Forest of Dean & Wye Valley

GRACE TURNER: An appreciation by Joy Simpson

In Obiturary on June 18, 2010 at 3:37 pm

Joy Simpson pays tribute to her aunt, Grace Turner, who died in January aged 97.

We, the family, could not be sad for Grace when she died peacefully at home on January 9, at last released from the loneliness she had borne since her husband John died in October 2007. They had been such a close couple for over seventy years.

Grace was the youngest of six in the Brain family, and the only one not born in Lydney. My mother was the eldest, and Grace was 18 when she came to help her in the dairy at Ascot when I was born in 1929. In later years we almost seemed to be the same generation, and I stopped calling her “Aunty”.

POLITICALLY ACTIVE:

Throughout her life Grace was politically active on the left, including being involved in the “Cable Street Riots” against Oswald Mosley’s fascist blackshirts.

She met John Turner through the Clarion Cycling Club and they married in 1938. Their daughter Helen was born in 1939, just before the outbreak of the Second World War. In 1940, to escape the bombing in London, they came to stay with relatives in Lydney. Later they moved back to Sunbury on Thames where Roger was born in 1944.

They never owned a car, and continued to cycle everywhere, adding a carrier for the children, until Grace had a terrible accident when her cycle was hit by a car, breaking her arm, leg and collar bones. John was distraught and used to take Royal Jelly (from bees) into the hospital to help with the healing. After that he would only let her ride the tandem with him.

They travelled all over the country and abroad, particularly to Holland where they met lifelong friends Ans and Wietze Postma. They also went by minibus to Moscow, Eastern Germany, Czechoslovakia, and on the way back through Norway. Their activities also included taking part in CND and anti-war demonstrations.

Gerry was born in 1947, when I was 18. Whilst she was expecting, I used to cycle down to see if Grace had produced the baby yet!

A HEALTHY LIFE:

Their healthy life included Grace making her own bread until a few years ago. They were mostly vegetarian which, I think, influenced me in making that choice. They very seldom visited a doctor or took allopathic medicine, relying on her own remedies including garlic for minor ailments. She was devoted to her grandchildren and often went to see Gerry and Alice with their three when they were wardens at the Friends Meeting House at Hemel Hempstead.

In 1987, along with my mother, Grace and John, I moved to Lydney, in bungalows near to each other. We were able to support each other and take holidays in Wales. My mother, Lois, died aged 98 in 1997. It had been good for the sisters to be near again. She liked to see my family, too, when they came to the Forest to see me.

Grace had a love of music and we joined the Dean Music Club and shared CDs. She and John were also interested in foreign films, which we enjoyed at the Studio Cinema in Coleford. Until her eyesight deteriorated Grace had been a great reader and we shared books and ideas.

Later, John would get “Talking Books” from the library, which they enjoyed together.

They had been a great team, not above complaining about each other but devoted nonetheless. When John died, Grace lost the will to live. Although she was loved and well cared for by her grand daughter, no-one could replace him.

So it’s the end of an era. Grace was the last of that generation in the family. Although I am the only Quaker in the family, it was her wish to have a Quaker funeral, as she had experienced it when my mother, her sister, died. It gave anyone who wished the opportunity to share their thoughts about her, and drew together family and many friends from many strands of her life.

JS

We, the family, could not be sad for Grace when she died peacefully at home on January 9, at last released from the loneliness she had borne since her husband John died in October 2007. They had been such a close couple for over seventy years.

Grace was the youngest of six in the Brain family, and the only one not born in Lydney. My mother was the eldest, and Grace was 18 when she came to help her in the dairy at Ascot when I was born in 1929. In later years we almost seemed to be the same generation, and I stopped calling her “Aunty”.

POLITICALLY ACTIVE:
Throughout her life Grace was politically active on the left, including being involved in the “Cable Street Riots” against Oswald Mosley’s fascist blackshirts.

She met John Turner through the Clarion Cycling Club and they married in 1938. Their daughter Helen was born in 1939, just before the outbreak of the Second World War. In 1940, to escape the bombing in London, they came to stay with relatives in Lydney. Later they moved back to Sunbury on Thames where Roger was born in 1944.

They never owned a car, and continued to cycle everywhere, adding a carrier for the children, until Grace had a terrible accident when her cycle was hit by a car, breaking her arm, leg and collar bones. John was distraught and used to take Royal Jelly (from bees) into the hospital to help with the healing. After that he would only let her ride the tandem with him.

They travelled all over the country and abroad, particularly to Holland where they met lifelong friends Ans and Wietze Postma. They also went by minibus to Moscow, Eastern Germany, Czechoslovakia, and on the way back through Norway. Their activities also included taking part in CND and anti-war demonstrations.

Gerry was born in 1947, when I was 18. Whilst she was expecting, I used to cycle down to see if Grace had produced the baby yet!

A HEALTHY LIFE:
Their healthy life included Grace making her own bread until a few years ago. They were mostly vegetarian which, I think, influenced me in making that choice. They very seldom visited a doctor or took allopathic medicine, relying on her own remedies including garlic for minor ailments. She was devoted to her grandchildren and often went to see Gerry and Alice with their three when they were wardens at the Friends Meeting House at Hemel Hempstead.

In 1987, along with my mother, Grace and John, I moved to Lydney, in bungalows near to each other. We were able to support each other and take holidays in Wales. My mother, Lois, died aged 98 in 1997. It had been good for the sisters to be near again. She liked to see my family, too, when they came to the Forest to see me.

Grace had a love of music and we joined the Dean Music Club and shared CDs. She and John were also interested in foreign films, which we enjoyed at the Studio Cinema in Coleford. Until her eyesight deteriorated Grace had been a great reader and we shared books and ideas.

Later, John would get “Talking Books” from the library, which they enjoyed together.

They had been a great team, not above complaining about each other but devoted nonetheless. When John died, Grace lost the will to live. Although she was loved and well cared for by her grand daughter, no-one could replace him.

So it’s the end of an era. Grace was the last of that generation in the family. Although I am the only Quaker in the family, it was her wish to have a Quaker funeral, as she had experienced it when my mother, her sister, died. It gave anyone who wished the opportunity to share their thoughts about her, and drew together family and many friends from many strands of her life.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: