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Billingsley family
Dorothy Low
Low family
Dorothy Pennington Low


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Grandma Low

Grandma Low
An usually-lighthearted moment at her Richmond Hill home, north of Toronto.

My Dad's mother... Dorothy Pennington... born into poverty in Belfast, grew up in a poorhouse and then foster care in south-central England. Her older brother made it to Canada while she worked as domestic in England. Taking matters in her own hands, she emigrated to Canada as part of Dr. Bernardo's programme out of London at the age of 15, and joined her brother... but he soon enlisted for WWI, and died in the Battle of Somme.

After receiving training as a nurse, she later married John Billingsley, who died when my father was only four. Seven years later she married William Low, a Scot from Kinnell, Aberdeenshire. In two marriages she raised three boys, the oldest of which is my father. I lived with her part of every summer during my childhood. She and Grandpa Low kept a nice garden behind the house, and rabbits.

(This photograph was among a group of negatives that were weather-damaged in storage - just being scanned at present.)

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