I thought a few photos from yesterday might give you a flavour of the day: firstly the church and churchyard.
A couple of graves planted up:
The church with the candles still lit after the funeral:
This is what was said at the service about R:
“She left school at 14 as she was already top of the top class and had a series of office jobs until she was about 20 when she took herself off to France as an au pair to a French family where she learnt to speak French.
Following her time in France she went to Germany where she was to teach English to a Jewish Doctor and his family who later relocated in America and have always kept in touch with the family. When Germany became uncomfortable because of the rise of the Nazis she went to Italy where she taught in a school, returning to England when war broke out.
The early war years saw her working in Jedburgh (in the north of England) for the Austrian manager of a silk mill, but when he was interned she cycled south and joined the WAAF. Here, because of her fluency in German she was a member of the Y Service listening in to the transmissions from the German airforce night after night.
(Y Service [wireless interception]. Following special Morse code training women German linguists were based at secret listening stations around the UK to monitor German radio transmissions which had been encoded using Enigma machines. Once intercepted the enemy’s military messages, still in code, were sent to Bletchley Park – also known as Station X – to be decrypted by its talented, ingenious and, in many cases, eccentric code-breakers.)
Later, she was to teach the American service men to do the same and when told it was much harder in a plane than sitting at a desk, she got them to smuggle her onto a plane on a bombing raid. That night the transcriptions were allegedly better than usual!
For the rest of her service she was stationed in North Africa where she was the only woman on the unit covering Italy, Austria and Belgium.
After demob she went to work in the British Embassy in Montevideo, where her task was to find out what the Uruguayans really thought of the Brits. (She could also speak Spanish by this time!) Here she met and married her husband and they had their first child there before returning to England.
Here, they settled in a very old cottage which they both loved and where they eventually celebrated their Diamond Wedding Anniversary. In this house she took in and cared for both her husband’s parents and her own mother until their deaths.
Her last two years were spent in a Nursing Home and although she hated to lose her independence she was never sorry for herself and accepted it philosophically.
She was always full of life, energy and enthusiasm, ready to give anything a go. Often impetuous, jumping to conclusions and never tactful, she didn’t have a selfish bone in her body. She always wanted to be useful and only two weeks ago was regretting the fact that she was no longer able to do anything useful for anyone else. A woman of high moral standards she had a very strong sense of faith and last week when she knew she was dying she herself asked for the priest to be called.
She will, perhaps, be remembered for two maxims in particular which she held dear: the first is that it is better to make a bad impression than to make no impression at all. The second is that if a thing is worth doing it is worth doing badly. In other words, don’t hold back from attempting something, just because you won’t be able to do it perfectly. She certainly did not.”