The American War Bride Experience

GI Brides of World War II

March 24, 1946 - Syracuse Herald Journal (NY)

British Bride Delighted With Hamilton Area

HAMILTON – “Colgate University and Hamilton are delightful” is the way this village’s first British war bride described her new home following her first week here. Wife of William G. Moffett, a sophomore at Colgate, Jean Lumsden Moffett arrived in this country March 11 with 365 other war brides and babies aboard the S.S. Santa Paula.

Her marriage to the Colgate student two years ago was really the culmination of an argument over the relative merits of England and the United States. Moffett, who spent three and one-half years in service; met his bride-to-be in the home city of Manchester when he was with a flying control […] she was working on ratio[…] the English government. The argument started in a café but resulted in a date at church the following day, and marriage a year later.

Moffett, who trained with the Royal Air Force, left for Normandy a short time later, and except for a 10-day visit exactly a year before she landed in New York, he did not see his bride again until reunited with her at the pier.

The climate, which is much milder than in her native cold and damp Manchester, and the hills of Central New York especially, pleased Mrs. Moffett. The students at Colgate and the people of Hamilton also have been very friendly, she said.

An interesting coincidence occurred when Mrs. Moffett arrived in Utica. While coming over on the moat Mrs. Moffett, who has had excellent voice training at the Royal College of Music, sang during church services. At their conclusion the ship’s chaplain inquired as to what church the young bride might wish to attend in her husband’s native city of Utica. Mrs. Moffett chose St. George’s without knowing that it had been built by Mr. Moffett’s grandfather, and what its rector had been her husband’s pastor for years.

Mrs. Moffett sets no precedent in her family in being an English war bride of an American. An aunt, Mrs. A. S. Greenwood of Chicago, married a U.S. soldier in her native Dunbarton, Scotland, during the last war. Several of her girl friends have followed her example, however, and the bridesmaid at her wedding was married to a soldier from Texas last Saturday.

Mrs. Moffett, when asked whether the argument which resulted in her marriage had been settled, said, “No, but the United States in more wonderful than I expected.”

Jean L. Moffett arrived in New York on board the Santa Paula on 11 March 1946

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