About this Archive
The charity Humanists UK (formerly the British Humanist Association) works to advance free thinking and promote Humanism with the aim of creating a tolerant, fair and equal society for all. The charity’s work includes ceremonies, education services, and community and campaigning work.
Humanists UK has provided humanist funerals since the 1890s, pioneering the concept of a non-religious funeral. On 14 June 2003, the name ‘Humanist Ceremonies’ was trademarked by Humanists UK who created a network of accredited Celebrants across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
By 2018 Humanists UK reported that Celebrants were conducting thousands of funerals a year. Research published in 2016 by the YouGov, the Internet-based market research and data analytics firm, suggested that one in seven British people would prefer a humanist funeral when they die.
Humanists UK established the Humanist Funeral Tribute Archive in 2018 at Bishopsgate Institute. The Archive was conceived by Humanists UK celebrant Patsy Wallace, who became an accredited Celebrant in 2012. The Archive focuses on the tribute – a central part of a humanist funeral where the life story of the deceased is celebrated and recorded.
Scope and content
Digital copies of tributes to the deceased presented at their Humanist funeral. To be eligible for inclusion in the archive, each funeral was officiated by an accredited Humanist celebrant (1995-2019).
232 digital folders.
Brief descriptive note
Each tribute was written by the Humanists UK celebrant who took the funeral, in consultation with the deceased's loved ones.
Peter Adams (1940 - 2017) was born in South London on 26 May, the fourth of five children. He became a ‘barrow boy’ in the South London markets aged fourteen and ended up with twelve stalls across London. He also owned multiple shops, laundries, a recording studio in Soho, and opened the first West Indian supermarket. Peter was charged with murder in 1965 and served seventeen years. He married first wife Cynthia and they had two children: Lee and Lawrence. He later married Shirley and after their separation he had two further children with his partner Candida: Jessica and Ben.
Enid Ashton (1922 - 2018) was born Enid Stott in Blackley near Manchester on 11 October. She began working for Barclays Bank and then during World War Two she joined the Women’s Royal Naval Service. In her later life, she ran a greengrocers with her husband John for many years. Enid enjoyed travelling across Europe with John and painting in oils and watercolours. She married John in 1948 and they had two children: Patricia and Jonathan, five grandchildren, and ten great-grandchildren.
Donald Bannister (1943 - 2017) was born on 15 April in Slough, one of four children. He started out as a groundsman for Slough Council before becoming an engineer for BT and then a self-employed gardener until his retirement. Donald loved animals and the outdoors. He married Carol in 1965 and they had a son, Stewart. After they split up, he met second wife Pat in 1994 and became a stepfather to her children.
Margaret Bennett (1925 – 2016) was born Margaret Perkins in East Dulwich, London. She was the third of six children. She served as a nurse during World War II and then became a teacher after the war. She married her husband in 1949 and they had three children: Lynn, Ann, and David. After raising her children, she became a care assistant for the elderly and eventually manager of a residential care home.
Harold Blackham (1903-2009)) was a leading British humanist philosopher, writer and educationalist and is considered one of the pioneers of modern humanism. He was born in West Bromwich and following the end of World War I he attended Birmingham University. He played an important part in forming the British Humanist Association (now Humanists UK) and was a founding member of the International Ethical and Humanist Union (IHEU). He died in 2009 aged 105.
Gillian Bollard (1932 - 2017) was born Gillian Askwith on 3 February in Ramsgate, Kent, an only child. She attended Swanley Horticultural College but left to get married. She married husband David in 1952 and they had three children: Diane, Sheila, and Alan. Gillian loved cats, pottery, and gardening, regularly winning the Royal Horticultural Society Banksian medal.
Dugald Brown (1943 - 2017) was born in Bellshill, Lanarkshire on 21 October, one of five children. He joined the RAF aged seventeen after the death of his father and was stationed in Germany, the UK, and Singapore. After he left the RAF, he worked in retail in a variety of stores across the UK. Dugald enjoyed sailing and holidays in Kintyre where he played golf and fished. He also ran several marathons including the London Marathon. He married wife Tana in 1971 and they had son Duncan in 1978 and two grandchildren.
Frank Brown (1950 – 2017) was born in Ramsgate on 12 February, the eldest of three boys. He studied at the School of Architecture, following this with a Master’s degree from University College of London and a PhD from the Open University. Frank spent some time working as an architect before becoming a university lecturer. He was a talented artist and keen birdwatcher. He met his wife Anne in 1982 and they had a daughter, Catherine, before divorcing in 1987.
Sydney Buckland (1917 - 2016) was born on 31 December in Bermondsey, the only son among eight children. Before World War II, he worked as an engineer and then during the war he worked as a tank driver. Afterward, Sydney made tools for the British Syphon company. He enjoyed playing the guitar, dancing, and travelling. He married wife Vera in 1947 and they had one son, Neil, and three grandchildren.
Lucy Buckley (1925 - 2015) was born Lucy Mannerings in Cranbrook near Goudhurst on 6 February, and spent her childhood in Kent. She worked as a waitress and then during World War II she joined the Auxiliary Territorial Army. Through this, Lucy met husband Tommy who she married in 1948. They stayed together until her death. She enjoyed spending time with her family and doing the housework. After her marriage, she worked a variety of part-time factory jobs and had three children.
Barbara ‘Lily’ Bush(1928 - 2018) was born Barbara Cox on 31 July in Cowbridge, one of twelve children. She left school at fifteen and became a maid. Lily enjoyed playing bingo, knitting, and spending time with her family. She married husband Arthur in 1947 and they had seven children: Jimmy, Maria, Brian, Nancy, Christopher, Tracey, and Lyndon.
Simon Byles (1998 - 2018) was born in May 1998, the third of four children. He began an apprenticeship training to become a mechanic and then, after he left the apprenticeship, worked at an Argos Distribution Centre. He loved music, fixing cars, and spending time with his friends and family.
Jodi Cade (1984 - 2017) was born on 6 May to Geoff and Pattie. She was Staffordshire’s representative to the Youth Parliament before studying Politics at Newcastle University. She later dropped out and worked in Claire’s Accessories and then River Island. After meeting at University, she married husband Jamie and they had two children: Macy and Oscar.
Otto Carballo (1945-2018) was born and raised in Trinidad, the youngest of six. He won a scholarship to a prestigious secondary school in Trinidad and Tobago, and then to the University of the West Indies. He later won a government scholarship to study architecture in England. When he was 23, he met and fell in love with Christine. They married and Otto became stepfather to her two children, Nicholas and Lalita. Otto worked as an architect and as immigration officer and later became an expert on forgeries. He was known for his intellectual brilliance and he was a member of Mensa. He died on 16 April, 2018, aged 72.
William ‘Bill’ Cordell (1922 - 2014) was born in Chiswick, London, the youngest of three children. He started work in a shipping office in London before joining the army during World War Two. After the war, he set up an antiques renovation and retail business and remained in the antiques trade for the rest of his life. He was also instrumental in establishing the Camden Mental Health Consortium that ensured patients and their families were actively consulted in the planning and delivery of their care, a novelty at the time. Bill married wife Sylvia in 1948 and they had two daughters: Alison and Julia.
Kathleen Daly (1928-2018) was born and brought up in Irlam, her parents’ only daughter. She left school at 14 and worked as a secretary and as a PA for a hairdressing salon business. She later worked for the Girl Guides Equipment Depot in Broadheath. She met and courted Stan on the dance floors of the Manchester ballrooms. They were married in 1950 and later adopted two children, Chris and Lisa. Kathy loved plants and she and Stan enjoyed frequent trips to Tenerife and to the La Boheme restaurant in Lymm. Kathy died on 21 March aged 90.
Roy Davidson(1932 - 2017) was born on 8 April in Liverpool, the eldest of three children. He worked firstly as a cowhand after leaving school and then in a variety of factory jobs. Roy helped set up a number of sports clubs in Didcot and was a keen cyclist. Roy married his wife Beryl in 1963 and they had two children, Jonathan and Sylvia, and four grandchildren.
Glyn Davies (1921-2017) was born in Wales and spent much of his childhood in the workhouse, first in Griffithstown and then in Aberdare. At fifteen, Glyn was sent to Rossie House in Camberwell before the offer of an apprenticeship in nursery gardening allowed him to take lodgings in Streatham. His training was interrupted by the outbreak of the Second World War and conscription into the Navy. Returning home after four years service, Glyn worked on the railways before becoming a gardener in Dulwich Park, and later a gardener for Sydenham Girls’ School and caretaker at Kelvin Grove School. He traveled to many European destinations with his partner Derek, the pair enjoying an active social life in London.
Sylvia Davies (1959 - 2018) was born Sylvia Bergamo in Switzerland on 25 August, the youngest of four children. She moved to the UK as a young child and after leaving school, she worked in a shoe factory in Bridgend. After her marriage, she became a cook and then a cleaner at a school. Sylvia enjoyed travelling with her husband and caring for her children and grandchildren. She married Roddy in 1979 and they had three children: Lee, Ross, and John.
William Davies (1935 – 2017) was born in Barry on the 7 April, the youngest of two children. He worked first as an apprentice carpenter and then joined the RAF before returning to carpentry once his service was over. Later on, he changed areers and became a Chartered Quantity Surveyor, calculating the materials that would be needed for the Millennium Stadium. William married his first wife Jean in 1956 and they had three children: Mike, Helen, and Julian. He later married Hazel and they had two children: Nicola and Kat. He had ten grandchildren.
Kenneth ‘Philip’ Drew (1925 - 2018) was born in London in January, the eldest of two children. He was called up to the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve in 1943 and served for three years. After he was demobilised, he studied English at Oxford University and graduated with a first class degree. Philip then joined the Civil Service, working at the Board of Trade, before becoming an academic at Glasgow University. In 1977, he became Professor of English before retiring in 1984. He married wife Lindsay in 1953 and they had three children, Kate, John, and Sarah, and seven grandchildren.
Ian Edwards (1981-2010) was born on May 24, not far from his family home in Shirley. He grew up extremely close to his mother and his father, and it is from the latter he inherited his lifelong love of football. After spells of volunteering for the National Trust and MENCAP, amongst other charities, he attended Birmingham University and took up a series of jobs before becoming a Speech and Language Therapy Assistant – a job he loved. As well as football, Ian was intensely passionate about metal music and real ale, and he indulged these passions as often as he could. Ian died in 2011 – shortly before his 30thbirthday.
Robert ‘Bob’ Escudier (1943 - 2018) was born on 30 October in Battersea, the third of five children. His career was in the sale of curtains and blinds at TE Smith Blinds and Curtains before eventually setting up his own successful business, R&G Blinds, with his brother George. After the sale of R&G Blinds in the 1980s, Bob later founded a building company. He married first wife Val and they had three children, Kim, Ian, and Brian, before later divorcing. He married second wife Jan in 1998.
Christine Finlow (1923-2018) was born on 3 February in Staffordshire. She was an only child but had a great many aunts, uncles and cousins. She grew up in Milford until she was 3 and then in Cannock Chase. Despite doing well in school she left at 14 to work – but followed her love of art by attending art school in the evenings several evenings a week. During World War Two, she worked as a draughtsman for British Reinforced Concrete by day, whilst serving in the Home Guard by night. During this period she met her husband Ken, giving birth to their daughter Jill in 1957. She later worked for the Planning Department at Staffordshire County Council. Throughout her life she had a passion for art, especially painting with watercolours. She adored Walking in Cannock Chase with Ken, and with her dog Sally after Ken passed in 1992.
Andy Fitch (1944 – 2017) was born in Grippa, a town near Leipzig in Germany, before moving with his mother to London as a child. He studied economics at Emmanuel College, Cambridge and then went on to become a teacher. He was a keen swimmer, hiker, and cyclist and ran the school chess club. He married his wife Marian in 1967 and they had three children: Chris, Jenny, and Steve
Brian Fletcher (1949 - 2017) was born in Perivale in West London on 14 August, the eldest of two boys. He worked firstly in his parents’ shop and then, when it was sold, as a taxi driver until his retirement. He enjoyed spending time with his family and was a lifelong Chelsea fan. Brian married wife Barbara when he was twenty-one and they remained together until his death. They had three children, Michael, Graham, and Joanne, and four grandchildren.
Ronald Furley (1937 - 2017) was born on 23 October in Nottingham, an only child. He began working in Boots as a Trainee in the Special Labs, making prescriptions, before changing career to become a Jeweller. He specialised in clock and watch repairs and had extensive knowledge of gems. Ronald also served in the army as part of the 3rd Kings Own Hussars. He married his wife Dorothy in 1959 and they had three children, Nett, Mark, and Carl, and four grandchildren.
Ruth Gibson (1929 - 2014) was born Ruth Brooks on 25 October in Biddulph Moor in North Staffordshire, the eldest of two children. She had to leave school at fourteen and went to work in Lewis’s as a clerk in the finance department. Ruth began to train as a nurse but had to leave to get married. Once her children had grown up, she returned to nursing and ran the eye clinic at the Clatterbridge Hospital. She married husband Trevor in 1950 and they remained together until his death in 2000. They had two children: Betty and Margaret.
Donald Goldsworthy (1928-2018) was born on 10 May in Leytonstone, the younger of two brothers. During the Second World War he lived with his grandparents in Colchester which led to him attending the prestigious Colchester Royal Grammar School. Donald Joined the Royal Air Force in 1945 and after being demobbed, he worked for United Rum Merchants in the City of London, eventually working his way up to chief accountant. John married his wife Jean in a local Leytonstone youth club and they married in 1952. They had two children, Ian and Paula. Donald loved Tottenham Hotspur, DIY, and spending time with friends and family. He died on 10 May 2018, aged 90.
Amanda Green (1956 - 2017) was born on 7 November, the eldest of two children born to Stella and Gerald Green. She started working at the Waldorf Hotel in London before a period of severe depression meant that she was in and out of various hospitals. Once she was discharged from hospital, she began a cleaning job and worked as a volunteer for Age UK. Amanda enjoyed spending time with her friends and family, travelling, and going to the cinema and theatre.
Paul Grunwell (1956 - 2018) was born on 28 November, one of two children. He studied at the Bolton Institute of Technology and then went on to work for ITV as a Development Engineer, specialising in HD technology. He later set up his own computer and networking company and then worked as an engineer at Gearhouse. Paul enjoyed cooking, woodworking, and other DIY projects. He married wife Pat in 1980 and they had two daughters, Jennifer and Heather, and two grandchildren.
David Gumbrell (1944 - 2018) was born on 28 March in Weymouth. He worked as a stonemason and also played in a band called the Crescendoes which had a number one hit in Germany. David later worked at the Welsh Folk Museum and was part of a band called Mock Thee Knott. He was a passionate cricket fan and enjoyed cooking, fishing, and playing golf. David had son Simon with Gloria and later married Anne in 1989, becoming a stepfather to her three children. They stayed together until her death in 2002, after which he met partner Linda.
Simon John Hilditch (1957 - 2019) was born on 14thJanuary 1957 in Oldham, Lancashire, to parents Eric and Trudi. The stand-out aspect of Simon’s personality was his quick wit and sense of humour. This was despite his diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease, which came only a year after he and his wife Maureen moved to their new home in Somerset in which they had envisaged an active and happy retirement together. Simon had previously enjoyed a career in the Merchant Navy. He loved the sea and he loved boats. Simon loved music, and jazz in particular, and he played the piano. He was a proud Lancastrian by birth. Simon died 18th August 2019.
Evelyn Hills (1916 - 2017) was born Evelyn Morgan on 13 May in Dulwich, the eldest of two girls. Evelyn enrolled on a secretarial course and then went to work for the Westminster Bank. During World War Two, she was an active fire watcher. Evelyn was a keen gardener and was interested in history and archaeology, participating in a number of archaeological digs. She met her husband Eric in 1936 and they were married in 1939. They had daughter Tricia in 1946, two grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.
Graham Holder (1937 - 2018) was born in Cardiff on the 28 August, the eldest of three brothers. He undertook an apprenticeship as a plant fitter and then joined the Royal Engineers building roads in Cyprus for his National Service. After this, he underwent further training and eventually worked for Coles Cranes, repairing cranes across the world. He enjoyed travelling with his wife and spending time with his children and grandchildren. He married wife Margo when he was twenty and they had three children: Carole, Mark, and Wendy.
David Ibry (1926 – 2017) was born in Haifa, then in Palestine, on 26 August. After his parents’ divorce and his father’s subsequent death, he moved to Milan and remained in Italy for the rest of his childhood. In later life, he worked as a manager for the typewriter firm Olivetti, as an export manager, and as a humanist funeral celebrant. In 1999, he published an anthology entitled Exodus to Humanism - Identity without Religion which detailed the journeys of 26 Jewish people from Judaism to humanism. He married his first wife Isabella in 1954 and they remained married until her tragic death in a car crash along with their only child Benjamin in 1964. He then married second wife Rosalba and they had two children, Helen and Benjamin, before separating. From 1984, he spent the rest of his life with partner Cynthia.
Gordon Jacobs (1928 – 2014) was born in Wells on 24 September, one of eight children. During World War II he joined the RAF and after the war became a Chartered Surveyor, working for the Government’s Estates until his retirement in 1991. Gordon enjoyed travelling the world, playing golf, and taking care of his many dogs. He married wife Jean in 1952 and they had two children: Andrew and Fiona.
Jack Jenkins (1929 - 2017) was born in Maesteg, Wales, the third of four children. After school, he took on a variety of jobs before settling down as a labourer at British Tissues in Maesteg, working his way up to shift manager before his retirement. He enjoyed cycling and was a skilled carpenter and plasterer. He married Anne and they were together for twenty years.
Edward ‘Keith’ John (1942-2018) was born on 30 April in Haverfordwest, the fifth of seven children. He worked as a fitter for the Gas board in Grangetown. Keith liked going on Mediterranean cruises with his wife and spending time with his family. He married Christine in 1967 and they had two children: Diane and Mark. Funeral conducted by Steve Parry.
Alan Kendall(1934 – 2017) was born on 9 April in Bethnal Green, the last of eleven children. He worked first as an electrician and then in a variety of trades including owning a market stall. Alan was a fan of boxing, football, and gambling, and was one of the first people to use the Eurostar to get to France. He married wife Pat in 1955 and they remained together until her death in 2014. They had three children: Tony, Carol, and Jackie.
Pat Kendall (1934 - 2014) was born in Bethnal Green, London on 19 October, one of six children. She worked as a machinist and enjoyed sewing, travelling, and spending time with her family. Pat married husband Alan in 1955 and they remained married until her death. They had three children: Tony, Carol, and Jackie.
George King (1933 - 2018) was born on 23 May in Leicester, the third of four children. He trained firstly as a painter and decorator but, after his National Service, became an electrician and remained in this profession until his retirement. After his retirement, he volunteered at the community centre in Croydon and became President of the Residents’ Association. He married wife Marilyn in London and they had three children: Trevor, Johanna, and Debbie, before their separation.
Mary Leach (1931-2018) was born and raised in Stonyford, the third of nine children. Like many girls in those days, she left school at 14 and entered the world of domestic service. When she was 20, Mary married the 21 year old George and, not long after, Mary gave birth to Jane and then later to Gwen. The family settled in Manley and would remain there for the rest of their lives. Mary worked on farms and as a cleaner throughout her life. She loved the countryside, taking particular delight in watching the flowers bloom through the seasons. Mary died on 9 January, aged 86.
Michael John Lewis(1950 - 2019) was born to Beryl and Jim Lewis on 1st January 1950. He had a younger sister, Annie. The family moved frequently with his father’s RAF postings, but often returned to his Grandparents’ farm in Kinsley, Yorkshire. Michael started boarding at Pocklington School in Yorkshire, aged 9. He got his first guitar aged 15 and had a life-long passion for music, playing in many bands. Michael passed his A-Levels and went on to study Natural Sciences at Christ’s College Cambridge. He stayed on in Cambridge after graduating, getting his first professional Job at the University Genetics Department. Michael married Caroline Bennett in 1978. Their children, Joe and Holly arrived in the mid-eighties. In 1982 he joined the Laboratory of Molecular Biology for the Medical Research Council where he worked for 32 years. During this time he made some very significant scientific discoveries and earned a PhD. Introduced to the sport by his daughter, he also had a committed career in the sport of fencing, both as participant and administrator. Michael was grandfather to Alfie and Ada. He died on 21st July 2019.
Fay Lima (1934 - 2017) was born Fay Stokes in Barry on 15 February. She was the second of four children. She worked as an usher at the Theatre Royal and through this met her husband Gilbert. They had six children: Robert, Lena, Tony, Maxine, Margaret, and Nick. They later divorced and Fay married Graham. She enjoyed knitting and gardening and had various jobs throughout her life including as a barmaid, a stewardess, and a housekeeper.
David Lindley (1938 - 2018) was born in Worthing on 29 March, the eldest of three children. After two years of National Service, he joined the then GPO (now BT) as a telephone engineer and later manager. David enjoyed doing DIY and dreamed of building his own home. He was also fond of making homemade wine and reading. He married wife Hilary in 1961 and they had daughters Karan and Nicky and three grandchildren.
Pamela Llewellyn (1933 - 2017) was born Pamela Jones in Bromley on 28 September. She studied History at Birmingham University and then went on to obtain a PGCE in London, allowing her to become a teacher. She held a variety of teaching posts, eventually ending up as the Head of History and Government and Politics at the Sixth Form College in Barrow-in-Furness. Pamela was also a borough councillor and after her retirement led a successful campaign to improve the local library in Taunton. She remained with partner John until his death in 1999.
Joan Luffman (1927 - 2017) was born Joan Meacham in Pontypool, Wales on 20 February. She was one of seven children. During World War II she joined the Land Army. Joan was fond of cooking and travelled extensively across the UK and Europe. She married Alf and had three children: Carol, Ray, and Philip, and they stayed together until his death in 2004.
Harry Mellanby (1930 – 2017) was born in County Durham on 6 October and grew up near Stockton-on-Tees. He worked in local government, was responsible for the building of the Strode Swimming Pool, and had a street named after him. He enjoyed watching football, travelling, and gardening. Harry married Jean in 1953 and they had three children, John, Steve, and Elizabeth, five grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.
Stephen Merrett (1939-2018) was born on 7 June in London’s East End. He was an only child. An exceptionally intelligent boy - after school he joined the RAF but he left after two years. He instead chose to study Philosophy and Economics at Bristol University. He later gained a master’s degree from Oxford University as well as gaining a PhD. Stephen used his economics expertise throughout his life, including a stint at the Ministry of Technology. He later specialised in the economics of housing and wrote a seminal textbook on the subject. He met his wife, Alicia, in Buenos Aires and they were married in England in 1967. She and their daughters were Stephen’s whole world. He had a profound love of nature and enjoyed climbing. Stephen died on 10 April 2018, aged 78.
Frankie Murison (1956 - 2017) was born in Kingsbury, London on 28 December, the eldest of her mother’s four children. She joined the police at 18 before undertaking several other jobs with her last a role as Staff Welfare Officer at Varndean College. Frankie enjoyed musical theatre, walking, and spending time with her family. She married Martin and had a daughter, Lucy, and one grandchild. Martin and Frankie separated in 2008 and she later met Phil who she remained with until her death.
Elaine Murphy (1963 – 2017) was born in Dagenham on 31 May, the youngest of three children. She worked in various careers, firstly in a children’s clothes shop and finally as a dinner lady. She enjoyed travelling around the world and spending time with her family. She met her partner Dave in 1986 and they had three children: Kelsey, Connor, and Mitchell.
David Murray (1928 - 2018) was born on 14 December in Newport, the youngest of three children. He served as an Air Raid Precautions messenger during World War Two and then as an apprentice draughtsman once he had left school. He later qualified as a Chartered Engineer and worked for ICI in Pontypool where he ultimately became production manager of the site. David loved music and enjoyed playing the drums and taking part in amateur dramatics. He married wife June in 1955 and they had son John in 1958 before divorcing in 1978.
Sylvia Joy Myson, ‘Sylvie’ (1934 - 2019) was born in Cambridge on the 7th July 1934. She had three brothers, whom she looked after when their father died, when Sylvie was eleven. She left Coleridge School to work as a seamstress. Sylvie married Terry in 1956. They lived in Cambridge and had five children, Sandra, Andrew, Jenny, Kevin and Sarahjayne. Sylvie was a home-maker for her family but later returned to part-time work, including 18 years as a dinner lady, following her grandchildren to Priory Infants and Abbey Meadows where she became a 'proxy granny' to many. She was a devoted mother, grandmother and great grandmother. She looked after her grandson Carl from the age of 18 months. Sylvie survived kidney cancer in 2016 but later lost her voice due to Motor Neurone Disease. She was cared for by her family at home, where she died on 14th September 2019.
John Naylor (1932-2018) was born on the 12th of June in south-east London, the area he would remain for his whole life. He was one of two children. John attended Eltham College before becoming a state scholar at King’s College in 1950. It was at this time John met Elizabeth, his wife of 61 years whom he married in 1956. After a spell in the RAF for his national service, John became a teacher which led to him completing an MA. This in turn led to him embarking on a long, fruitful and hugely successful career as a publisher. John was known as a deeply cultured man and he was passionate about the arts, particularly books and classical music. He died in 2018 aged 86.
Cynthia Newton (1922 – 2017) was born Cynthia Taylor in Liverpool, and was one of four children. She studied first at Bedford College and then at Cambridge where she achieved a 2:1 in Geography. She spent most of her life working in social services, firstly as a probation officer and marriage guidance counsellor. After her retirement, she founded the Adult Literacy Service in West Wiltshire and did work for Amnesty International. Cynthia married husband George in 1950 and had three children, Diana, Michael, and Malcolm, and seven grandchildren.
Ronald O’Dare (1937-2018) was born in Cardiff on 28 August, one of seven children. After leaving school, he worked on deep-sea trawlers and then joined the Merchant Navy. Ronald loved the outdoors and enjoyed camping. He married Pauline in 1962 and they had three sons: Mark, Craig, and Shaun. They later separated in 1986.
Ernest James Partridge (1939-2018) was born on 15 August in Ynysmeudwy, one of two children. His father died when he was very young and he chose never to speak about his childhood. He worked briefly as a machinist, where he met Wendy whom he married in 1959. He applied to join the RAF but ended up joining the South Wales Borderers and Wendy and his son Steve joined him in postings around the world, including the Far East and Northern Ireland. He loved gardening, something he continued as he lost his sight. Wendy died in 2011
Elsie Penfound (1919 – 2017) was born Elsie Johns in Plymouth on 28 June. She was the middle child of five. She worked as a waitress before her marriage to George in 1943. They had two children: John and Julia. Elsie used her artistic talent to make pottery animals for Tremar Pottery and produced prize-winning homemade wines and pasties. Following her husband’s retirement, they travelled the United Kingdom in their caravan until his death.
Michael Penny (1917 – 2016) was born on 28 July 1917 in Taunton. During World War II, he served in the RAF before re-joining the family timber business when the war ended. Michael enjoyed playing sports, particularly tennis, squash, and hockey, and walking trips across the country. He married his wife Jean in 1946 and they had one child, Stephen, and three grandchildren.
Brenda Pusey (1937-2018) was born Brenda Graham in Battersea on 3 November, the third of four children. She began working at a deli counter aged fourteen and then worked on a salad stall in Tooting market. After her marriage, she started a career in the NHS, firstly as a medical records clerk and ultimately as a unit manager. Brenda married her husband Tony when she was twenty-one and they had three daughters, Tina, Lisa, and Mandy, seven grandchildren and eleven great-grandchildren.
John Prowse (1934-2018) was born on 8 February in Weymouth, the middle child of five. After attending Weymouth Grammar School, he joined the local council Parks Department where he was to work for forty years, with only a two year gap during which he completed his national service in the Dorset Regiment. He was to march with the Dorsets at the 1953 Coronation parade. In 1949, he fell in love with an Italian waitress named Maria. He and Maria were married in 1953 and they had two children, Antony and Caroline, as well as grandchildren and great-grandchildren. John was known as a helpful, peaceful, kind and caring father, great grandfather and friend. He had a love of plants and he and Maria enjoyed exploring her home island of Sicily. John died in 2018 aged 84.
Jean Quatrine (1921 – 2017) was born Jean Forman in Peterhead, Aberdeenshire on the 17 March. She was one of six children including two sets of twins. During World War II, she joined the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force and became a Radio Communications Operator. In her later life, she worked as a nanny and a housekeeper amongst other things. She enjoyed baking and arts and crafts and was once commissioned by the Financial Times to make Christmas crackers out of their newspapers. She married her first husband Alexander in 1942 but he was killed in the Battle of El Alamein in the same year. They had one son Sandy. After the war, she married her second husband John and they had two children: Tony and Chris.
Ida Rado (1910-2015) was born on 1 July. She survived the Holocaust and was then forced to move to England from Hungary in 1957 after the Hungarian Revolution. In order to earn money, she sewed evening dresses. Ida enjoyed painting and cooking Hungarian food. She got married in a joint ceremony with her older sister Teri and remained with her husband until his death. Ida lived until the age of 104.
Christine Ramsay (1935-2018) was born on 7 December in Luton, an only child. She worked as a teaching assistant at a school for children with learning difficulties as well as volunteering as a nursery assistant and at the Redbourn Stroke Club. She was a skilled cook and enjoyed playing the piano. Christine married Eric in 1956 and they had one child: Paul.
Lilian Riley(1929 - 2019) Lillian was born in Liverpool on the 24th January 1929, the daughter of a shipyard worker, and the eldest of four children. She and her sisters were evacuated to the Welsh Borders during the War. Later, she met John Robinson, by whom she had a son, Clive in 1956. She married John in 1960, and they divorced in 1964. In the meantime she had adopted Ade, originally from Nigeria, and for some years she was a single mother in the Wirral, supporting her two sons, before financial and social pressure led her to send Ade back to Nigeria. They did not meet again for 36 years, but then Clive tracked him down and they became close again. She often visited him and his family in LA. She was also close to John’s daughter Pat, and cared for her children. She worked in children’s homes until her early retirement. After Clive left home, she married Frank Riley, and they lived happily together till his death in 2003. She then moved to Hastings, to be near her stepdaughter and son. She died on October 4th in hospital in Hastings after a short final illness.
Jonathan Roads (1943 - 2017)was born in Hitchin, Hertfordshire on the 26 October. He studied at Seale Hayne Agricultural College in Devon and then had a number of business ventures, including Aquaid, a WaterAid franchise, and Road Hogs, a pig staffing recruitment agency. He enjoyed gardening, growing his own fruit and vegetables in his allotment, and walking. With his first wife Val, he had three children: Stephen, Oliver, and Eleanor. Jon then married second wife Kate although they later divorced. He remained with partner Grace until his death.
Judith Saner (1949 - 2015) was born Judith Haynes in Didcot on 17 June, the youngest of three children. She studied English Literature at UCL and then worked at the Greater London Council. Judith enjoyed gardening, supporting Arsenal, and knitting. She married husband Cengiz and they had two daughters, Emine and Kate, before their later separation.
Michael Sawbridge (1937-2015) was born on 21 October in Brazil where his father had settled after the First World War. After boarding school in England and a brief spell as an accountant, Mike was called up to do his national service. He served in the RAF and later became a jet pilot. He would go on to serve around the Middle East and Africa, including a stint flying for the Royal Jordanian Air Force. It was during this time he met Carol whom he married in 1966, and who would then join him on his overseas postings. Later, Michael moved into flying commercial airliners. The couple had two children, Mark and Martin. Michael loved squash and walking in the countryside. He died on 27 September, aged 77.
Shirley Simmonds (1936-2018) was born on 18 May 1936 and grew up in Thongsbridge. After leaving school she trained as a teacher at Goldsmith’s College, London and whilst there she developed a love of the theatre which drew her back to London many times. As well as working as a teacher she volunteered for a number of charities including the Samaritans and Friend to Friend. Shirley loved travelling and visited a great many places including most of Europe and much of Asia and Africa. Shirley died on 29 May 2018, aged 82.
Olive Smith (1938-2017) was born and raised in Harrogate, the younger of two children. She met John, her first husband, when she was 20 and lived with him in Singapore whilst he served with the RAF. Upon returning from Asia, she and John lived at various air bases in and around Wiltshire. Her and John later separated and she married Howard in 1973. They had two children, Simon and Gillian. Olive worked as a typist throughout her life, including for the Ministry of Defence and the Suffolk Constabulary. The family lived in Cameroon for two and a half years in the 1980s. Olive loved to visit Europe on her holidays – including in her later years whilst suffering health problems. Olive died on 19th January, aged 78.
Sheila Sowter(1936-2018) was born on 7 August in Derby. She was an only child after an older sibling died in infancy. After growing up in Essex, Sheila won a place at Cambridge University where she completed a degree in natural sciences. She went on to gain a mathematics degree from the Open University and she became a lecturer in geology, earth sciences, mathematics as well as in teacher training. In 1976, Sheila gave birth to Connie and became a single mother. Sheila had a vast array of interests. She enjoyed travelling, alone as well as with Connie, she was multilingual, and she had a deep love for opera, especially Wagner. She was also a member of MENSA. Sheila died on 6 April 2018, aged 81.
Sue Steward (1946 - 2017) was born in Stathern, Leicestershire on 19 September, one of three children. She studied at the University of Liverpool and then began teaching biology. She later switched to the music industry and started out working in the mail order department of Virgin Records before becoming Publicity Officer. In later life, she was a writer, journalist, and DJ with a passionate appreciation for world music. Sue was also interested in photography, becoming photography critic for the London Evening Standard.
Veronica Towler (1941 - 2018) was born on 12 June, an only child. She studied at the London University for a degree in general estate management and then at Exeter University for a degree in social work. She worked briefly as a social worker and then returned to surveying, becoming a Chartered Surveyor. She was passionate about conservation, at one point the Chair of the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England, and a keen walker.
John Varley (1938-2018) was born on 17 January in Liverpool, one of three children. After growing up in Toxteth, he joined the Merchant Navy – serving as a steward on large passenger ships. After leaving the Merchant Navy he joined the nearby Ford car production factory where he would remain employed for the next three decades. In the 1960s he met Gloria who he would eventually marry- but not after she had emigrated to Australia temporarily. John and Gloria had two children, Paul and Liam. John loved motorbikes, Friday nights in the pub, and in his later years, travelling with Gloria. John died in 2018, aged 80
Michael Wagner (1917 - 2017)was born in London on 2 November, the second of three children. He joined the army during World War II and, after being captured in North Africa, managed to escape from an Italian Prisoner of War Camp, spending five months hiding in a chapel. After the war, Michael joined the Colonial Service and was stationed in Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia), eventually becoming Under Secretary in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. He married his wife Nan in 1946 and they had three children, Bobbie, Margie, and Trish, and nine grandchildren.
Betty Wallace (1925 - 1995) was born Betty Ball in Southend-on-Sea, Essex on 28 July, the youngest of three daughters. After leaving school, she attended a secretarial college and became a short-hand typist. After a failed relationship, Betty moved to Lagos for a job at the British High Commission. She married husband Ian in 1951 after meeting at the local sailing club. They returned to England and had two children, daughter Patsy and son Alasdair, and remained together until he died in a plane crash in 1969. In later life, Betty volunteered for the Women’s Royal Voluntary Service and the Citizens Advice Bureau before taking a job at a University. She was an active National Trust member and treasurer for the Exmouth Club for the Blind.
Eileen Walker (1926-2016) was born on 31 January and grew up in Stapleton, which was then a village outside Bristol. After serving in the Land Army during the war she worked at Kinzie’s department store and later became a psychiatric nurse at Barrow Gurney Hospital. Eileen absolutely loved to cook and enjoyed long walks across Durdham Downs. She married Reg and they had two daughters: Hazel and Heather. She and Reg separated and she met Laurie with whom she lived happily until his death in 2004.
Denis Williams (1942-2018) was born in Morriston on 18 November, one of five children. He started an apprenticeship as a carpenter but then switched to working as a labourer before moving to a job at Griff Fender Removals. After leaving them, he worked variously as a crane driver and a forklift driver amongst other things. Denis enjoyed travelling around the UK and watching cowboy films. He had two sons with his first wife and then married second wife Mary and had a daughter: Rhian.
Dale Winton (1955-2018) was born in North London on 22 May, the only child of a Jewish businessman and his wife Sheree, an actress. Named after the American actor Dale Robertson, he worked as a disc jockey on Radio Trent for several years in the late 1970s and early 1980s before he hit the big time with the daytime TV show Supermarket Sweep in 1993. He went on to present the National Lottery show and appear in numerous TV shows including the Royal Variety Performance. For two decades from the mid-1990s, he was a household name, known for his perma-tan, energy and camp good humour. He played a cameo role in the 1996 film Trainspotting, and was always happy to send himself up. He had a number of very close friends in the media and entertainment world, and was godfather to Josh, Ben and Louis Linsey, the three sons of TV producer Mark Linsey and his wife Sarah.
Stephen Witham (1954 - 2017) was born on 23 February, the third of four brothers. He enjoyed motorcycling and loved dogs. Stephen married wife Carol at Witney Register Office and they had two daughters, Shenda and Louise, a son called Steven Junior, and thirteen grandchildren.
Pat Wright (1952-2017) was born on 1 May in Sunderland and raised in South Hetton, Hartlepool, and Seaton Carew. She was an only child. After training as a primary school teacher, she went on to spend 30 years as a special educational needs teacher, in the later years becoming the Coordinator of Special Needs at Campion School in Leamington. She and her husband Alan were married for 40 years, but neither wished to have children. Pat and Alan shared a love of music and of the Norfolk Broads, the latter of which Alan introduced to Pat on their honeymoon. Pat died on 9 October 2017, aged 65.