Flora Muriel ORCHARD (later STEBBING) (1884-1974)
Flora Muriel Orchard (1884-1974) became friendly with the Sladden family when she first moved to Badsey in about 1905. She is mentioned in a number of the letters.
Flora was born in Cambridge on 27th February 1884, the youngest of four children of Albert Francis Orchard, a retired Indian Army Officer, and his wife, Cornelia Caroline Mary. By 1891, the Orchards and two servants were living in Kensington, London. In 1901, they were living at 28 West Street, Stratford-on-Avon.
Flora’s father died in 1902 in Kensington. By 1905, Flora had moved with her widowed mother and sister to Vine Lodge, High Street, Badsey. They had gone from the village by the time of the 1911 census, but still kept in touch with the Sladdens. On 28th October 1912, Flora qualified as a midwife.
On 12th August 1915 Flora married Captain Hugh Theodore Stebbing in the Devonport district of Devon. Her only child, Hilary Muriel, was born on 28th August 1916 in Evesham. A letter written by Mela Brown Constable on 24th August 1916 reveals that they were staying at High Mead, Bengeworth, in order to be close to Nurse Beazley’s nursing home for the confinement. A letter of 7th September 1916 from George Sladden indicates that they were disappointed that the child was a daughter!
In a letter of 24th June 1917, Mela revealed that Hugh had sent a wire to Flora asking her to join him in India, but she was unable to do so because she could not get a passport.
At the time of the 1939 register, Flora and Hilary were living at 32 Mutley Road, Plymouth