I hit the jackpot last night, after hours of scrolling through marriage records on The Medway Ancestors website (brilliant, by the way) I have found the marriage of Rosa Lynda Marshall to a Mr Frederick Gore. So the stories have turned out to be true. Rosa was married to somebody else before she married Leonard James Edge. Below is record of her first marriage:
I know that she has her first child with Leonard Edge in January 1930 so she would have been with him since at least 1929. So what happened to her marriage to Frederick in those 5 years? On her marriage certificate to Leonard, she describes herself as a "spinster" not "widow" or "divorcee". Would this have meant that her marriage to Frederick was annulled? There is no record of a divorce for the pair of them, and I have a record for his death in 1956. The rumour was that her marriage to Frederick was never even consumated. Could this be grounds for an anullment? I can't see that I am going to be able to find out the reasons for this marriage breakdown, but at least I have some solid evidence for what actually happened now. The above marriage certifcate also shows that Frederick was in the Royal Navy. Maybe long stints at sea caused their marriage to fail, (although surely she should have know this before she married him?) Maybe she was unfaithful to Frederick with Leonard. Her marriage to Leonard states him as a Barman, and I know that she used to sing in all the pubs and the clubs in Medway. I am fairly certain that this is how they met.
Their marriage in 1931 came after they had already had two children; Leonard in Jan 1930 and Beryl in Sept 1931 and was performed in a register office "by licence". I suppose that they would have been unable to get married in a church as she had been married before. However in order to obtain a licence for their marriage, she would have had to have a ligitimate reason for her previous marriage breakdown. I cannot see her being able to lie and commit bigamy without being found out. They all lived in the same area of Medway, the community would have known all the goings on.
I guess the next step is to try and find out a little bit more of Frederick Gore's life during the 1920s, being in the Royal Navy means that there are hopefully some military records for him which I can seek out. Hopefully I can unravel this saga a little further.