Elizabeth Stothard (born Yapp)

Elizabeth b.1921 in Stafford, England was the daughter of Lily Edith Dickens b.1888 d.1968 and Leonard Yapp whom she married in 1917. (Lily was the third of old John Dickens' daughters).

Betty married Ralph Stothard in Yorkshire in 1941 and had three children: Elizabeth Victoria b.1943, Christopher John b.1946,and Ralph Owen b.1948; all born in Pickering, Yorkshire.

Rosemary Dickens, my sister, worked in London for many years and was a frequent visitor to the Stothard home in Yorkshire. Rosemary moved back to South Africa and the Stothard family emigrated to Australia.

I wrote to Betty in the year 2000 for no particular reason other than that she was family and was also a person who enjoyed similar pursuits to myself, i.e. the French language, reading, writing and definitely not 'rithmetic.

Betty wrote that she learnt French as a child in the Convent where the nuns were mostly Belgian and they had to speak French quite often. Betty used to write pantomimes for the Pickering Musical Society, before they left for Oz, and she said that she and a friend were going to do Lorna Doone as a musical. This sort of thing was just up my street. I would've loved to have met up with Betty, my second-cousin but as usual, we often leave things too late.

Then she wanted to paint the ghost gums in Oz but got too involved with breeding mini Schnauzers; to the point that one Moses was the top dog in the state.

Ralph used to do a lot of gliding and was an instructor. Chris, his son, at that time, was a senior instructor for British Airways. 'He has a very important position now,' Betty wrote in her letter. Perhaps someone would like to trace him on that score? Apparently Louis Dickens wanted Chris to join the RAF but Chris took Peter's advice and joined British Airways.

Their daughter Victoria was doing a course in journalism. She doesn't mention Ralph Owen.

John and Anne Dickens visited Betty and Ralph in the Blue Mountains where they lived only a few years ago. John came back with stories of the wonderful family Bible which Betty had, as well as a copper kettle made by Robert Dickens.  John took some photocopies of various pages in the bible but we both wished Betty had passed it on to someone who needed it - like me!!!

In her letter to me, Betty says 'About the Bible, I am going to take it to my photographer and get copies made, plus a copy of Grandpa's commission signed by Queen Victoria.'  (John Dickens b. 1846)

Pity about the Bible. The photocopies are not suitable for this site but I think my great-grandfather JOHN DICKENS' commission is somewhere on the site.

There seems to be only one photograph of Betty and Ralph and this was sent to me by John, grandson of  THE John Dickens - The One! The leader of the band; the big boss makulu.  And here it is:

The young lady at the back John tells me, is his wife Anne, which means this photograph is not very recent.

Perhaps some other family members will be able to add something to this page.

In the meantime, John Dickens (old John's grandson) sent this picture of Betty and the kettle made by her grandfather, Robert Dickens.



This was taken by John Dickens when he visited Betty at her home in the Blue Mountains, Australia in 2000.  Note the Schnauzer at her side. Probably Moses. Betty was 79 at the time.

John Parkin


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