Lilian “Liby” Tee was my first cousin three times removed. We are both descended from Jeremiah Pickering and Anne Filburn who were my third Great Grandparents, and Liby’s Grandparents. I am descended from their son James Pickering, while Liby is descended from their daughter, Hannah Pickering. Hannah was the second youngest of eleven children, and she married young, at the age of 17, to Edwin Tee. Edwin Tee was a gardener’s labourer in Pontefract, Yorkshire. It was here that Edwin and Hannah lived after their marriage, and where they started their family. They had five children, Liby being the 4th of the five, before Hannah’s untimely death in 1892 at the young age of 31. Liby was only 6 at the time of her mother’s death.
By 1901, Liby, age 15, was working as a domestic servant on a cattle farm in Naburn, Yorkshire. In 1910, at the age of 24, she married Herbert Gardner, a chauffeur and motor mechanic. They had three children between their marriage and the outset of the war. Herbert. On August 12, 1914, only 8 days after the United Kingdom declared war on Germany, Herbert enlisted in the Army Service Corps. Included in his file is a letter of reference from his employer that stated that “We are pleased to recommend Herbert Gardner as a driver suitable for the charge of motor cars and vans. We have known him for some years and can state that he is capable of all roadside repairs etc.”
Herbert served through the entire war in England and France with the occasional leave home. For most of the war, Liby and her children would have been on their own. Herbert was discharged in early 1919, and he returned to Yorkshire. He and Liby had one more child in 1919, and they lived the rest of their lives in Yorkshire. Herbert passed away in in 1962 at the age of 85.