In loving memory of Joan Godfrey who sadly passed away on 30th November 2023. She will be sadly missed by all her family and friends.
Joan was born on the 4th March 1924, at 47 Glasford Street Tooting in London to John & Dora Walton. She was one of 4 sister, eldest sister was Marjorie, 2 younger sister, Eileen & Margaret (respectively). Also had a younger brother John, who was sadly killed in a motorcycle accident at the age of 22.
Joan left school at the age of 14, to work in the maternity unit at the Highgate Northern Hospital, weighing and measuring new-borns (very call the midwife)
At the outbreak of war in 1939 when she was 15, Joan was evacuated to Chichester to work in a children’s home, again in the maternity unit. Further postings, still dealing with children were to Staines, Bagshot and finally to Glyndebourne, where she oversaw the welfare of children who had been evacuated from the Elephant and Castle in London, it was a role in which she was most at her happiest during the war years.
Joan got to be in the know whilst at Glyndebourne and was privileged to see behind the scenes at the opera house and also managed to enjoy playing tennis and going for boat trips on the lake, these were lovely days for Joan, a rest bite from war work
Whilst on leave from Glyndebourne, Joan developed a bad leg infection that stopped her returning, so she was employed in a factory called Hunts, carrying out essential war work, making electronic devices for aircraft, here she stayed until after the war, then went onto work at Cluttons where her future Husband Tom also worked
Joan met Tom through the church, were she and her sisters were in the Girls Brigade and Tom was in the Boys Brigade. They first started dating when Joan was 18 and soon after got engaged as Tom was going off to war.
During Tom’s time in Europe, he was driving a lorry, fell asleep at the wheel and was repatriated to England with a broken arm. Whilst in Hospital, Tom got off with one off the nurses and decided to break off his engagement to Joan on her 21st Birthday. Realising what a mistake he had made, Tom went to see Joan to see if he could get back together with her, thankfully Joan said yes and they married in June 1947, a marriage that last for 53 years until Tom’s untimely passing 2001.
After marrying, Joan & Tom lived in a flat in the same street where Joan born in Tooting, but in 1948 and with the patter of tiny feet on the way, they then moved to Clayhill Crescent in Eltham as the flat became too small. In 1949, the first of 4 children were born (Patricia), followed by Marilyn in 1953, Sue in 1956 and finally John in 1959. In 1960, the family moved out of London to Primrose Ridge in Godalming. After the children had gone to school and the family had moved to Silo Road in Farncombe, Joan went to work for Berks pharmaceutical in Shalford for many years until she retired. In 1985, Joan & Tom moved to Siskin Grove in Waterlooville as again their home had become too small for the family, as they took on their grandchildren. In 2000, Joan & Tom moved to 5 Bramble Hall Lane in Boxhill. Sadly in 2001, Tom passed away. Joan spent the next 21 years happily living at number 5, taking part in many activities and making lots of friends.
Joan & Tom enjoyed coach trips, especially to Scotland on Wallace Arnold and Ledger. Through Tom’s work, they both enjoyed a trip to see West End shows.
Joan & Tom's big passion in life became Caravanning, after getting washed out on a family camping trip to Harlech Castle in Wales during the mid-60’s, Joan & Tom first had a static caravan over the Isle of Wight and moved onto touring caravanning, which they enjoyed for the next 34 years. Joan was known for her cooking and being in a caravan never stopped her baking cakes etc, who said it isn’t possible using a caravan kitchen.
In 1967 they joined the Sprite Club, where they enjoyed many years of club life up to Toms passing in 2001. Although Joan couldn’t caravan on her own after that, her daughter Marilyn took her caravanning regularly with herself and her family right up to 2019 when Joan took her last trip to Holland.
In September 2021, Joan, Sue & Marilyn enjoyed what was to be their last caravanning holiday together in the New Forest in a static caravan (a holiday that had been postponed from 2020 due to Covid pandemic). In September 2022, Joan and Marilyn went on their final caravanning holiday together to Anglesey to see Jenny who was the daughter of Joan & Tom's lifelong friends Stan & Barbara, sadly not long after that, Joan was admitted to hospital.
In October 2022, Joan was taken into East Surrey Hospital after a fall, when she stayed for the next 3 months. In January 2023, Joan was transferred to Barchester Beaumont Care home as an end of life patient due to her COPD (initially she was given 3-6 months). Joan became a new person there and the care and support given, gave Joan a new lease of life and its where she was so happy for the next 10 months.
Sadly, on 30th November 2023, Joan passed away peacefully surrounded by her family