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Dora

Yesterday (7th June 2002) my Grandmother died. She was 97 years old. A few weeks ago she fell over and broke her hip which meant she had to spend some time in hospital. My father and his brother decided, quite rightly, that it was too much of a risk for her to live alone. They found a home for her up near where I live. This made loads of sense as my father is nearby as well as my brothers & sister and their respective broods. Dora wasn't really happy in her new home, she'd lived in the same house since 1933 with a brief gap while it was rebuilt after WWII. She died peacefully in her sleep after suffering a Deep Vein Thrombosis.

Dora with Daphne, her first guide dog.Dora was one of the most amazing people you could ever wish to meet. She entered service at the age of 13, training as a 'tweenie (between floors maid), before leaving to become a seamstress. She met & married my Grandfather and they moved to Kent.

In 1945 a V-1 flying bomb landed in the playing fields behind her house. She suffered horrific injuries from flying glass and lost her sight. She didn't let that faze her, she kept on working. You rarely saw her not making something. She was active in the Guide Dog Association and campaigned for accessability for guide dogs. She was the first person to take a guide dog into the Houses of Parliament. She was also a fierce campaigner for women's rights, long before the women's lib movement. My grandfather died some 25 years ago and she stayed right where she was (after a brief vacation when she took herself off to the USA to 'watch' the USA Open Tennis champonships) valuing her independence.

We'll miss her, but we will treasure her memory and the inspiration she gave all of us even more.

Dora with Daphne, her first guide dog.