Augustus James Voisey Fletcher was born in Gurney Slade, Somerset, in 1928, the son of James Fletcher, a farm labourer, and his wife, Naomi (née Dudden), who before her marriage had been in domestic service.
A century before the wife of a farm labourer – indeed of many – would likely have been in service. By the 1920s it was much rarer as being in service was. Naomi’s experience – and of one of my grandmothers – was of the last generation before it near entirely died out. By the 1950s very few would have been in that service.
Something worth remembering about that past. In England at least service was, for most who did it, more like an apprenticeship than it was a life.