Marion Cropley; 1927-2013; dressmaker; Norwich and Niagra Falls, Ontario, Canada, Framingham Earl, Norfolk

Identity area

Type of entity


Authorized form of name

Marion Cropley; 1927-2013; dressmaker; Norwich and Niagra Falls, Ontario, Canada, Framingham Earl, Norfolk

Parallel form(s) of name

Standardized form(s) of name according to other rules

Other form(s) of name

Identifiers for corporate bodies

Description area

Dates of existence



Marion Cropley (sometimes called 'Mary') was born in Norwich on 16 March 1927, the daughter of Marion Ellen Cropley (1889-1953), née Malster, a dressmaker.
Marion's father's name is not given on her birth certificate, but it is likely that he was Wallace Buxton (1875-1926), cab driver of Norwich. Marion's mother is named as the informant on Buxton's death certificate, and she was living at his address (2 Distillery Street, Norwich); furthermore, Marion referred to Buxton's daughters, Bessie (1913-1997, who married Harry Alderton) and Joan, as her half-sisters. Marion also had a half-brother, Walter Cropley (1916-1988). He was the only son of Marion E. Cropley by her marriage to Walter Charles Cropley, who served as a corporal in the Royal Engineers during the First World War, was awarded the Croix de Guerre, but was killed in action in 1918.
Marion was educated at Willow Lane Roman Catholic School and Notre Dame School, Norwich. In 1937, she and her mother were living at 4 Ampthill Street, Norwich, but in 1939 they moved to 62 Queen's Road, Norwich. In 1940, aged 13, Marion was evacuated to Canada by the Children's Overseas Reception Board (CORB). She sailed from Glasgow on board the SS Duchess of York on 10 August, arriving in Halifax on 19 August. After a few weeks in Toronto, she was sent to stay with Mr and Mrs Frederick Excell at the town of Niagara Falls in Ontario, and remained with them for the duration of the Second World War. She attended Stamford Collegiate Vocational Institute at Niagara Falls, graduating in 1942, and continued at the college, taking a commercial course of typing, shorthand and book keeping, from which she graduated the following year. In March 1943 she began work in the office of the Dominion Chain Company, where she worked until she left Canada. She returned to Norwich in August 1945, sailing from Quebec City on the SS Pasteur. In Norwich, she found work with National Employers' Mutual.
In June 1946 she met Derek Gibbons, then serving in the Norfolk Regiment. They became engaged in September 1946 and were married on 12 June 1948. By this time Derek was employed by Norwich Union, whilst Marion had started work for Jenners in September 1947. At first the couple lived with Marion's mother at 62 Queen's Road. By 1958 they were living at 73 Surrey Street. In the same year, Marion's diary mentions leaving her job at Motor Union and starting work for the firm of Howell and Brooks.
By 1970, Marion was living at Woodcot on Spur Lane, Framingham Earl. The diaries suggest that her marriage with Derek was breaking down by this time, and in 1972, Derek moved to Cambridge to run an antiquarian bookshop. Marion remained in contact with him, however, until his death in 2007.
In July 1972, Marion met Walter Maxwell (Max) Gissing (1908-1991) a director of Samarkand Gifts Limited of Great Yarmouth. They were married at Norwich Register Office on 16 January 1991, but Max died later that year, on 3 December. Marion continued to live at Woodcot until 1999, when she purchased 41 Riverway Court in Recorder Road, Norwich, a flat in a sheltered housing complex. By early 2010, she had moved to Corton House, City Road, Norwich, a care home with a Christian ethos.
Marion died at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, Norwich on 5 Feb 2013, aged 85. Her funeral took place on 5 March at Norwich Cathedral.
Throughout her life Marion had a keen interest in music, theatre and the arts. She made many friends and had a good social life. As a girl and young woman, she enjoyed dancing and frequent trips to the cinema. In her later years she regularly attended services at Norwich Cathedral, and she also carried out much work for the Adrian Bell Society, which encourages a wider interest and appreciation of the work of Adrian Bell (1901-1980), the Suffolk ruralist, journalist and farmer.


Norwich, Norfolk; Niagra Falls, Ontario, Canada; Framingham Earl, Norfolk

Legal status

Functions, occupations and activities


Mandates/sources of authority

Internal structures/genealogy

General context

Relationships area

Access points area

Subject access points


Control area

Authority record identifier


Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used



Level of detail


Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Created on: 17/12/2015 by Drojr




Maintenance notes