Attie Osler at 18
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Agnes “Attie” Eliza Osler (1902–1985)
She grew up in Forfar with her three older stepsisters and much younger brothers/sisters. In her very early twenties she went to the US, following a path already established by her mother sisters Aggie & Emy who were in domestic service there. She kept in touch with them all their lives
For 10 years she was the governess & chaperone to the five daughters of the wealthy Chubb family (Chubb Insurance) in Long Island. She participated, during the 1920’s & 30’s, with the family in their New York socialite life. House-parties, balls, horses, cruises etc. She was known by them as ‘Miss O’ and was especially close to the younger two. This period remained a very important part of her life, with many wonderful memories of New York (e.g. balls at the Waldorf Astoria, Duke Ellington & Paul Whitman orchestras in Harlem). She kept contact with the Chubb “girls” for many years.
She returned to Scotland in the mid 1930’s and in 1938 married John Sydney Whyte – who she had known in her youth. They first lived in Calabar, Eastern Nigeria. She returned to the UK in late 1941 for the birth of her first child. However, she possibly lost twins two years before this.
During the post-war period, she focused her life on creating a happy home around her husband and son (see Whyte Family History). This was a difficult period, but she never complained and made the best she could of every situation. She loved music and dance, especially the Broadway musicals that she had seen in New York.
After WWII they lived in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Kilmacolm and latterly Forfar. After Syd died she spent her last years alone in Forfar, with occasional visits to Paris and Brussels to see her son and grandchildren.Belgium to see her family.
Attie in the 1930's