Phyllis MCGRATH (1921-1978)


Spouse: Norman Denis FORD, 1943, age 22, Norm Ford in uniform

1 Phyllis Shirley MCGRATH (1921-1978).

Born 1921, Cleveland, Ohio, USA. Marr Norman Denis FORD 1943, Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA. Died 1978, Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA.

Sp. Norman Denis FORD (1921-2009), son of Frederick William FORD (1890-1949) and Jessie SHORTLAND (1891-1969).

Email from Norm to Nick Shortland:
Nick - Great to hear from you and Thanks so much for the Shortland website address. I was stunned by the treasure trove of info about JohnShortland and descendents, my mother never mentioned him or the fact that her father was one of his dozen children.
My grandfather John Frederick Shortland was one of the children of John Shortland (1832-1916) and Eliza Olive Harman and he was born in 1865and died in 1945, in both cases at High Wycome. Some of the bio infoon the website isn't quite correct.
John Frederick Shortland was married twice. First time in 1897 to Emma Miles of Penn Bucks (birth date unknown, died about 1933). They hadtwo children, one of whom died in infancy and the other, Jessie Shortland, born 1891, died around 1969, was a schoolteacher then a housewife. She married Frederick William Ford of Windsor in 1916. I am their only offspring, Norman Dennis Ford, born Jan 1921 at High Wycombe and still here.
After Frederick John Shortland's wife Emma died around 1933, he retired and lived with us for two years or so in Wales, then returned to High Wycombe. Then in his early seventies, he married a lady whose firstname was Nan, probably in late 1930s. Nan had a thatched cottage called Stepping Stones and I believe it was located about 7 miles north of Wycombe, perhaps near Speen.
In 1940 while on leave from the Merchant Navy I cycled from my parents' home at Gloucester to Wycombe and stayed a few days with a sister of Emma Shortland. While there, I recall cycling to Frederick John and Nan's thatched cottage for a daytime visit and returning to Wycombe.I was then 19.
According to the bio material under John Frederick Shortland on the website, a young girl called Maureen remembers visiting John and "May" at West Wycombe around 1941 and spending a day at their thatched cottage. I don't know who John and May were but the thatched cottage wasn'tat West Wycombe and I don't recall that it was semi-detached (thoughit might have been).
Later, around 1944, I again visited Frederick John and Nan Shortland at their cottage north of High Wycombe and stayed overnight. Nan was gradually losing her sight, probably due to cataracts, and my grandfather walked with a cane due to deteriorating hip cartilage.
The following year, 1945, while I was in Burma my mother wrote to saythat my grandfather had died in Wycombe Hospital of urinary tract blockage. I don't know what happened to Nan.
My father, Frederick William John Matthew Ford died at Gloucester in 1949 at age 59 from a heart attack. My mother moved back to Wycombe and lived in a small flat there, eventually dying of a stroke around 1969 while in Wycombe Hospital.
Forty-one years ago, the fact that they both died from arterial blockage , caused me to become a vegetarian which I still am. I was already a long-distance cyclist and mountain hiker and though I've had to give up long walks due to a knee problem, I still ride a bicycle. A fewyears ago, I toured Western Ireland by bike on my own, overnighting atB&Bs. I maintain a website at
Nick, I'll go through a suitcase full of family photos and memorabilia and see what else I can dig up about the Shortlands.
Meanwhile, ManyThanks Again for all your help. = Best Wishes, Norm'Ford.