Florence Ethel Tapping (1891 – 1986)
Written by Mark Tapping
Then about 1932 they moved to Stoke Farm (which also belonged to Will) in Stoke Mandeville. Here they had the use of the house and a field for the poultry farm which Frank started. And here they lived happily for some seven years. And this was in spite of the fact that the house had no electricity and no running water.
Water was collected from a well pump in the yard and light was provided by paraffin lamps. So there was no bathroom – baths were taken in an iron tub in front of the wood fired range – and the only toilet
was in a farm building across the yard and consisted of a wooden seat above an iron bucket. But there was a large garden and an even larger orchard for them to enjoy. They coped well – even to the extent of putting up a family of refugees from London for a time when war clouds began to gather.
Warren attended the London Radio College and then found employment in the radio industry, Mark bicycled to the Grammar School in Aylesbury and Jane attended the Stoke Mandeville parish school before also going to the Grammar School.
Frank always wanted to have his own farm and opportunity came when Prune Farm in Edgcott was available on lease and so the family moved again. Now WW2 had started in earnest so Frank built an air raid shelter outside the farm house. Made of a chicken or hen house inside an haystack, very thankfully it was never used and eventually collapsed internally. The farm having been sold, the family had to leave and then moved to an house in nearby Grendon Underwood. Here, the ever active Flo ran the small village post office in the front room of the house. A steel Morrison shelter was installed in the dining room (leaving little room to move around it) but that also was never used.
Warren had been married in 1939 and was living in Ealing, London and Mark joined the armed forces a little later while Jane began working for a Vet in Aylesbury. However, by the end of the war, the whole family had, thankfully, survived although Jane had suffered from a grievous accident which could so easily have cost her life. Mark returned home as a Lieutenant in the Oxfordshire and Bucks Light Infantry and a couple of years later went overseas to Rhodesia for his employers. Warren had worked in the vital electronics industry (for ‘Philco’) and was soon divorced and later remarried while Jane married Allan Buck in Walton Church, Aylesbury and went to live in New Street, Aylesbury.