This blog post is adapted from the eulogy of my much loved great aunt Elizabeth Sloan McDade Webb nee Armour which my Mum and I wrote for her funeral in 2015.
Elizabeth was born in Glasgow Royal Maternity Hospital, Rottenrow, Glasgow in 1917. Sadly her mother died days later but Elizabeth had 2 older brothers William and Francis. A family anecdote is remembered of Elizabeth’s aunt on her father’s side going to visit the mother and baby in hospital, only to be told that Elizabeth’s mother had died and the aunt should prepare to look after the baby.
Elizabeth was brought up between her father and stepmother, William Armour and Elizabeth Welsh (her father remarried in 1919), in Kelvinbridge, Glasgow and her aunt, Elizabeth Mulholland nee Armour in Johnstone, Renfrewshire.
Elizabeth got up to many childhood pranks with her brothers. For example, she fell into the River Kelvin and William had to fish her out and she and Francis wandered off to Cowcaddens in order to find the cows which to them seemed very logical! They were found by a Police Constable and were not released to their stepmother until she had paid £1 each for them which was a lot of money in those days.
Elizabeth met her future husband Frank Webb on a blind date at a dance and fell in love with and married Frank contrary to her aunt’s wishes.
They married in January 1942 in St Margaret’s Roman Catholic Church in Johnstone and were married for 64 years. There was a coffin in the Church when they married and the priest didn’t know what to do first, the funeral or the wedding! Being January there was snow on the ground when they left the Church. 64 years later, after Frank’s funeral, there was also snow on the ground and Elizabeth told her family this was Frank’s last joke.
Elizabeth and Frank weren’t blessed with children but Elizabeth had 2 nieces and 4 nephews via her brothers.
After Elizabeth and Frank married they were only together for 2 days before Frank went to the Middle East with the army and Elizabeth continued to live in Johnstone. During this time she proved what a devoted aunt she was by taking fresh eggs to her oldest niece in Kelvinbridge.
Frank was very ill with tuberculosis in Switzerland after the war. When his health improved they moved down to Woodford Green, London. In London they both worked very hard in the civil service before being moved to Edinburgh in the 1970s when they took up residence in Longniddry.
Elizabeth was always very accident prone including falling off a London bus and Frank having to get the fire brigade out when she locked herself in the bathroom in Longniddry. She broke her hip at least 3 times and her wrist at least once.
Examples of their devotions to their nieces are a visit to London for their eldest niece’s fifth birthday and taking their youngest niece on holiday with them to Newport, Wales to meet Elizabeth’s nephews. After they retired they both devoted a lot of time to helping those in need through the Women’s Royal Voluntary Service and the Society of St Vincent De Paul.
After Frank’s death in 2006 Elizabeth’s health failed rapidly and Elizabeth spent five years in Nazareth House, Bonnyrigg where she passed away peacefully in 2015.