Thora Alice Cole - 8 September 1912 – 2 May 2013

Seven months ago, I stood in front of most of you – with Nanny to my left – and told you all about her 100 years.
The trouble with living for 100 years is that people start to think that you will go on forever.
On Sunday April 21, Nanny had a severe stroke following a fall that left her totally debilitated. For eleven days we watched her hold onto life – she held our hands, she smiled and she tried to speak. She knew we were all there and we were grateful to have the chance.
But 100 years of life leaves you with few resources to draw on at such times, and Nanny passed away in the early hours of Thursday 2 May with Mum at her side.
She was small and she asked very little of us but there is a very big Nanny-shaped hole in our lives.
She always smiled, she was so happy to see family and friends, she hardly moaned – despite her recent ailments – and she didn’t judge. Her three great grandchildren were a source of much happiness to her but she loved all her family and was proud of everyone’s achievements.
She used to say that if we were OK, then she was OK.
She left Mum an envelope with a few instructions for today – most of which we have got right.
She left the story of her life in that envelope and I would like to read her words today.

“I was born on a farm. I was brought up with a Nanny who taught me to love all the animals and wild flowers. I had two older sisters. I always felt the odd one out so I learned to enjoy my own company. I loved to roam the fields and talk to the animals.
"I went to a village school, but left at fourteen to rear chicken, ducks and turkeys.
At the age of sixteen I took over the dairy. I made the butter that was sold at the door and shops, attended to milk and eggs.

"At the age of eighteen I was tired of working at home so enrolled as a student nurse. I specialised in Tuberculosis and psychiatric care. At the age of twenty two I had passed my exams. I became state enrolled and registered RMPA (the Royal Medical Physiology Association). I became a Charge Nurse.
"I married in 1939 just before the war. My husband was an engineer, building large excavators and drag lines for iron ore in Northampton and Lincolnshire. I looked after two evacuee girls for nine months during the war. After that I travelled with my husband, and registered to do voluntary work. After the war I received a letter from the Queen, and later the Queen Mother, thanking me for my work.
"After the war we settled back in our own home in Ipswich, we were blessed with a beautiful daughter and she produced two lovely grandchildren.
I was borne in Wetheringsett, lived in Ipswich and Felixstowe, later near Hadleigh, Suffolk, on a smallholding with animals – horses, sheep, goats and chickens. I have travelled in many countries including Australia and Africa.
"My hobbies were riding mopeds and gardening. We moved to Frinton to retire in 1989”.


Popular Posts