SARAH ALLEN FORWARD
Sarah Allen was born at Blaenavon, 21 December 1890 at 6 Staffordshire Row. Her
parents were Elizabeth Davies and John Allen. Sarah was the oldest of nine children, three brothers, Thomas, Noah and Reg, and five sisters, Ethel, Margretta, Martha Ann, Beatrice and Dorothy May. She went to school at 2 ½ years, but this was quite unusual.
Her aunt who lived close by took her and she was allowed to stay because she was good. She attended Church School in Blaenavon. My mother worked, hard as a child. She left school at 12 years of age and stayed at home and helped her mother but used to go out days and work as a domestic servant. Mr. and Mrs. John Morgan were my mother's first steady employers.
She worked as domestic help in their public house called the White Horse. My mother was 18 years old at the time. At 24 years of age she left the employment of Mr. and Mrs. Morgan and went to work for Mr. and Mrs. Reg Jordan, who kept the Riflers Public House While in the employ of the Jordans, it became necessary to go to work in the munitions factory making steel for wartime use.
So at this time my mother was working two jobs, but she said no matter where she worked, she always went home at night. While working at the White Horse she met my father, Edwin Forward, and in the year 1919 they were married at Llanwenath Chapel in Govilon. Those who attended the wedding were Margretta Allen, Will Rogers, who later married, William Jeremiah, who was best man, Mr. Tom Morris, Ada Skyrme, who was my mother's cousin, Flo Padfield, who was a friend of my father, Mary Ann Evans, who was another friend. lds of the wedding
Their first house was called Gommas Castle. I have no idea why the little home was called by this name, but to us it was a castle. We loved our home and the beautiful countryside which surrounded it. It was halfway between Blaenavon and Cwmavon. It was a valley and edged each side with lovely green hills, trees and wild flowers. Our family lived in this area for about seven years.
At this house four of her nine children were born, Lois, Allen, Ellen and Gordon. Then they moved a little further down into Cwmavon. They lived in No. 5 Forge Row the home next door to where our father was born. This was a quaint little row of homes, twelve in all. They were white with black slate roofs. It was a happy place to live and so wonderful for children. We were, situated on the side of the hill and there were so many lovely walks and places for children to play.
As children we had a long walk to get to school. It was all uphill but coming home
was all downhill and we had made the habit of starting to run from the top and down into the valley and we would be home in a short time.
Mother was a wonderful homemaker. She loved to bake and cook good nourishing
meals and we enjoyed our family life. Many times I have heard Mother express her thanks to the Lord as she felt He had provided for us.
It was not easy during the depression of 1929 to provide for such a large family but
we never wanted for food to eat or clothes to wear and our home was always neat and clean. Mother seldom went away from her home. Once a week on Friday she would make the trip into Blaenavon where she would do her grocery shopping and pay her bills.
She would take the bus and her mother and most of her brothers and sisters lived close to each other, and she would take the time to go to visit her mother. I remember we would look forward to Mother coming home, because she would always bring us a candy treat, jelly bears or candy fishes.
Simple but happy days. I have fond memories of Sunday evenings. Oftimes Mother and Father would sing together. Both of them had beautiful voices and as they, would sing the beautiful hymns, I remember it would make me feel like crying, which I sometimes did. But now I realize it was the sweet spirit. Mother was always proud of her nine children, five boys and four girls.
During World War II two of her sons served their country. Gordon served in India. Allen in the Air Force in South Africa. Colin and Malcolm also served their country, but in peace time.
After his service, Allen joined the Monmouthshire Police Force and she was always so
proud of him. She lived to see all of her children raised to man and womanhood and marry and have families of their own. Two daughters, Lois and Megan, joined the Church and in the year 1947 emigrated to America to join the saints in Zion. It was not easy for Mother to see us go so far away and. especially to take her only two little grandchildren at that time.
Megan was only 18 years old, but Mother knew that the way of life for the LDS people was a good way, so she would never prevent us from good progress. How well I remember her parting words on our last visit to Wales. “America is a long way. I know I shall never see you again.”
But the Lord was kind to Mother. She was spared a long life and during that time, Megan and Lois along with granddaughters, Laraine, Gail, Sara, Jayne and Ruth and at the completion of his mission, Paul, visited her. Edwin labored in Scotland and wrote to her often and he treasured the lovely sweater she knitted for him, but she passed away at age 82, in September, 1972, and Edwin completed his mission in February, 1973.
Mother had a deep love for her family and served them well. She was kind to
everyone. Her home was small but it was always filled with good cheer where our family always loved to gather every Sunday with their children. For goodly parents I shall ever be thankful and may we as a large family of children so live that we may be a family forever.