Ten children, but they always looked well turned out
FOR a young girl Ruth showed a discerning eye for the village life around her
Ruth: “It’s hard to put into words the interest of life in a country village. The families were so different. The Claydons rosy, chubby. Then the Sucklings - another large family - living in Sandhills and the eldest already left home - the younger ones always neat and tidy with their satchels, black long socks meeting breeches over their knees passing our house on the way to school each morning.
Mrs Suckling was a dear kind patient mother. She allowed me to give her baby
 a bottle when I took my "child nursing" badge in Guides. Mr Sampson Suckling was a great big man, who worked on traction engines, was in the choir and was always one to announce good wishes when they were on the carol singing rounds - far into the night on Christmas Eve.

Bloomfield family
The large Bloomfield family, all smartly dressed and all did well

The next great family was the Bloomfields who lived down at Cherry Gardens. Mr Bloomfield was a small wiry man and his wife a most beautiful woman. They had nine children, Maisie, Chrissie, Molly, Harold, Jack, Daniel and I think Phillip, Winifred and Marjorie. They were all beautifully turned out and I think all did well.

School class
Ruth, seated right in light dress at Wethersfield school in 1917
Perhaps of all the years at Wethersfield, the 10th and 11th years of my life were the happiest of all. The war was over and we were happy at school with Miss Newman, but best of all we revelled in the wonderfully absorbing hobby of collecting birds' eggs! I never succeeded in finding a snipe's next, but spent hours down in the water meadows, near the swampy beds of golden kingcups, listening to the sheep-like bleat of the snipe as it descended in long swoops (the noise is made by its tail feathers I believe) and watching to see where it touched down in marshy ground".
But it was the joy of wandering alone, or with others, down in the meadows, that was so unforgettable, as was foraging for holly and evergreens, for
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Click on pictures to enlarge
a Rossiter family album