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Parrett family


My father, George Parrett, saw an advertisment with a photo of a farmer and a wheelbarrow, a giant pumpkin filling it, saying "this is what YOU can grow in Canada!" so came to Canada from Wiltshire in 1908 "to learn farming," worked on farms in Manitoba, and bought his own at Pilot Mound a few years later. He sent for mother, Mable Purchase, of Moreton, Dorset, in 1912, mother arriving in an April blizzard, met by dad's neighbor, in a box sleigh. (She had expected, at least,a coach-in-four from a "land owner!) They headed trough the snow- no roads then- mother expecting "the Manor House," but finding a prairie shack.

My mother Mable, left, and Aunt Elsie the farm
Mother said, "at home we had a girl to do the wash>"

George Parrett Jr. at Pilot Mound farm 1914.
A bountiful crop that year

George Parrett Jr. born 1914 on a Pilot Mound farm
George was born on a neighbor's farm (with telephone)

Mother, unused to housework in the family home in England, had to make soap from ashes and lye on the Pilot Mound, Manitoba farm. And the rain barrel in the photo "blew away for miles and miles," and was dented beyond further use. When her first child was due, she went to neighbors, the Mannings, three miles away, "as the telephone poles didn't reach to our house." It was a boy! Doctor Speechly came from Pilot Mound by cutter in a blizzard, was thrown out three times on the way. He arrived after brother George was born.

Elsie and Will Parrett & George and Mable Parrett
Probably Elsie and Will's Wedding photo in 1913.

Aunt Elsie Brooks came from Salisbury to marry uncle Will Parrett, they later farmed at Khedive, Sask. but Will died there in 1917. A son, Kenneth, was born on the farm, moved to Brandon with his mother in the 1930s, then to British Columbia, where he was fatally injured in a logging mill accident just before WW11.


George and Mabel Parrett with their first-born George Jr. at the farm near Pilot Mound, Manitoba, here dressed up for the photo. After five years of crops being rusted, frozen in the fields or eaten by grasshoppers, they raised a bumper crop- they thought! As they gazed at the waving grain a dark cloud appeared, grew, and pelted the grain flat with hail. It was the end of farming for them- they moved to the city- Winnipeg in 1917. But the war came, father enlisted in the Service Corps at Valcartier, Quebec, slated for overseas. Regulations forbade any more dependents heading to England, but mother wangled a permit and travelled there with Roy in arms and sister Mabel at two. But George didn't proceed overseas as the war was winding down, so Mabel visited her family, in Dorset, until returning to Winnipeg on a "Bride's Ship" in 1919.

Family Photo Album


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