on 9th June, 1934 in Brentford, Middlesex. They had a daughter, Jacquelyn Emel Abbott, known as Molly.
Delia Hogan, London, 1939
Wallace Trevor Abbott, about 1940
On 9 January 1935, Wallace Abbott was posted to Lagos, Nigeria. While her husband was serving abroad, Delia and her daughter Molly went to live with Wallace's parents Wallace Harry Abbott and Mary Louise Humphry, in Crumlin, Monmouthshire where her father-in-law was a veterinary surgeon looking after the pit ponies. Molly remembered her early years here as idyllic but Delia was unhappy living in quiet, rural Wales and eventually left for London, taking her daughter with her. There she was working in a Lyons Corner House restaurant and met a young New Zealander, on holiday from Africa.
Delia and Molly left London and accompanied her new friend to his parents' home in Northern Rhodesia, eventually marrying and raising five half-siblings for Molly.
Molly and Nobby the cat, Murchison Bridge, Nyasaland
Molly attended the Dominican Convent High School for girls in Salisbury, Rhodesia, where her bright, outgoing personality found expression on the stage. She left school with a scholarship to RADA, which her family were unable to afford to let her to take up. Disappointed, she soon left home and moved back to Salisbury where she was working as a trainee reporter on the Rhodesia Herald. Molly met a young Irish journalist, Jimmy Travers, and they married and had three children: Jimmy, Ronnie and Jackie.
After the marriage ended Molly supported her children on her own until she married Herbert Shaw and they also had three children while he was working for the copper mining industry in Zambia, Michael, Keith and Amanda, eventually moving back to Rhodesia. Molly's son Ronnie was shot down while parachuting into terrorist territory and killed during the Rhodesian war of independence, a tragedy which Molly never came to terms with.
Bert and Molly retired to South Africa where they struggled and battled to get their pensions paid from Rhodesia. Bert died in 1989.
Meanwhile, Molly's sister Kathleen had been quietly looking for any paternal family Molly might have. Molly's wish was that one day she might return to Wales and meet them, if they were there. Kathy traced the death of Wallace Trevor Abbott, not far from where his parents had lived in the 1930s and the certificate provided the name of his son. Contact was made and Molly was thrilled to know she had three half brothers and that they had accepted her (previously unknown) existence.
Unfortunately, a meeting did not take place because Molly died unexpectedly on 10th July 2002.
Molly, age 27