Alex Watson is a researcher and genealogist, based in Glasgow, Scotland, I hope that you find this website informative, it is an ongoing project, based on the research that I started, in 2004, on behalf of my friend Patrick Joynson-Wreford, it will continue to be updated as more information becomes available.

Please get in touch if you want to ask questions or need some help, also if you have any information, stories, photographs, etc, that you want to share.

Olive Vivian Trainor was a tall, slim woman with auburn hair, a beauty spot meticulously placed on her right cheek and an air of authority that was inbred from her Irish and, at times, fiery background, born on the 22nd of September 1893 in Teddington, Middlesex.

Little is known of her father, Patrick Edward Trainor ("THE WALMER SHOOTING CASE") he was born in Tullyframe, Co. Down, Ireland, son of Thomas Trainor, a Publican, her mother, Marianne (Marion) Shum was the daughter of Charles Francis Shum, Esq of Prestwick Lodge, Northumberland, and Harriet Fenwick, 

Above, Marion Trainer nee Shum (Olive's mother).

Below, Patrick, Marion, Chloe and Olive.

The Trainors had five daughters, Irene Mary, Constance (Chloe) Evelyn, Phyllys Marion, Cecil Dorothy and Olive Vivian, there was one son, Devaney Claude Edward. (The Trainor's marriage was evidently unhappy, in 1908, Marianne filled for divorce, citing physical and metal abuse).

 

Olive being the youngest was affectionately nicknamed baby.
Cecil was the most amiable, wandering through life with a gentle disposition.
Phyllys married a Major Dixon who spent the 1939/45 war years sitting on German unexploded bombs in London defusing them.

Chloe thrived in the London social circuit mixing with high society, she took to the stage where she used the name Chloe O'Hara.


Olive married Henry Keddey Fletcher on the 3rd December 1915, she was aged 22 and pregnant, Keddey was 25, his family owned the ship repair company, Fletcher Son and Fearnall Ltd, Union Docks, Limehouse.

Olive claimed to have been a dancer and performed with Jack Buchanan, this would have to be c.1914-18. Buchanan was declared unfit for military service, in consequence he was able to perform during WW1 on the stage in the West End of London. This could be where Olive came to meet Keddey Fletcher, she was pregnant at the time of their marriage in 1915. There are no reviews or programs amongst her personal belongings that record her on stage, there are several photographs of her from what would appear to be the approximately the correct age and they do look like promotional pictures on stage. The marriage to Keddey was it would appear from the divorce proceedings a stormy and unhappy time, Olive had a very social and wilful nature, that rebelled against being constrained. 

The Fletchers had two daughters, Patricia (Pat) Marion Collingwood Fletcher born on 29th May 1916, and Barbara Pamela Fletcher, born 14th August 1917.

Above left, Olive with Pat and Barbara. Right, Olive with Pat.

Below, Olive's mother Marion, Nanny and the 2 girls.

Olive behind of the wheel of Keddey's Vauxhall car, her mother Marion in the passenger seat and keddey behind.

By 1920 Keddey had left Olive, she petitioned for:

  1. A Decree of Restitution of Conjugal rights
  2. Custody of the Children of the marriage
  3. Such further and other relief in the premises as this Honourable Court may seem meet

(National Archives J 77/1729/3840)

TO THE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE

PROBATE DIVORCE & ADMIRALTY DIVISION

(DIVORCE)

The 5th day of February 1921.

BETWEEN OLIVE VIVIAN FLETCHER Petitioner.

 

And

 

HENRY KEDDEY FLETCHER Respondent

 

The Respondent Henry Keddey Fletcher by Mr. Grant

Mclean his Solicitor in answer to the Petition filed in

this suit says:-

  1. That he admits that he has ceased to live with thePetitioner but says that by reason or the facts hereinafter set forth he had and still has just cause for leaving her.
  1. That the Petitioner constantly visited London and, stayed at hotels contrary to his expressed wishes.
  1. The Petitioner persistently lunched and dined with numerous men whom the Respondent objected to.
  1. The Petitioner frequently invited guests to the Respondents house and entertained them to a late hour, contrary to his expressed instructions.
  1. The conduct or the Petitioner in public places of amusement has been of such an indecorous nature that  he has on various occasions been asked to leave or been ejected.
  1. The Petitioner has constantly visited night clubs in spite of the Respondent's repeated protests.
  1. The Respondent has been forced to notify local tradesmen that he would no longer be responsible for debts incurred without his authority. This was occasioned by the Petitioners reckless and wilful extravagances. 
  1. The Petitioner has persistently maintained friendship with men to whom the Respondent strongly objected.
  1. The Petitioner has repeatedly attended race meetings, to which the Respondent has asked her not to go, and  incurred gambling debts.
  1. When the Respondent has endeavoured to check the Petitioner in her reckless behaviour and to persuade her to abandon her extravagant habits she has fallen into violent fits of rage and broken the glass and furniture in the Respondents house.
  1. The Petitioner’s complete and calculated neglect not only of the Respondent but also of her children towards whom she has shown a total lack of sense of duty and responsibility as a mother.
  1. The Petitioners persistent refusal to recognise or pursue a course of behaviour either in public or private consistent with her social position as the wife or the Respondent. 

Wherefore the Respondent prays that

Your Lordship will reject the Petitioner‘s

prayer and dismiss the petition and will

 grant him such further and other relief

as may be just.

The Petition was dismissed, however in 1923, Keddey petitioned for Divorce, claiming:

 

'That from the 8th day of December 1923 to the 10th day of December 1923 inclusive the said Olive Vivian Fletcher cohabited and frequently committed adultery at the Grand Hotel Folkestone with a man unknown to your Petitioner who passed as Mr Fletcher.

 

(National Archives J 77/2045/4053)

 

Presumably the unknown man was Capt. Wilfred H.J. Wreford, aka Anthony (Tony) Joynson-Wreford. Tony was petitioned for Divorce in 1924 by his wife, Frances Agnes Joynson-Wreford claiming that he had committed adultery;

 

'on or about the months of November 1923 and December 1923 at the Hotel Washington, Curzon Street in the County of London the said Wilfrid Hayman [sic] Joynson-Wreford committed adultery with one Olive Fletcher'.

 

The Fletcher divorce was granted, Olive lost custody of her daughters, it seems that she maintained contact with them for some years afterwards, in photographs of her with them taken at Hove beach, they would be appear to be approx aged 10-12years.

On the 30th October 1928, she petitioned for divorce from Tony and shortly after with baby Pat, she boarded a ship bound for America, where with letters of introduction from friends in England, she intended to take Hollywood by storm and When the ship arrived in New York, Olive was not allowed to disembark as she had no Immigration Visa, she was unable to return to England as she did not have sufficient funds to purchase a ticket, they were deported to the nearest British Protectorate in Bermuda, where they remained until the paperwork had been sorted allowing them to continue onwards to America. It seems that Olive never met the girls again, although she appears to have kept an eye on them from a distance, there are two photographs of them in her personal photo album, one of Pat’s marriage to Edward Asa Thomas in 1940, and one of Barbara with her baby daughter, Dawn in 1943.

She returned to England in 1938, when the threat of War was looming with Germany.

Olive met Major. George Stephenson shortly after her return to London, she did not want to marry again but agreed to change her name by deed poll to Olive Stephenson, they set up home in a rented house on the Thames at Church Island, Staines.

Olive received alimony of £500 per annum from Keddey as part of of her divorce settlement, on her return to London she negotiated to have this paid as a one off payment, with this money, she opened a salon at 37, Knightsbridge, she named it, 'Madame Olive. She was quite the entrepreneur, selling scent, beauty products and a treatment for 'BALDNESS', she also ran a Marriage bureau (Wedding Bells), from the premises. She had hoped that Society 'friends' would frequent the salon, some came for a look, but did not buy, and she struggled to make money, as soon as she could get out of the lease, she took off to Johannesburg, South Africa, where she intended to open the Marriage Bureau and continue with the treatment for Baldness. The treatment for baldness was not a success, however the marriage bureau took off and she quickly expanded the business, in Natal and Durban, aswell as Rhodesia. 

Olive and George Stephenson.

After completing his National Service in the RAF, Pat joined Olive in South Africa, initially working with Olive, then he found work in a department store, and in his spare time, he discovered acting, he was to find success on the stage in South Africa, it was there that he really felt at home. Eventually he transferred to being in front of the camera presenting the news on Zambian/Rhodesian television (Below). He moved to Glasgow, Scotland in 1968 to join Scottish Television, and then several years in Australia, before returning to where he was happiest, with STV in Glasgow, Olive followed him there, and she settled in to retirement in Glasgow, where she was to remain until her death in August 1980 aged 86.

Olive and Pat, celebrating her birthday at Lomond Castle Hotel, Scotland. c.1978.

Olive Vivian Trainor.

22nd Sep 1893 - 21st Aug 1980

 

Olive died on the 21st August 1980, an end had come to our, at times very strained and always awkward relationship, this book was by its very nature an exorcising of the demons and anger that had for most of my life been simmering and unfortunately never dealt with. Olive was my mother, she may not have been the mother I would have wanted her to be, but she was all I had, and with time I have grown to appreciate and understand what she did, and achieved for me, I will always be grateful to her. She was a product of her own upbringing and she did the best she could for me, on reflection I hold no malice for how things turned out and above all I wonder, how the young woman from Teddington, who after all came from a rather privileged background, managed to survive in the world she found herself in, without her family and friends.

I am amazed and full of admiration for her. She travelled the world with a young son, always thinking ahead and never looked back, because she knew that she couldn’t afford to procrastinate. She always made the best of the hand she was dealt and somehow provided for me.

 

Olive Vivian Trainor.

22nd Sep 1893 - 21st Aug 1980

 

Extract from 'Olive Through A Looking Glass', by Patrick Joynson-Wreford.