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Why did you or your family choose to live abroad?

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ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


SpanishEyes Report 26 Aug 2011 20:04


Great to see you posting andi enjoyed your review about visiting Wales
Be aware of the Cockney bit, my OH is a Cockney!!!
The country side in Wales is quite magnifficent and we have found the Welsh to generally be very pleasant.

I am supposed to be writing about my uncle who died rather young but he did manage to pack a lot into his life.
The iving family members who remember him, only two , are not very keen for me to identify him by name so I am thinking how to write the interesting life he had.
I will however be on my own tomorrow afternoon so will have two hours to get it written.

The next one will be about a living cousin who has had an amazing life.

Must go OH is calling me


AnninGlos Report 26 Aug 2011 21:15

For nine years we lived 9 miles from Chepstow and about the same from Monmouth, so on the Welsh border, many of our neighbours and work colleagues were welsh. The ancestor who moved from England to Wales was my OH's ancestor actually, his Grandfather who he never knew. Frank Ingram was born and grew up in Somerset. He moved to South wales in the late nineteenth century and met his future wife Kate Masters who was born in South Wales, her Father being from Gloucestershire and her Mother from Somerset. Frank probably went to Wales as many did from Somerset, to look for work. My OH's mother was born in Caerphilly and grew up in Merthyr but left Wales when she was 18 and moved to South Devon. Her father died just before she was born. My OH never knew either of his Grandparents although he remembers visiting a tiny terraced house in Merthyr when he was very young with his mother.

I have to say I love Wales and the Welsh people and, still not living too far away we do visit. In fact last week we were just over the border in the Tintern/Chepstow area. We didn't go over the bridge Bridget, so no toll to pay, from our end it is easy to creep down the A48 and get in without paying :-) :-) :-)


SpanishEyes Report 27 Aug 2011 07:42

Uncle C

Having spoken to my two older male cousins I have agreed that I will not use this uncles real name but will write what I know about him.
My uncle C was the ninth child of my grandparents, and looked very much like my grandfather re blonde hair, height, build etc but facially like my grandmother. I never actually met this uncle so my story about him is based on what I heard.
C, was the last male to be born in the family making number him number 9 and my mother was number 10.
C was born into a family full of men who entered the forces, or travelled a lot, moved abroad etc. However right from the start he was different to the others. He did not quite fit in, we would say today. He was very handsome but not particularly manish.
Of course in these more enlightened times he would have been
acknowledged as "gay" but then my family totally refused to accept this and he was of the era when he could have been in serious trouble.
I have a couple of photos' of him when he was about 13 and 15 and believe
me he was handsome and very attractive at the same time. When he left
school he went to London having seen an advertisement for work in one of
the most famous hotels in London. He was accepted and he started work as
a trainee waiter. Within one year, he was doing so well he was sent to
another equally famous hotel in Paris and it was here that he was able to be
No one knows, or they are not telling me , how he first became interested in Bhuddism but on his return to England he decided to have a year off
travelling and headed to India. I wonder how this still very young man had
the finances to do this and I think he must have had a rich friend. The familynwerebfarbfrom being poor but..
He wrote to my grandmother ( again one of my cousins had these two letters but burnt them) explaining his predicament and how he had gone to
India to become Buddhists. He felt at home there and was going to stay in
By then England was at war and his father disowned him.
After the war ended my uncle returned to London, and tried to live the life of a Buddhist as he had been taught. Apparently he had become quite well known within the Buddhist world for his understanding of this very different
I believe that he had found a way of hiding to some extent his sexuality, and
at the same time was safe within a different culture where he was accepted
for his genuine belief and his ability to teach and be humble but not condescending.

However he was unable to sustain his lifestyle in the UK, and so eventually returned to a more European style of dress, and went back to work in the hotel he had left. This time he became the head Cocktail Waiter. The hotel was and is well known to film stars, actors and writers and most of them understood this man very well. Some even " fell in love with him" and this caused my grandmother to be ashamed of him for his beliefs and his way of life. However after a while she started to see her son without her husband knowing and she learnt to love this gentle, kind and caring young man.

Time passed, he continued to learn more and more about being a buddhist and teaching others about it. Then one evening he was found unconscious in his room, with the gas fire on but not alight, finally he had made the decision which was against all the values he had been taught both as a Christian and as a Buddhist and he died in hospital just a couple of hours later.
He did not leave any messages but on his side table were both his Bible and
his Buddhist teachings. I believe thatbhecwas leaving a message which explained that he felt trapped between the two beliefs and two ways he had to live.
When his belongings were collected my cousin told me that they found many letters of praise, letters from other Buddhists and two from a royal person. He has thesevpapers andvthey will be passed to his son, I have asked for copies so who knows onevday I may learn even more about my family Buddhist.

I wish I had known him, I believe that we both were / are believers but
question this belief constantly, that we both bucked the trend of the family, I
wanted to be an Actress, and had gained a place a well known and
respected college but my father gave me an option find something else to
do or I will send you back to Ireland to live with the nuns! He meant it!!

I have never seen the inquest result, nor have I heard of any outcome from the family, but having written this I think I will delve a little more and see if I can get a transcript etc.

I do not know where he was burried, or even if he was cremated.

I feel sad fir this young man who today would have been accepted into society.

When I spoke to one of my cousins yesterday who knows more than me about this person he told me that the parents also received several letters of condolence from Buddhists in India, some time after the death, he is going to see if he still has them.
If he does and if he shares them with me I will tell more about this uncle.
Cousin J has agreed that I can write his story and I think you may be surprised about this missionary!!

OK, now it is time for someone else to write WHO is going to add .

As I have shown, Moving Abroad or Leaving the UK is not always what we think,

Where it is cooler than it has been for some time, the sea is dark, the wind is glowingly hard but it does look as if the sun is coming out!!


SpanishEyes Report 27 Aug 2011 16:18

Goodness me, all the threads that I use are so shhs today.
Is everyone celebrating something I do not know about, is there a secret party some where?

Just reallised.the sun must have his hat on and coming out to play.



Florence61 Report 28 Aug 2011 19:47

evening bridget, i have been up to my eyes in housework today trying to catch up.
i have just read your last story and it really was so sad. but you know even in todays society, although we are more tolerant, there are still some families who would find it hard to accept their child is gay.

in some circles even now if a young girl gets pregnant, she will be sent to a clinic no less(private of course) and the problem will be paid to go away. this is to save face in some upper class families. they just sweep it all under the carpet.its little wonder that society in some areas have a higher than normal suicide rate and that is so sad as it was for your uncle.

my uncle left a village in sussex in 1939 at the tender age of 16 and got on a boat heading for australia. he was 16 and went to join the army. he made his life there doing a variety of jobs. working on a banana plantation, out in the bush with true aborigines. he trained in commuications and then got a job with a large tel company.

he also became a cordon bleu chef. later on he married a lovely australian lady and they were blessed with an only child, a daughter. she was my first cousin and we wrote twice a year exchanging news etc.

in 1979 my uncle returned for the first time since he left for a family reunion.
he spent 2 days with each family telling us all about his life abroad, jobs etc. he was such an interesting man.we had a huge party and the family,cousins,neices etc were there and neighbours that remembered himas a boy. we all had a great time.

Then in 1986 my cousin who had saved for 5 years came over and the same as her dad had done a few years before. my cousin and i had more in common then we realised and got on really great. she was so clever. she spoke 7 languages, published 2 novels and had a BA in writing. whilst i wrote poetry and work in education, i am no where near the standard that she got to,yet!

My cousin was used to the heat and said she could never live here, it was too cold!My uncle loved his life there and never looked back.

sadly at the age of 78 after a triple bypass, he sadly died of a massive stroke in 2001.he used to write me wonderful letters about his life at least one a month and i miss them even now.

Even more sad at the age of 48 my cousin died suddenly in 2008 from a lung tumour. she never drank or smoked and like me was a veggie. but that made no difference. the last letter i have from her was in dec 2007 and she was well and happy working on a new book. she took ill injul and mid august she went very suddenly. sometimes i still think she is alive in oz, but when xmas comes i am missing 2 letters and cards and always will.

since then my aunty now is 85 is in touch with me from time to time. she feels it worse to have lost her husband and daughter and is quite alone as she was an only child.shame i never got to meet her.

The thing is when we do take off to another country or island and leave our other family members behind, its always difficult as you get older and not able to visit.

i do feel that sometimes as my own parents are down south 900 miles away and cant just drive as i have 40 miles of ocean to cross first.

well better go and attend to my chores. work tomorrow and up ant 6.45!

back soon
in the hebrides


SpanishEyes Report 29 Aug 2011 07:12

Good morning everyone and especially Florence who has written about her Australisn connections.

I have at least two more of my family who decided to live abroad and will give a choice again as to which one you would like to know about.

1. My cousin who left the UK for one year but never returned to England permanently, lived in Switzerland and now in a different part of Spain to me.

2. My cousin who was in the Air Force, became a high church priest, and then a missionary, finally decided that main line religions were not what they should be and opened a church of his own!!

I do hope that new people will join us soon, I shall run out of people who went abroad to live. Hoping that when the holiday season is over new people will come aboard.

Any ideas as to how we can entice new members, I am and havevenjoyed about others experiences.

Putting my thinking cap on so need a coffee now.



SpanishEyes Report 29 Aug 2011 21:08

Oh dear.

I am the only one who added to this thread today.

I hope you are all well and enjoyed the UK holiday,



AnninGlos Report 29 Aug 2011 21:35

Been out today and then busy sorting things for our holiday.

Bridget can we hear about the RAF man who became a priest please.

I don't have anyone else to write about unfortunately but I look forward to yours.

Enjoyed Florence's as well, thank you.


SpanishEyes Report 29 Aug 2011 23:19

Ann,I will be delighted to write about my cousin who became a priest. Today we hsve had a very very hot day, our friends from Yorkshire really relaxing, friends from here came for lunch then left about 3pm. The sky turned black and we have had a massive storm with a lot of lightening...lost electricity twice, so off to bed now and hopefully it will be a quiet night

Bye for now


Karen in the desert

Karen in the desert Report 30 Aug 2011 09:30

Here's a little story from me this morning.......

As Ramadan is now ended, we enter the festival of Eid al Fitr, and today is the first day of the public holiday (3 days in Egypt, but it varies throughout the region), so schools, government offices, many shops and restaurants are closed now.

Everyone has new clothes for Eid, and small gifts are given, usually sweets, pastries or money - especially money to the children so that they can spend it throughout the holiday on sweets, candyfloss, balloons etc and activities.

The first day of Eid – today - it is considered very important to visit family, and for this everyone will put on their new clothes. The remaining two days of Eid (which will be extended by running into the weekend), will be typically spent by going to the park with a picnic for the day, or an amusement park, or going away to the coast or a resort.

Here in Cairo taking a Felucca (small boat) trip on the Nile is a very popular daytime activity, for those who don’t go to the parks, and in the evenings the cinemas and theatres are especially busy. Many neighbourhoods have evening street parties with one long table down the middle, and lots of bright lights and decorations (particularly lanterns) hanging above, loud music playing everywhere, and perhaps a puppeteer or a jester for the children. The women of the neighbourhood cook the food which is shared by all, and it’s a very noisy time, the streets are busy day and night, firecrackers are going off all over the place!

Throughout all of Eid, lots of cooking and eating is done, not forgetting a particular type of biscuit called Kahk (pronounced kek), it’s a biscuit or cookie filled with nuts and covered in icing sugar and is always eaten at Eid, and is a typical gift to take when visiting. Bakeries are packed full of customers during the last few days of Ramadan as everyone tries to buy these and other sweet items for the Eid festival.

Throughout the whole 3 days there are lots of street sellers, either on bicycles or pushing their handcarts around, which they decorate as brightly as possible to attract attention and will often have a small radio hanging off the side playing music. They sell sweets, nuts, dates, juice, balloons, whistles etc and shout out their wares as they go around the streets - as I said, it’s a very noisy time!



Florence61 Report 30 Aug 2011 21:17

thanks for that karen, very interesting.

bridget, i too would to hear about the priest.

i dont have any more stories really with overseas connections as my uncle was the only one that went overseas.that is except for me up here as far north as you can . btw we had our first power cur last night for nearly 2 hours from 6-8pm. wasnt cold and still daylight, so not a problem really, just didnt get my coffee after tea!!

more stories required

in the hebrides


wisechild Report 31 Aug 2011 15:05

I have a puzzle.
As I research into the more recent (1880s onwards) branches of my family I find more & more of them who emigrated to either Canada or America.
What I would like to know is why??
And did the ones who went later know that they had distant relatives already there.......wherever there was.

Karen in the desert

Karen in the desert Report 31 Aug 2011 15:38

A lot of people moved countries (and still do) to make a better life for themselves.
The US, Canada, and Australia became popular because they were the 'new world' with the promise of a whole new better life, and it did seem that those who went there did better for themselves once established, far better than they had been doing in the country they had just left, ie Ireland suffered the potato famine; much of Europe suffered famine during the mid 1800's due to a couple of bad harvests; mass unemployment particularly for Ag Labs since the industrial revolution had changed farming in a big way; wars and conflict were, and still are, always to blame for movement of mention but a few reasons.
As 'new countries', the US, Canada, Australia were starting to get noticed, and moving there seemed the right thing to do if people wanted to get on in life.

I have a branch of my family who went to the US in 1910. I thought nothing much of it, until I found the ships passenger list and I noticed the eldest son was missing. I knew he hadn't died, and after further investigation I found that he had gone on ahead of the family, some 4 months earlier, travelling alone at 18 yrs old. What a brave lad, I thought!

Lucky me - he was there in time to be included in the 1910 US census, I found him lodging with a family, in the same town where his whole family later joined him and settled.
The family name meant nothing to me, but I wanted to find who they were, and discovered that the wife's maiden name was the same as my brave lad's mother - so it was his aunt (and cousins) he was staying with!!
Then I found that his aunt, soon after marrying, had gone to US with her husband, ten years in answer to your question - in my family's case, yes, they had relatives there (not so distant) and they knew they were there!! :-D

I've mentioned this book before, and at the risk of boring anyone, I'll mention it again - Bloody Foreigners by Robert Winder.
It's all about emigration/immigration of people - why, where, how, what for etc , right up to modern day. It's very interesting. When I first got it, I read it through, but now I find it very handy for dipping in and out of, when I want to know about a certain phase in history, ie the one you have mentioned 1880's on....except I can't dip into it at the mo' because it's at my house in UK and not with me here :-S sorry!



Kay???? Report 31 Aug 2011 18:00

Dont forget the gold rush of US and diamond mining in Canada also opal mining of Australia, people went in thousands to make the big time,,,,,Detroit was a destination place for either CA or US.
Religious groups also went to US to preach the word.


SpanishEyes Report 31 Aug 2011 18:50

I have discovered only in the last 48 hours that my grandfathers brother went to Australia in 1934. He went on a boat that was only for people from Prison. I was delighted and excited to receive this info as it confirmed the spoken words from my grandfather which was immediately denied by by my grandma. I now need help in finding his hearing in court which I think will prove that he did kill someone in City Road London and was convicted for manslaughter,

Not the best few days for me but will be back asap



SpanishEyes Report 1 Sep 2011 17:28



SpanishEyes Report 3 Sep 2011 09:15

OK, give up!

I will write about the the priest because I think you will enjoy it and I always feel a little humble when I read it.

I will be changing names although I will keep the first letter of each name the existing first letter of each person.

I have to tidy up first and do a bit of cleaning, but iteill be on here later.



SpanishEyes Report 5 Sep 2011 15:53

My relative Tne Priest.

I have finally got the time, the detail and the inclination to write about my cousin The Priest.
I hope that this will inspire others to add to this thread, if not then I think the time will come to stop posting.
I will wait until the end of October to decide what to do as I shall be in the UK from the end of September.

My cousin is somewhat older than me.
His mother is one of my mothers sisters. For the sake of this story I am going to call him Joshua, not his real name but a name I particularly like.

Joshua was born about 1935 and his father was in the Army. He was a very handsome man and was chosen to be painted astride a horse to represent his regiment in the Army. My aunt was also a very attractive young girl when she met this chap at an Army ball. They married and quickly had a boy and a girl.
As my aunt came from an army background she fully understood the way the army worked.

Sadly my uncle was killed in 1950 whilst serving in Malay which must have been very traumatic for everyone concerned. The children were already at Army schools and they were allowed to stay.
The first time I recall seeing my cousin Jay ( not his real name) I would have been about 8 or 9 years old. I was playing outside our house and the neighbour called me a (mare) to which my cousin replied " madam. A re Mare is a female horse and my cousin is most definitely not a horse!) I immediately loved him.
Some years later I learnt that he wS in the Army and started to have contact with him. He also served in the Royal Air Force. Several years passed , I married and then out of the blue heard that he and his wife, a school teacher were going abroad as missionaries and taking their two children with them.
We quickly got in touch and went to visit them before the left. This was the first time that I learnt just how religious these two people were. I found it fascinating that a young man baptised into the Church of England had become a priest whilst in the Army and tried to continue this faith whilst in civilian life. I remember having a conversation about the differences between the various religions he had become interested in
. He asked me why my mother was a convert to Catholicism, did I believe in a given religion etc....

( oops someone at tne door, will be back very soon.)


SpanishEyes Report 5 Sep 2011 16:49

Continuation of above.

Having rediscovered my cousin it was fascinating to talk to him about religions and the meaning of life along with his wife. Their faith was strong but they did feel that traditional faiths had become complex, whilst to them religion was about loving they neighbour , doing good whenever you could, helping anyone as much as possible and try to bring people together.

After many months they decided to go to Papua New Guinnie and off they went as missionaries. I must say that I both admired them and wS afraid for them, the church fully supported them with guidance on how to great the various groups and tribes with bibles, prayers etc but fundamentally they were on their own. The children were very excited, educational books were gathered, and we all recognised that it would be some time before we heard from them. However we all felt that this was what they had discussed for so long that it was inevitable and so we wished them well.

My cousins' belief never failed him and in the first few months were learnt a great deal about how people had greater them, how they were feeling accepted and delighted to have taken the risk, and so my Priest cousin had at last found his real p,ace on this world.

Then came even better news, Horney were expecting a child and have been involved with many births they had decided to stay there and the new child would be proof that they believed that the local community were trusted and learning about God and his way of life.

Then came the news that no one had anticipated. A shocking message which was hard to understand. The twins were successfully born with help from the local women.....but.....when the second child was born this was considered to be the Devil!! All belief from the past rushed back to the tribe and the second child as killed.

One can only imagine the terrible consequences for the family...all that hard work, all the effort all the belief of there own....was strongly tried.

They did return to the UK , they did remain believers in Christianity but they did not return to the orthodox church...they felt betrayed by the church, lacked real support from the hierarchy and found life very difficult.

Eventually they moved to a new part of the UK, they started life again, their faith wavered but never left them and my admiration for them could not be higher.

A true Apostle for the world, in my view.

This may not have been what you expected, and if anyone objects to this true, sad and inspiring story I will delete it.

Now I really do believe that it is time for someone else to add to this thread.

Look back on you trees, see if any one went to live somewhere else even if only for a short time, what about people who went to war and stayed in for example, France, Belgium, Germany. Etc.

Who has moved abroad for work etc etc.

Bye for now



SpanishEyes Report 5 Sep 2011 22:46