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Farewell, then

Anne Tucker

Her ashes were laid to rest in the Churchyard at 10 o'clock on Monday 8th February, 2016.

Thank you for the Music


Received by e-mail:-

Anne Tucker  ..... 1933- 2016

Anne was born in November 1933 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaya, where her father was a rubber planter. There ensued a period of seven or eight years of idyllilc life, in a warm country, with riding, swimming, school at one of the hill stations, and occasional trips home to the UK. Two younger brothers joined the family.

In 1941, everything changed dramatically. The Japanese invaded Pearl Harbour, war came to the Far East and the family -- without her father -- had to make its escape. They got away from Singapore early in 1942 on one of the last ships, making it to Perth, Western Australia, where her youngest brother died, aged 7 months, from illness contracted on the ship. 

Anne's father remained in Singapore in the volunteer army, where he and thousands of others were captured by the Japanese, incarcerated at the infamous Changi gaol, and finally despatched to work on the equally infamous Burma Railway. For the next three and a half years, his wife and family knew nothing of his fate.

Following the loss of her baby, her home, and effectively her husband, Anne's mother decided to join her sister and family iin South Africa, where they spent the next couple of years. In the middle of 1944, her mother decided that if -- and she had no idea of the reality -- her father were to survive the war, he would find his way back to England. So, another sea journey in war conditions, and the family arrived in Liverpool, just in time for the doodlebugs! Her decision was rewarded: in August 1945, the first message arrived, scribbled on a scrap of paper, to indicate that Anne's father had survived his ordeal and was on his way home. The message was delivered through the good offices of an Amercian unit, which had liberated the prison camp, way up in the jungle. 

We took her to see the film ‘The Railway Man’, based on the autobiography of Eric Lomax.   We expected her to be emotional but she  took it in her usual down-to-earth way and was able to talk about it quite easily as part of history.

Reunited in September 1945, the family returned to their home in Bournemouth, where Anne went to school at Talbot Heath. Her parents did return to Malaya for a few years, where they faced the onset of the communist bandit warfare, finally settling back in England in the 1950s. Her mother did write a journal about their experiences, which Anne’s brother now has. 

So were sewn the seeds of Anne's wanderlust, which never deserted her, until her declining years. Her travels, working as a musiic teacher, took her back to South Africa, to Southern Rhodesia, Kuwait -- where she managed to survive the six-day war unscathed -- and finally to Canada, where she spent some 20 happy years in Montreal. But home remained where her heart was, and in the mid 60s she bought her wee cottage in the heart of Okeford, where she lived until her dying day.

Anne was an enthusiastic participant in village life, and loved to be involved in everything that was going on, such as helping to serve coffee to village community group volunteers doing cleanups in the village. She played the organ regularly for church services  She was on the PCC, and always brought biscuits to PCC meetings. She also always huffed and puffed if any changes were suggested! 

Anne was always a ‘lady in lavender’, which was indeed her favourite colour scheme. Whenever offered coffee, she always said she would prefer something stronger.She would always write a thank you card for every smallest reason and, accompanying her signature, would always be two little musical notes.

Anne was devoted to her family of nephews and nieces, who, like her, spread themselves around the world, travelling to Dubai, Kenya, Australia, Thailand, Hongkong, the USA, you name it. Her final Christmas in 2015 was spent with as many as could be mustered in Scotland, a happy final chapter in her life.  

TT


From The Fippenny News, February, 2016:-

Anne Tucker 1933 - 2016

Sadly Anne died suddenly, from a heart attack, on 11th January It was the way she would have preferred to go, quickly and without a long stay in hospital. Her funeral was on Friday 22nd January at St. Andrew's.
She was born in Malaya and spent her early life there. In December 1942 the Japanese invasion forced her mother with the children to flee to safety from the war zone. Her father stayed and became a prisoner of war.
After a time in Africa the family returned to the UK. Anne was at boarding school until she went to study music in London. On leaving college, Anne became a teacher in Dorset, did a spell in Kuwait and then back to the UK, buying her cottage on the Cross in 1966. She became organist/choir mistress at St Andrew's and was there for the famous broadcast on the BBC. Wanderlust once more overtook her and she spent the rest of her teaching career in Montreal.
Returning to Okeford on her retirement she continued to travel the world on holiday but always happily settling back into her beloved cottage, enjoying village life and once more playing the organ at church.
Anne was with out doubt a 'character'. Outspoken, opinionated, at times exasperating and bossy, but for all that she was a loyal, caring friend, kind and generous to a fault. Willing to help, as long as baking was not involved. She rather proudly boasted 'I've never made a cake in my life' but relished other peoples, especially the chocolate ones. A very sociable woman, she enjoyed entertaining, (until increasing old age meant things got too much for her) and was the life and soul of any party. She loved to spend time with her scattered family, and until recent years drove many miles to visit them.
Some of my happiest memories of Anne are of long pot-luck lunches, lasting well into the afternoon, talking of books, music, village gossip, art, and travel. A true English eccentric, I shall miss her. Life will be duller without her.

JT




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