A Click in Time

She holds no animosity.


Crying cut through the silence of the partly built house. It was a dark, windy night. The rain was heavy. A baby girl was alone on the front porch. Her mother, a teenaged Sussex waitress, was fighting her own battles, in a Britain preparing for World War Two. On the 1st of May 1939, Ethel Patricia Gumbrell, 17, would be trumpeted across the newspaper headlines and charged with abandoning her two-week old daughter.

Hours after abandoning her child, Ethel turned up to Paddington police station. Her conscience had gotten the better of her. She made a statement.

“I’ve abandoned my baby,” she told them.

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