Anne Testler (Kesel)

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  • Born in Josevov in Lublin Poland in 1906, Anne came to England when her father died and as was the custom in Poland at the time the children were threatened with being taken into care. Her mother stowed away on a boat to England with her children (see photo of Anne's mother with her 3 children, Ray, Anne and Alf). She arrived in England at Southampton in 1912 on the same day as survivors of the Titanic also arrived home. Anne assumed the cheering crowds who had come to welcome the Titanic survivors were cheering her own arrival in England! It was lucky that she did escape to England as it is said that after World War 2 only one Jewish person survived from Josevov and they had done so by converting to Catholicism. Anne's mother went on to marry a barber in England giving Anne 3 stepsisters.

    After arriving in England, Anne lived in London's East End marrying her husband Ben Kesel in 1932 and having 2 children, Henry and Evonne. Evonne was born on VE day hence the unusual spelling of her name. She worked in the gown trade and was always very keen on knitting and tapestry. Anne outlived both Ben and her second husband Morris Testler living to the age of 103 and having silver wedding anniversaries with both her husbands!

    After marrying Morris, Anne moved to Bournemouth living initially in Buckingham Mansions and then in a block of flats overlooking the sea on the East Cliff. It was always felt that Anne's good health was down to soaking up the Bournemouth sunshine from her balcony and spending the winter months for many years in Spain again enjoying a much warmer climate. Anne was a keen dancer and bridge player and at her 100th birthday played the game with her son Henry grandson Mark and great grandson David a unique game of bridge involving 4 generations of the same family. Anne was a high ranking lady mason in Bournemouth.

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