The American War Bride Experience

GI Brides of World War II

Still time to call it off, said her mother

One of the GI brides from Wethersfield was 21-year-old Pat Weavers. As she was about to leave the house for her wedding her mother tried one last time to persuade her not to marry the romantically named Charlie Love. She had met Charlie, an airman from the base, three years before by chance on Wethersfield village green.
Looking back on more than 40 years of life in America Pat said: “I didn’t regret it.”
“The first few years were hard, I was homesick. But I started a family and I said ‘It’s up to me what life I make of it’. The marriage didn’t work out but we were married 13 years.” In fact many of the GI brides’ marriages failed.
“The whole village thought it was terrible having an American boyfriend,” said Pat. “You were a silly person to get involved with a foreigner. That was the attitude.”
Pat said her family never spoke out against the match. She knew her mother wasn’t keen on the idea because she refused her consent until Pat was 21.

Pat Weavers portrait
Pat was in love
- with Charlie Love
“Children are more advanced now than we were back then. I look back and think how stupid I was. Children were seen and not heard.” Travel was not something that entered their lives. Like most village girls she had never seen a black man until the Americans arrived at the base and the way they were treated in some states of America then was a severe shock to Pat.
“Where I went first I felt they were way behind us here, because of the blacks and slavery and that, it was real bad when I went there. They were still segregated. I felt sorry for the black people.”
But America slowly took hold of Pat and she of it. “Each state is like another country. Each has its own weather, different ways; we govern ourselves more or less in each state. I’ve been to different States but I feel more at home in South Carolina.
“ Looking back I have enjoyed my life. I have had a good time."
from Wethesfield-Essex co., UK

previous story      next story

 Thank you to everyone who has contributed to my site.
Without your help this site would not be successful.

© 2005 M. Thomas