The RNLI saves lives at sea.

Rosemary Clark

Picture of Rosemary Clark.

Rosemary was born at Hailsham, East Sussex in 1931, and soon moved to Eastbourne.

She had an exciting war, being machine-gunned by a German fighter plane whilst playing in the allotments at the back of her parents’ house, and, in 1944, sheltering in, of all places, a conservatory when an overhead V1 flying bomb cut its engine and exploded. She also had the traumatic experience of being alone in the house when a telegram arrived with the news of her eldest brother’s death whilst test-flying a newly-delivered fighter plane in the R.A.F.

At Eastbourne High School, she won many prizes, but spent all her spare time in sport, captaining both the school hockey and tennis teams. When her Saturday afternoons were free, she would play on the wing for Eastbourne in the Sussex County League. At Exeter University, she played in the first couple for tennis. After leaving, she taught at a boarding school in Eastbourne.

Whilst all this was going on, she had been indulging in a light-hearted courtship with my father since sixth form days. After six years of this, she decided enough was enough, and, on his demob from National Service in 1957, met him at Stansted Airport with the surprising news to him that he was getting married on Saturday. She had had the Banns called without his knowing – all he had to do was turn up. This he duly did.

After the wedding, he took a temporary job in Stoke at the suggestion of the Keele Appointments Officer, with the promise to Rosemary that they would return to Sussex by Christmas. That was 54 years ago, but she always lived in hope.

After she had taught at St Lucy’s in Porthill, the stork delivered my brother and me. Whilst ferrying us to school and back, the headmaster of Edenhurst suggested it would be easier if she stayed. That she did for 26 happy years, teaching the five year olds and latterly running the school library.

After retirement in 1993, she spent much time bird-watching, studying wild flowers and accumulating various points from Keele Extra-Mural classes. She was also proud to become a grandmother four times over.

Her garden was her delight, as well as the company of friends. As was once said of another, “She left no presence uncheered”.

David Clark

Added by: Richard Clark on 4 December 2015.

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Picture of Rosemary Clark.
Picture of Rosemary Clark.
Picture of Rosemary Clark.

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The RNLI is a charity that provides a 24-hour lifesaving service around the UK and Republic of Ireland.

As a charity, the RNLI relies on your support to carry on saving lives at sea.

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