Mabel Victoria Day (1897 - 1943)

The only surviving photographs of Mabel show her, evidently pregnant, in the company of George Mafeking ALDIS and, as a younger woman, dressed in a uniform, possibly that of the WVS organisation.

George Mafeking Aldis and Mabel Victoria DayGeorge Mafeking Aldis and Mabel Victoria Day
Mabel Victoria DayMabel Victoria Day
The writing on the back of the photo which Mabel sent to her brother Will.The writing on the back of the photo which Mabel sent to her brother Will.
George aged about 9George aged about 9

George Mafeking professed himself heart-broken when Mabel died. Her son, unfortunately, has no abiding memories of her as a person or as a mother. Evacuated as a very young boy, he became ill, was hospitalised, and eventually returned to his parents in London. Whether the mysterious stomach complaint he suffered was psychosomatic in origin, a physical reaction to the trauma of being forcibly taken from his parents, is uncertain; it seems likely, however, since the authorities decided that the lesser evil would be to return young George to his parents in London, with all the attendant risks from war, rather than for him to remain with an unidentified illness or condition with his evacuation family. That the stomach complaint disappeared in London as mysteriously as it had appeared in Woking suggests that the decision was correct. Young George, in the manner of children, was completely unaware of the dangers of being in London during the blitz: exploring bombed-out houses, searching for shrapnel and other evidence of war activity, getting up in the night to go to the relative safety of the underground station being used as an air-raid shelter, these were all adventures exciting enough in themselves and food for a youthful imagination. This pattern was only broken by the hoarse, machine-gun rattle breathing caused by the pneumonia that quickly killed Mabel, separating 8-year old George not only from his mother but also from his father and from any semblance of ordinary family living that he had ever known.

Charles and Emily DAY, Mabel's parents, both survived the Great War, though nothing is known of their lives beyond the event of Emily’s death in October 1936, aged 70, at Leytonstone. Like her daughter, Mabel, Emily died of pneumonia, the death being reported by widowed Charles who was described on the death certificate as a “commission agent” living in Romford Road, Forest Gate, West Ham. It seems likely that Emily and Charles would have seen their grandson George born in 1935, but there is no evidence, photographic or otherwise, to the fact. Nor is it known when Charles John DAY died. The only family member about whom there is substantial information is Millie who remained close to Mabel and would have adopted her son George, she later told him, had he been born a girl. Millie married Ernest Flexon the 21st April 1934 at Hackney Register Office, Mabel being a witness; and she lived in the greater London area until her early death from angina in 1960. George regularly corresponded with his Aunt Millie during his teenage years and stayed with her in her flat in Wembley; to a small degree she replaced his lost mother, but her death ended all contact with his DAY forebears. The marriages of two of Millie’s brothers, and the early deaths of two siblings, have been found. Charles William, aged 24, married Ruby Simpson, aged 21, at Christ Church, Southwark, the 29th September 1915, his mother Emily and sister Mabel being witnesses; and William Victor, aged 25, married Elsie Eliza Fry, aged 22, in the parish church of Great Ilford, Essex, the 18th July 1920. Jessie Edith died, aged 13 months, of gastro-enteritis, the 16th June 1901, and Frederick John died, aged 12 years, of appendicitis, the 31st October 1905.