Bathia Steedman (Peg) Robinson

1922 Aug 1. Born Inverness as Bathia Steedman Robinson, but was called Peg all her life. Daughter of George and Ada (nee Proctor) Robinson

1938 Whilst in the sixth form at Cheltenham Ladies College her father who was an inveterate gambler, died and the school fees could no longer be afforded. Peg had to leave school and became an educational secretary. I am not convinced that her mother Ada did not have the funds to finish Pegs education - Peg's father georege left £1300 when he died and her mother left £7000 when she died in 1956. It would require research in Cheltenham Ladies College records to establish why she left aged 16.

1943 Nov 3. Jane Robinson, was born to the un-married Peg (Batia Steedman) Robinson. Peg was sent from Cheltenham to Norfolk to have her baby . Jane's daughter was told that Jane was handed over to the new adopting parents at a railway station by her grandmother, Ada, with a complete layette set from Harrods.

Peg became pregnant. The circumstances surrounding this are unknown. She never disclosed the name of the father to anyone and took this secret to her grave. The name and surname of the father section of my birth certificate has a line through it.

Desmond was a housemaster at Oakham school and had in his house the son of the Medical Officer of Health for Norfolk. Through this connection as childbirth outside marriage could not be countenanced, my birth grandmother accompanied Peg to The Rose & Crown public house at Hilgay, Downham Market , Norfolk where they stayed for five months and where I was born on the November 3rd 1943. My adoptive parents had lived in the small town of Downham Market, three miles from Hilgay before moving north to Chester-le-Street in County Durham. They had made friends with Barbara Laxon who I think must have known of their wish to consider adoption. She told them of Peg and six weeks after my birth I was “handed” over by Peg to my adoptive parents on Peterborough station. Decades later mum told me that I looked like my birth mother. There is an alternative version of this story which was that my adoptive parents went to the Rose and Crown where I was handed over very quickly. Barbara Laxon became my Godmother. I was christened on Boxing Day 1943 Jane Elizabeth Anne. The formal application for my adoption was heard and granted on March 22nd 1944.

Sara said that after my birth my grandmother and Peg returned to Cheltenham. Desmond moved to Woodbridge School where he was a housemaster. On my grandmother Ada's death (in 1956) Peg moved to Woodbridge where she kept house for Desmond and had a job as a secretary. She met and on 18.4.1959 married Ken who was a civil servant in the Immigration Service. Desmond did not approve of this marriage as he lost his housekeeper (unpaid) and had failed to marry Peg off to a local clergyman who would have remained in Woodbridge!

1959 Apr 18. Peg married Kenneth Johnson who was a civil servant in the Immigration Service. He was posted to Kenya, and Peg went to live there with him, she had a miscarriage after being frightened by a snake.

Name Bathia S Robinson
Event Type Marriage Registration
Registration Quarter Apr-May-Jun
Registration Year 1959
Registration District Deben
County Suffolk
Event Place Deben, Suffolk, England
Spouse Name (available after 1911) Kenneth G Johnson
Volume 4B
Page 1407
Line Number 121

1963/1964. Peg and Ken adopted a daughter, Sara, of their own around 1963/1964, which appears to have happened on their return from Kenya. Sara now has a son Oliver.

1967 I see that Peg came to our wedding in Oxford

2004 Feb 21. Peg died, believed to be from Alzheimer's. Bathia Steedman Johnson died New Forest peacefully, Bathia Steedman 'Peg' (née Robinson), aged 81, of Milford-on-Sea. Service at Bournemouth Crematorium on Monday, 1st March at 11.45 a.m. Family flowers only please, but donations welcome for The Alzheimer's Society or Marie Curie Cancer Relief

 

Ada Proctor, her mother