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Document Type

Oral History


Acc #: 268; MMWB 001

This interview with Jean Hansen, Ethel M. “Perry” Capley, Irene McLeod, Doris D. McBride, and Mavis Martin was recorded by Martha Mercer on May 12, 1992 in Mrs. Hansen’s home. The main topic of the interview revolves around the women's experiences marrying American GIs during World War II and moving to the United States. The interview begins with the women discussing their lives in Britain before the during the war, and how their families made their respective livings. They discuss their experiences traveling to America on ships, reflection on the immigration process itself and their interactions with immigration officials, and the difficulties of return travel to visit Britain afterward. They also discuss their adjustment to life in the American South as white women from the UK, and their first impressions of Mobile, and reflect on how living in Mobile has affected their sense of home. The interview concludes with discussion of the Mobile-based women’s club that they founded, originally named the British Brides’ Club.

This interview is part of a collection of three audio cassette recordings and one written interview that Martha Mercer conducted with white World War II war brides from the UK and Australia in 1992-93. Mercer undertook the project for her master’s thesis in History, “British Brides, American Wives: The Immigration and Acculturation of War Brides in Mobile, Alabama, 1945-1993,” which she completed at the University of South Alabama in 1993.

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