Spalding woman’s tribute to those who gave their lives

Mavis's daughter Sherald Lee with her mother's floral tribute to those who died in both World Wars. Photo: SG060514-118TW
Mavis's daughter Sherald Lee with her mother's floral tribute to those who died in both World Wars. Photo: SG060514-118TW
0
Have your say

Mavis Wilson realised some years ago she was living in the same street as boys killed at war.

She had started attending St Paul’s Church 50 or more years ago and realised many of the names on the memorials to those killed in the First and Second World Wars were familiar to her.

“I realised I was living next door to a boy who had got killed in the Second World War,” says 85-year-old Mavis, at that time living in Fulney Avenue.

“That was Sam Warboys. And then two houses up the Arnolds lived and their boy got killed in the Second World War.

“They are not just names. The boy next door he was a big fellow. He looked about 21, though I don’t know how old he was. He was from a well-known family because the Warboys have left a lot of crosses as the years have gone by.”

As a tribute to the sacrifice of many of her neighbouring families, Mavis has been creating flower displays in their memory each church flower festival for more than 20 years.

This year was no different, with displays bearing red crosses set against white chrysanthemums and a background of greenery.

They are placed on a shelf immediate beneath the war memorials in church.

Mavis, a member of the Western Front Association, says: “I thought the families of those associated with them would realise we were still thinking and praying for their memories, because we pray each year as the anniversary comes up and the vicar reads the names on the memorial.

“I am not able to go along at the moment, but I am very involved in both wars and interested in the stories and I think the young ones want to know about it because they gave their lives for us to make our lives better.”

Members of her own and her late husband Peter’s families died in war, such as a boy from the Ringham family who was Peter’s cousin.

Mavis’s uncle, William Jarvis Bush, who died at Arras in 1917 aged 26, is remembered on the war memorial at Pinchbeck. Another uncle, Horace Foyster Phoenix, a horseman at Pode Hole, was killed in Roen in 1916 aged 19. He is remembered in the war memorial in Gosberton Church.

Mavis says: “I also had some killed on my husband’s side and there is a Wilson on the war memorial at Ayscoughfee Gardens. I have been to France a lot of times.”