William Stringer was a teacher from Lancashire. He moved to Guernsey where he met and married Eda Le Messurier. In Guernsey he was headmaster of a boys school, and Eda was headmistress of a nearby girls school. He came from Ashton under Lyne.
They had two children, Margot and Desirée. Margot was born in 1914. In 1916 he enlisted in the Lancashire fusilliers. He wasn’t supposed to enlist if his wife was pregnant, but she only found out she was pregnant with Desirée after he had signed up. She was born on 11 September 1916. He was in the Somme (we think).
When Margot was about 8, they moved to Darlington in the north of England, where he became a school inspector (a promotion). They used to go back to Guernsey quite often until the second world war, when they sold the house.
He was very close to Margot because they had a lot in common. He used to love driving with Margot. They would go to a pub, and she would only realise afterwards that he had had too much cider to drink, because it was deceptive. He was very hurt when Margot moved to New Zealand and didn’t return his letters. (which was mostly because she was not very good at writing letters)
With his granddaughters, he used to sing to them, usually when they were on his shoulders. He was being a bear.
Jean always talked about his lovely lancashire accent.
They retired to Exeter, where he loved to show off the cathedral, which he felt very proprietorial about, in a very loud voice because he was quite deaf. The official people used to try to shush him.
When I (Jennifer) was three months old, we went to visit them in Exeter. By this stage he was in his 80s and quite blind, so he was very nervous about holding a three month old baby.