ALTHOUGH it’s now one hundred and six years since Annie Maria Worton died at the very young age of 22, the sadness of her early demise from illness still touches a family member today.
Bugle reader Lin Lamberg is descended from a long Cradley bloodline. Annie was a great aunt, who died many years before Lin was born of course, though the story of this talented young lady, who was so admired by all, is well known to her, and she shares it with us here...
“I thought your readers may be interested in this story about my Grandmother's sister, who died young but left many memories which have been passed on to me.
Born “She was Anne Maria Worton, named after her Grandmothers Anne Yardley and Maria Stringer. Known as Annie, she was born in New Town Lane, Cradley Heath, in 1883.
“The Worton family worshipped at Trinity Wesleyan Chapel, Cradley, where Annie was a Pupil Teacher. I have an essay written by Annie in 1904 for which she won First Prize, awarded to her by the Wesleyan Methodist Council.
“Annie was engaged to be married to Bernard Hill from Cradley Heath, when she tragically died, aged only 22, from TB in 1906. Her fiancé was devastated, as were her family, and he died not long afterwards from a broken heart.
“Annie had always suffered from poor health and spent many weeks away with her grandparents, William and Maria Darby, at the coast, where it was hoped she would benefit from the sea air.
Shortly before she died she fell getting off a tram, and sadly never recovered.
“Apparently, she was a wonderful pianist, and a much loved daughter and sister.
“A very short life, but Annie touched a lot of hearts and still does even today”.
(The church prize to which Lin refers was awarded to Annie in March 1904, when she was 20, by the South Staffordshire Wesleyan Methodist Council, for passing an examination in the “Making of Methodism”, in the Honours Class of the Senior Division).