The Milne/Smeed Connection

Family Stories Past and Present

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Aunt Anita

Cousin Alan has sent a copy of the Service in Celebration of the Life of his Mum, Anita Eva Margot Smeed.

Please go to the In Memoriam page of this site to see the full program.


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Christmastime 1946

The following is an excerpt from a memoir that my Mum, Doris Elizabeth Smeed Milne, a war bride wrote about our experiences during our first year in Canada. Mum was in her mid-eighties when she wrote these stories down for us.

Christmastime 1946

We were invited to the children’s Christmas concert at Trowbridge school. After the concert a lunch of sandwiches and cookies was served then Santa Claus came and distributed gifts from the Christmas tree. Jane received a pretty coloured rubber ball. It was a present from her cousins, Betty and Joan.

We were invited to Ellie and Frank’s for Christmas Day. There were eighteen of us there. Frank and Ellie and their five children (Velma, the youngest was seven months old); Bob, Kath (also a war bride) and Ann Milne; Grandma Milne and George; Ellie’s brothers Charlie and Roy Thedorf  and Roy’s war bride, Sheila; Charlie, Jane and me.

What a banquet! We had not seen so much since before the war. After dinner the younger children had their afternoon naps. The men sat smoking their cigarettes and reminiscing while the women all worked at clearing the tables and washing the stacks of dishes. When the work was done we all sat down and relaxed for a while.

After the children arose from their naps Santa Claus arrived to give presents out from under the big Christmas tree. Jane received a doll from Charlie and me. She promptly undressed it and walked around carrying it by one foot. That poor doll was always in a state of undress no matter how many times I put its clothes back on.

Jane and Doll Snow

                                                         Jane and her Christmas doll 

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They Are Remembered

Harry Thomas Smeed was the son of James Smeed and Amy Simmons. He was twenty years old when he died 23 July 1900 at Pretoria, South Africa of enteric fever while serving in the British Army during the Boer War.

Arthur James Tester, the son of Thomas Tester and Elizabeth Scott died on 3 September 1916 at the Somme, France.

J. Lance Smeed, the son of John Smeed and Clarissa Burchett died on 28 September 1918 while serving with the Canadian Expeditionary Force near Cambrai, France.

Arthur James Tester

Grave of J. Lance Smeed


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66B43B01-7E56-437E-9301-E58BE5D78272.jpegMilne Brothers and Sister in the Canadian Armed Forces

Remembering my Dad, Charlie, Uncle Ross, Uncle Bob, Aunt Ida and Uncle Les Crowie.

Dad and Uncle Bob married overseas and returned home with their English war brides, Bet and Kath, and daughters, Jane and Ann.

Uncle Ross was wounded at Caen but recovered and returned to service. On his return to Canada he was reunited with his wife, Annie and daughter Betty, and met daughter Joan for the first time. She was born shortly after he went overseas.

Aunt Ida served at various bases in Canada. She married her soldier, Uncle Al, near the end of the war.

While  Uncle Les was serving, his wife, Aunt Rose, worked at the DIL munitions plant in Ajax as one of the “Bomb Girls”.


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Audrey Madelaine Smeed (1888 – 1970)

Audrey Madelaine Smeed was born in East Grinstead, Sussex on 23 June 1888 and died in Dormansland, Surrey on 27 October 1970. She was the eldest of the seven children of Charles Smeed 2 and Ann Maria Burt.

The 1891 census shows Audrey living with her parents at Blackwell Farm, East Grinstead. In 1901 the family had grown and Audrey lived in Burstow, Surrey with her parents, one of her brothers and two sisters. By 1911 the family of parents and all seven children lived at Newchapel, Surrey where Charles was a gamekeeper.

After Charles retired he and his wife lived at Orchard Cottage, Dormansland, Surrey. As the only daughter who never married, Audrey lived most of her life with her parents. After their deaths in the early 1940s Audrey remained at Orchard Cottage on her own. She was later joined there by her brother, Percy. Their sister, Doris, also resided with them from time to time.

Percy died in 1969 and Audrey passed away on 27 October 1970 at the age of eighty-two.

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Family Stories

Family History Month (October) is almost over and still no stories submitted. If you don’t want to write a story send me a name and details of a family member who is special to you and I’ll write the article for you.

If the person is living be sure to obtain his/her permission. Include a photo if possible.

Lizzie Hewitt Hall and Ida Hewitt Milne

Ellen Lindfield