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Michael Westwood
Junior Member

4 Posts
1 Thread
Registered: 04-18-2020

Biography Account Information
Additional Info About Michael Westwood
Pronouns: He, him, his
Age: 38
Occupation: Gas Stoker
Class: Working Class
Origins: Ceredigion, Wales
Family Tree: Helen Westwood (Wife)
Amy Westwood (Daughter, 14)
Donald Westwood (Son, 13)
Sexuality: Heterosexual
Height: 5ft 10
Physical Description: Michael is quiet gruff looking, well built and slightly tall. He has black hair and likes to wear a cap when out and about.
History: CW/TW: Suicide and Alcoholism

On 4 October 1857, Michael was born in mid-Wales to a farming family. His dad was "Cow" Conway and his mother, Sharon. He had eight siblings, three brothers, two older and one younger and four sisters one older and three younger. Michael enjoyed growing up on the farm. When he was four, his baby brother died from illness, aged just eight months old. This event rocked the family, but all of them managed to pull together. This was shorted lived; however, as a few months later, his older brother, aged eight at the time, died in a farming accident. "Cow" never forgave himself for this and turned to alcoholism. Sharon also struggled with the death of her eldest son. However, she knew that she had to be strong for the sake of her other children and her husband.

(1868) Things did not get better over the years, and when Michael was 11, his uncle, Llwyd, moved in to stay with them. Llwyd had heard that the family farm was struggling and that "Cow" had fallen to alcoholism. Llwyd was the younger brother but always had the more sensible head. He had moved to south Wales to become a miner when he was 16. There Llwyd had become a socialist and trade unions, and he had recently come from the first formation of the Trade Union Congress that was held in Manchester in 1858.

Michael used to listen to his uncle's stories about trade unionism and the socialist movement. Much to the displeasure of his father, who was rather old fashioned. This was a contributing factor to "Cow" kicking his brother after six months. The two brothers never talked again after this. Llwyd returned to mining and died just two months later when his mine collapsed. All the men and boys in the mine suffocated to death. This upset young Michael greatly, however, he was now forever influenced by his uncle's socialist ideals.

While Michael and his siblings did not go to school, their parents did take the time to teach them to read and write in Welsh. Their parents did not know English well enough to teach them to read and write in that, and only knew a few words in English to help them with trading on the farm. Most of the people in the village where the Westwoods lived all spoke Welsh. Apart from one woman. She was English (and had married a Welsh man) and their children who were all bilingual.

(1874) When Michael was 17, he met Helen at the farmers market. It was love at first sight for the pair, and soon they got talking and hit it off. Both the parents of Michael and Helen, however, Helen's older brother did not approve of the relationship and felt that Helen could do so much better than Michael. He did make this known, nether-the-less the relationship endured.

Helen's mother was English and had taught her to speak in English before she died. Helen also took the time to teach Michael to speak English. She was impressed in how fast of a learner the young man was, and how eager he was to learn. Michael wanted to spend as much time with Helen as possible and keen to impress her. It was this eagerness that spurred him on to learn English as best as he could from her. Unfortunately, Helen was never taught to read or write. Michael, in return, tried to teach her the basics of reading and writing in Welsh.

(1875) A year later more tragedy struck the Westwood family as Michael's older sister was murdered by persons unknown while on an errand for the family. She was 22. The police had no suspects, and the person who committed the murder was never found. Michael was devastated by the loss of his sister, however, Helen proved to be a rock for him during this time, and her support made the pair grow stronger.

(1877) A couple of years later the pair married at the local church, and Helen moved in with Michael in the family farm. This was fine by the rest of Michael's family. They were happy to have another pair of hands around the farm to help with the chores. In any case they viewed Helen as family now. Especially as she had been kicked out of her own farm by her oldest brother who now owned it.
However, things were not going entirely well on the Westwood farm either. Unknown to the rest of the family "Cow" had turned to gambling to help feed his alcoholism while keeping the farm going and a roof over his families heads. "Cow" was heavily in debt and was forced to sell off the farm to pay for the debt and avoid prison. Desperate to avoid going to a workhouse, and needing to feed his family, the father turned to crime. He was arrested and sentenced to three months hard labour. He died in prison.

The stress of losing the farm and the imprisonment and death of her husband sent Sharon into a deep, deep depression. The rest of the Westwood family was unsure how to help her and considered sending her off to some institution in the hope that she might snap out of it. When her youngster daughter got sick and died, it was all too much for Sharon, and she killed herself.

The older brother took responsibility for the family and managed to find a job as a farm labourer in their old family farm. This enraged Michael who felt that his older brother was being a traitor to their father and mother. The oldest brother pressured Michael to come join him and stop being stupid. That he had a wife to support. This made Michael even angrier, and the brother came to a physical fight. After which Michael and his oldest brother parted ways. They have never been in contact since.

Michael was so furious with his brother that he and his wife used what little savings they had and travelled across the border into England and then onward up to Whitby. Her mother had been born there and grew up there. Helen had had always wanted to move their and Michael had no other ideas. Moving to another country and making a fresh start seemed like a good idea. Helen's brother, Thomas Evans had already moved there and agreed to let them move in with him and his wife (Rhian Evans) in the shed they lived in.

Thomas worked in the local gas works as a gas stoker and managed to get Michael a job there too. Mixing with working-class men managed to stoke up in Michael the old socialist and trade unionist believes that his uncle had once installed in him. Michael soon became active in the union in the Gasworks and did what he could to support his fellow workers. However, he was reasonably careful not to get himself, nor his brother-in-law into trouble or sacked.


Despite falling out with his older brother, Michael kept in touch with one of his younger sisters. One day she wrote to him with the news that their younger brother had been arrested after getting into a fight with a young man at the local public house. Unfortunately, the young brother accidentally killed the man. The man he killed happened to be the son of a wealthy landowner. Their younger brother was sentenced to death.

Eventually, even his younger sister stopped writing to Michael. Unknown to him, their younger sister moved down to Cardiff to make money as a prostitute. She was too ashamed to tell her brother this, and he never found out. It hurt Michael greatly, however, to lose contact with his sister and his family. He was just too proud to make contact with his oldest brother.

(1881) After trying for a baby, they eventually were blessed with a baby girl. They named her Amy. The pair with delighted with their daughter. Helen always wanted a girl and Michael was happy that his wife was delighted and that they had been blessed with a little one.

(1882) The following year, they had another baby. This time a boy they called Donald. He was unexpected as the couple were not trying for another baby too soon. They cared for their son nether-the-less and were happy that they had him.

However, the birth of Donald was difficult for Helen became barren after giving birth to him. Something which she blamed Donald for and bared him a grudge for. While she still did love her son, if he stepped out of line his punishments were more severe than the ones that she would hand to her daughter or normally would have handed to her son. Michael did approve of this discipline; he felt that boys needed a firmer hand to make them behave and keep them in check. Helen's brother, Thomas and his wife Rhian were as a bit more disapproving of the treatment of the boy.

(1886) Thomas and Rhian give birth to twins. The shed is not big enough for eight people. The Westwoods find another shed nearby to move in to. They kept in close contact with the Evans, and their children did grow up close together.

(1889) Michael worked to establish a branch of the newly formed National Union of Gas Workers and General Labourers in his local Gasworks. He became the foreman of the union branch. While there was some resistance from the management, Michael managed to keep his job

(1893) Michael is encouraged to attend the first meeting of the Independent Labour Party in Bradford, and he travels to the meeting and votes for Keir Hardie to become its first chairman. He feels a renewed sense of vigour for the labour and trade unionist movement in the country.

(1894) He refuses his son permission to work with him in the gas workers. He believes that it is too dangerous for a boy and does not want to put Donald in danger. Instead, he arranges for the lad to become a delivery boy.
OOC Preferences: Open

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Last seen 04-23-2020, 06:37 PM.
Local time is 06-04-2020 at 06:25 AM.
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Birthday: 07-27-1984 (35 years old)
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