Abandoned Mary's quest for answers

PUBLISHED: 11:32 09 April 2008 | UPDATED: 21:23 26 October 2009

Mary Crabb: I want to find out anything I can about my mother

Mary Crabb: I want to find out anything I can about my mother

A WOMAN who was abandoned on a common as a baby more than 60 years ago is searching for answers about her family and those who helped her. Mary Crabb, of Bell Bar, discovered the truth about her birth after reading copies of a local newspaper

A WOMAN who was abandoned on a common as a baby more than 60 years ago is searching for answers about her family and those who helped her.

Mary Crabb, of Bell Bar, discovered the truth about her birth after reading copies of a local newspaper in Woking from 1941.

They revealed how she had been abandoned as a newborn on September 23 that year.

Mrs Crabb has known for many years she was adopted as a baby, but was not aware of the circumstances until now.

The truth came to light when she began to investigate her roots after the death of her adoptive mother.

She is now searching for anyone who may have known her birth mother, Lilian Williams, or who cared for her as a baby.

Mrs Crabb, of The Firs Park in Woodside Lane, said: "I want to find out anything I can about my mother. I would just love to know something.

"I knew I was adopted. When I was seven my parents told me but it was never spoken about after that.

"I often wondered where my mother and father were but never really looked into it until my daughter, Debbie, was visiting from New Zealand. She asked me if I would like to know where I came from.

"She wanted to try and do something for me. I knew it had been a long time and I had not done anything."

Mrs Crabb added: "My adoptive mum has been dead for two years and I had never wanted to do anything when she was alive, as I have had such a lovely life."

* The archived reports say that a Canadian soldier heard squeaks coming from bracken on the common and, thinking it was a chicken, went to look in the undergrowth.

He found baby Mary, cut her umbilical cord and wrapped her in a clean shirt and blanket before taking her to hospital.

Mrs Crabb was adopted when she was five-months old by Mabel and Hubert Sheppard and moved to Hertfordshire with them.

Her birth mother was an agricultural volunteer and a hospital nurse in the Women's Land Army.

Aged 29 at the time, she pleaded guilty to the offence of abandoning her child, and was given a two-year probation order.

She moved to Wales after the adoption. A search of official records has not thrown up any information about whether she is still alive or not.

Mrs Crabb has found out her father, Frederick Elliot, was a married father-of-three in the Army.

Adoption papers state he had agreed to pay towards the baby's upkeep.

His family live in Durham, and Mrs Crabb has discovered she has three half-brothers she never knew about.

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