Friday, 8 January 2010

The 8th of January, 1942: a terrible time for my family

Sixty-eight years ago to the day, the 8th of January, 1942, was a terrible time for my family.

The following newspaper reports tell the story of the deaths and the double funeral of my grandfather, Walter Clifton Woollard, and my aunt, Joan Frances Clifton Woollard.


Tragic Death Of A Well Known Cambridgeshire Farmer And His Daughter.

The County has lost one of its well known farmers in tragic circumstances by the death of Mr Walter Clifton Woollard, at the age of 66 years, together with that of his daughter, Miss Joan Frances Clifton Woollard, who was 33 years of age. They were both killed instantly in a motoring accident on the Newmarket London Road late on Thursday evening of last week - 8th Jan.

Mr Woollard was the eldest son of the late Mr J.S. Woollard of Chalk Farm Bottisham. Educated at a Private School in Royston and later at the Perse School, Cambridge, he went to Chalk Farm at an early age to manage the farm for his father. Some four years later he commenced business on his own account at Downing College Farm, Swaffham Bulbeck, where he remained for 20 years. On the retirement of his father in 1919 he returned to Chalk Farm Bottisham where he farmed for 17 years. At the age of 61 he retired from active business in favour of his son Mr L.W.J. Woollard, and went to live, together with his wife and only daughter at Icknield, Ickleton, Cambs., where in the few years that remained to him he endeared himself to the villagers by his cheerful disposition and active participation in their affairs. His business career was marked by his interest in the fattening of cattle and sheep and he was a well known figure at the Cambridge cattle market and exchange. He, too, like his father was a particularly good judge of a horse. An ardent Churchman all his life, for years he was a Church Warden at Swaffham Bulbeck and among other duties was a school manager and Charity Trustee. At Ickleton he joined the Home Guard at the age of 65 and retained his keenness in the force until the end. His sudden passing came as a great shock and he will be greatly missed by those whose privilege it was to know him. In all his dealings he was a man of the highest integrity.'

The picture at the right is of Walter and Joan in about 1920.

'Double Funeral At Swaffham Bulbeck.

Mr W.C. Woollard and Miss Woollard.

The funeral took place at St. Mary's Church, Swaffham Bulbeck, on January 14th of Mr Walter Clifton Woollard and his daughter, Miss Joan Frances Clifton Woollard, of Icknield, Ickleton, who died on January 8th as the result of a motor accident, a report of which appeared in our last issue. The service was conducted by the Vicar (Rev. A.J.S. Stearn), assisted by the Rev. A.E. Penney (Vicar of Ickleton). As the bodies were borne into the church Handel's Largo was played by the organist (Mrs Walter Bedford), and during the service 'Crossing the Bar' (Tennyson) was read by the Vicar, the music by Parry being played by Mrs Stearn. The hymn 'God moves in a mysterious way' was sung, and the Rev. A.E. Penny read the 23rd Psalm, the service ending with the hymn 'Abide with me'. Some of the bearers were employees from Chalk Farm, Bottisham, including Messrs. Radford, Bird, Pearman and A. Howe.

The Mourners.

The immediate mourners were: Mr L.W.J. Woollard (son), also representing his mother who was unable to attend, Miss Woollard (sister), Mrs L.W.J. Woollard (daughter-in-law), Mr S.F. Woollard (brother), Mrs P.F. Singleton (sister), Mr P.F. Singleton (brother-in-law), Mr Peter Singleton (nephew), Mr James Nutter (brother-in-law), Mr and Mrs C.W.L. Woollard (nephew and niece), Mr and Mrs G. Aylott (also representing Mrs Asbee (sister-in-law), Miss A. Griggs, Miss Treweek, Mrs Penney, Miss Dean (maid), Mr F. Dawson (gardener).

Amongst the congregation were: Sergt. Baynes, Lce.-Corpl. Newman (representing Ickleton Home Guard and British Legion), Mr Eustace Wilson (representing Westminster Bank, Cambridge), Mr and Mrs Wormald (Newmarket), Mr J.S. Weir, Mr Little and Mr George Little (Hertford), Mr N.F. Newman, Mr L. Barr (Cambridge), Mr J. Brown, Mr and Mrs William Godfrey (representing Mr and Mrs Godfrey, sen., Ickleton), Mr and Mrs William Griggs (Ickleton), Mr R. Ellis, Mr E. Galer, Mr C. Bedford, Mr E. Green, Mr W. Scott (representing Poor's Charity), Messrs. Bareford and Levitt (representing Parish Council), Miss Welch (representing Ickleton Conservative Association), Miss Scales (representing First Aid Point, Ickleton), Mrs Jenyns, Mrs John Towler (representing Mr Towler), Mr Paul, Mr G. Paul, Mr John Paul, Miss Paul, Mr and Mrs B.H. Doggett, Mrs Fison, Mrs T. Fletcher, Mr Gerald Edwards, Mr and Mrs Carter Fison, Mr N. Partridge, Mr H. Edwards and Mr Walters (Burgh Hall), Mr A.H. Butler, Mr and Mrs J.L. Newman, Mr Hamilton Day, Mr and Mrs R. Badcock, Mr C. Waugh, Mr G. Johnson, Mr R. Hart, Mrs H. Stevens, Miss Stevens, Mrs Pearman, Mrs Howe, Mrs Bird, Mr and Mrs J. Bentley, Mrs Pearson, Mr W. Bentley. Mrs Harry Newman, Mrs Lawrence, Mrs N. Butler, Mrs G. Fletcher, Mrs G. Clark, Mrs Kemp, Mrs Howard, Mrs F. Wisbeach, Mrs January, Mrs L. Johnson, Mrs J. Smith, Mrs Clements, Mrs Marsh, Mrs Dean, Mrs Paske, Mrs H. Golding, Mrs F. Cooper and Mrs Attmore (Bottisham), Miss Ivy Scott, Miss E. Scott, Mrs F. Johnson, Mrs Leather, Miss Hart, Miss Bennett, Mr W.C. Sargent, Mr H. Hiner, Miss Burling, Miss Watson, Miss F.E. Watson, Mrs W. Rayment, Mr A. Ayres, Mr T.J. Ayres, Mr F. Crisp, sen., Mr A Blinco, Mr W. Newman, Mr W.R. Elworthy (Cambridge), Mr A. Long, Mr J. and Miss Woollard (Bottisham), Mr Arber (Bottisham).

Beautiful floral tributes were sent by the following: To Walter, with love, from Bijou; Dear Joan, with love from mother; Laddie and Betty; Little Geoffrey; Molly; Frank and Beatrice; Grace, Phil, Mary and Peter; Leonard, Keith and Monica; Ellie; Auntie Ellie; Grace; Laurie and Peggy; George and Jane; Mr J.S. Weir; Mr and Mrs J. Little and George; Dr. and Mrs Treewick; Rev. and Mrs A. Penney; Allie and Doris Wormald; 'C' Company, 4th Battalion, Home Guard, Ickleton; Ickleton British Legion; First Aid Point and Women's Association; Maud Griffin Girl Guides; Fred, Mrs Dawson and Dean; Employees and their wives at Chalk Farm (two wreaths); Priory Farm and the Butchers; 'Norman Hall'; Lisha; Mr N.F. Newman; Mr and Mrs J.L. Newman; Mr and Mrs J. Towler and Madge; Mr and Mrs Galer; Mr J.G.A. Paul and family; Mr and Mrs Carter Fison; Mr and Mrs R.M. Maris; Miss Hollins and Mrs Hinton; Mr and Mrs H. Stevens; 'Stone House'; Mr and Mrs Scales; Mrs Bowen; A. Frost; The Godfrey family; Mrs Herbert Hiner and family; Aunt Mary Ann and Uncle George; Aunt Eliza and Cousins. Mr H. Stevens, Swaffham Bulbeck, and Messrs. W. Eaden Lilley and Co., Ltd., Cambridge, were the undertakers.'

The nicest compliments that have ever been paid to me have been to the effect that I 'take after' my grandfather. I respect those from whom the compliments have come but I have no means of judging whether they are right. I can't really remember him as I was only three and three quarters when he was killed. Though Joan was my aunt, I'd like to think that I had inherited some of the animal-loving traits that she showed in this picture, which was taken at Chalk Farm, Bottisham, in the early 1920s.

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