There was a myriad of stories about saving, hope, kindness, second chances, and compassion during times of chaos and uncertainty like World War II. Most of them were lost in history and forgotten through time, but not those whose lives were directly affected by the action and changed forever. One of them was Mary Crabb, who was once an abandoned baby during World War II, but thanks to three Canadian soldiers who found and saved her, her life was changed forever.

Uncovering Her Past

Mary Crab grew up in a wonderful home with her parents, Mabel and Hubert Sheppard. She was seven when she found out that she was adopted. However, her adoptive parents could not give her many details and information about why she was abandoned. From the day she knew she was adopted, she just assumed that she was just another adoption case, like all those many other abandonment and adoption stories. Although she would often wonder who her real parents were, she never really looked into it since she has “had such a lovely life” and “most wonderful” adoptive parents.

Crabb was adopted at the age of five months in 1942. (Photo courtesy of  Mary Crabb via cbc.ca)

She’s had her own family and has three children of her own, but when her adoptive parents died, she felt that there was still a gap in her life that needed to be filled, and that was knowing about her past. With the help of her daughter, Crabb finally had the courage to take the first steps toward uncovering her past. They began tracing back her parents. From there, she discovered that her story was far from ordinary.

Mary Was Saved

Mary Crabb’s journey began when she was born on September 23, 1941, in Woking, near London. Her mother, 29-year-old Lilian Williams, was a Land Girl who kept her pregnancy a secret as she was worried that she would lose her job in the Land Army. She went into labor while she was cycling back home from a long day’s work one evening, so she decided to give birth behind some trees. Later on, she would plead guilty to abandoning her baby and be sentenced to two years of probation.