The Mitchells up until 1924 - part 3

There was much opposition to their marriage from Ann, her mother. It was thought that the age difference was too great. So they got married on October the 27th, 1920 -- the day after Irene's 21st birthday, thus needing no parental consent. In any event, the wedding finally took place with great goodwill, with parents, brothers, cousins in abundance, and the bride and groom departing in a carriage and pair provided by the bride's mother's new husband. 

They were blissfully happy. David was doing well, with a successful practice; and he had also advanced his surgical experience by gaining an honorary post as surgeon at Pontypool Hospital. He had in fact become an excellent GP/ general surgeon, a category that disappeared after the second world war in the face of increased specialisation. But in those days, the GP/ surgeons did much valuable and varied work in local hospitals, being able to turn a skilled hand to general surgery, including abdominal and orthopaedic cases. 

In the meantime, Irene was busy converting the house from a rather austere bachelor establishment into a comfortable home. It was quite cosy, lit by gas, and no doubt she had a most enjoyable time shopping for more cheerful curtains and furniture covers. They had a car, a bull-nosed Morris Cowley open two-seater with a dickey-seat at the back. David churned up and down the hills on his rounds, and during their holidays they toured all over the British Isles. I have a map showing their routes in 1922 and 1923, taking in England, Scotland, Cornwall and East Anglia. Imagine touring in those days -- empty roads, unspoilt towns, all at an average speed of 25 to 30mph. Amongst many other places, they stayed the night at Marlborough; they found themselves near Ascot during Ascot Week, and so changed into smart clothes behind a hedge, and on the spur of the moment went to the races. But it was not always smooth going; punctures occurred frequently, and it was considered remarkable that they once drove from Abersychan to Birmingham and back in a day, and without a single puncture. 

Anyway, in 1924, I arrived to a great welcome, and David and Irene became Daddy and Mummy, and later, Dad and Mum. They were wonderful parents, with a humorous attitude to life, though basically serious and thoughtful. Between them , they gave me an entertaining and free-and-easy upbringing, though they were often quite strict, probably from a fear of me becoming a spoilt only child.

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Peter Mitchell’s Memoirs


    part 1

    part 2

   PART 3

Early Years

Clifton College

Outbreak of War



Essex Yeomanry