The Grantidote and Calderglen High School English Department worked together to discuss the importance of women’s stories and experiences and how both are so often overlooked when we consider the fact and fiction-based storytelling surrounding our lives. This forward-thinking school’s English department runs a yearly project for second years, asking pupils to research and write-up family history around World War I and teachers had observed the stories coming back were never about women. So, to address the missing archive and representation, Calderglen High’s Herstory Project was bravely born.
Josie’s story is told here by her great-grandson Kieran with great appreciation for her phenomenal lasting impact made through modelling love and generosity.
I will be telling the story of my great gran Josie Horne, her maiden name was Miller and I chose her because of the influence she had on my gran’s life and to get her story out there.
My great-gran, Josie, had a great heart and lived a great life right to her full potential.
Born and raised in Glasgow, Josie’s mum brought her up. When she was playing outside she liked to play peevers, another version of hopscotch, and she also liked to play with skipping ropes. The high school Josie went to was called Udston Grammar. My family don’t know the exact subjects she chose or studied but she was incredibly good at English. She was the oldest of five kids and she took care of all her siblings.
Josie was also a busy mum who looked after her five kids and adopted Ena when Ena’s mother died in 1940. When my papa (her future son-in-law) was kicked out of his house she fed and clothed him too. When the war was over her two brothers and two sisters caught tuberculosis and she nursed them all until they eventually died.
Josie left school at fourteen and went straight to work in a pram factory. She married my great-grandad in her twenties and they had my gran when Josie was thirty-nine. Josie worked most of her life. When the war had started, the pram factory got turned into a munitions factory. One of the stories I found out about my great-gran, was when she was working in the munitions factory the air-raid sirens went off and everyone who worked there left and hid in the close (stairway) of a block of flats.
When Josie left school, she had to cook and clean for her siblings and father. Other than my gran Josie also had Elizabeth, Ian, Jim, and Alan after adopting Ena.
Six months before Josie passed away my gran and papa took her on holiday to a caravan park down in Morecombe. Josie’s husband, Davie had passed already. They also took my mum and aunt with them. That’s where my families love for caravans comes from - Josie took my gran and her siblings on caravan holidays all the time. After Josie passed, my grandparents bought their own caravan and that love carried on to my mum, my sister and me. Josie also took my mum and aunt to her caravan on weekends and holidays.
Sadly, Josie died on the 31st of January 1989 from pneumonia.
I wrote about Josie as without her I wouldn’t be here. Josie has had such a big impact on my grans’ life. I do think and hope her story will carry through the generations of my family.
My great-gran Josie had an amazing life and a big, lovely heart I hope she’ll be remembered for. I’ve learned how much I really wish I’d met Josie as well as how much impact she has had on people in my family’s lives. Josie’s passion was making people happy and having a big family and not always through blood relations; she felt true love for everyone, no matter what.