Our Children

Bobbie, in particular, was anxious to have children, ideally one boy and one girl. We had never used contraceptives but she had never become pregnant and, when we were in Melbourne just after the War, she and I had undergone medical investigations to ascertain whether there was some medical reason that could be corrected, but none could be found. Since she had had a hysterectomy in 1949, when we were in America, we decided to adopt a child. We were assisted in this choice by old army medical friends, notably Dr Stanley Williams. We adopted as a month-old baby, a girl who was born on 27 June, 1950, and named her Marilyn Aldus (Bobbie's mother's maiden name) Fenner. We never enquired about her biological parents, and she has never wished to do so. Some time later, while we were still in Melbourne, Stanley Williams came to see us again and told us that he thought we should adopt my niece, the daughter of my younger brother Tom and his first wife, Beverley (née Slaney). Beverley had died in tragic circumstances, while Tom was away with the Royal Australian Navy, but their only child (Victoria, Vicki, born 1 March, 1943) had been saved from the fire. Tom married Margaret Legge a few years later, but Stan told us that Margaret, who had two children by Tom, was treating Vicki very badly, and that we should adopt her. Tom had no objections to transferring Vicki to our care, so we followed his advice and formally adopted Vicki when she was eight years old.