William George (1883-1941) & Susan Estlick (1889-1941) Pearn
Susan Estlick was born in Plymouth, Devon in 1889, the daughter of William Eslick and his wife Louisa Channing. ‘Susie’ was with her parents in the 1891 and 1901 censuses. William George Pearn was born in Plymouth St Charles in 1883, the son of William Pearn and his wife Ellen Herbert. He was with his parents in the 1891 and 1901 censuses, working as a printer and paper hanger’s apprentice in 1901. William and Susan married in Plymouth in 1907. They and their new daughter Gwendoline Irene were in the 1911 census, with William working as a decorator.
William and Susan remained in Plymouth after marrying. Bombing raids began in 1940, with 59 raids between 1940 and 1944 resulting in the loss of 1172 civilians. William and Susan took cover in the Portland Square Air Raid Shelter on the night of 22-23 April 1941, both perishing along with 70 others due to a direct hit on the shelter. This was the single largest loss of civilian life in Plymouth and a memorial was unveiled on the University of Plymouth campus in 2010 to commemorate the victims.
William and Susan would miss the marriage of their only child Gwendoline to Ronald George Charles Copp the following year. Susan was also not the first war casualty in her family, her younger brother William Henry Estlick having lost his life in World War I.
‘Plymouth Blitz’, Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plymouth_Blitz, [accessed 27 Jun 2016].
‘Portland Square Air Raid Shelter in Plymouth England’, YouTube, courtesy of Steve Johnson, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZyeNEPf2sk, [accessed 27 Jun 2016].
‘Sailors Help to Clear Up after Plymouth Blitz of 21 March 1941’, Imperial War Museums, © IWM (A 3546), http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205137933, [accessed 27 Jun 2016].