The RNLI saves lives at sea.

Evelyn Hale

Also known as: Bobby.

Picture of Evelyn Hale.

Evelyn Doris Toms was born on 4 December 1920 but from early childhood was known as Bobby. One of a family of five children(although there had been another brother who had died at the age of 2), she lived all her life in Cheltenham, marrying my Dad, Reuben George Hale in 1942 and producing me, their only child, on the day before her birthday in 1949. Family was very important to her and she readily welcomed my husband Ian, and later was very proud indeed of having two grandchildren, Jeremy and Abigail. Later still, she was thrilled when Jeremy and his wife Nina presented her with no less than five great-grandchildren, all of whom adored 'Great-Nanny'.

For as long as I can remember, Mum admired the work of the RNLI and it was therefore fitting that we should ask people to contribute to this organisation after her death on 30 May last year at the age of 85. When Jeremy and Abbie were small, she told them about the famous Lifeboatman, Henry Blogg and he became a household name in our family- Lifeboatmen were referred to as 'Bloggs'! Some years later, we took Mum on holiday to Norfolk and it seems right that one of the photos I am including on this page is of her with Jeremy and Abbie and the memorial to Mr. Blogg.

Although remembered by so many for a tremendous sense of fun, Mum experienced great sadness in her life - Dad died a month before he was due to retire in 1985 - but she made enormous efforts to rebuild a life which would be spent as a widow for 22 years. She made new friends at church, joined the local Townswomen's Guild and made more friends, enjoyed holidays, gardening and even flew on Concorde. It may only have been for an afternoon trip around the Bay of Biscay, but this lady who, as a child, had marvelled at the wonder of flight and had waved to the pilot Amy Johnson as she flew over Cheltenham, was very proud of her status as a supersonic granny.

Mum was fiercely independent, always optimistic, and was greatly loved by the huge number of people who remember her. These are some of the words spoken at her funeral:

'You can shed tears that she is gone
or you can smile because she has lived'

'You can remember her and only that she's gone
or you can cherish her memory and let it live on'

Penny Kirkwood

Added by: Penny Kirkwood on 18 October 2007.

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Picture of Evelyn Hale.
Picture of Evelyn Hale.
Picture of Evelyn Hale.

Charity information


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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