Emily Margaret Pauline Graves (19 Nov 1929 - 13 Aug 2014)

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Acocks Green Christian Centre Alongside 100 Westley Road Acocks Green B27 7UL
4th Sep 2014
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Yardley Crematorium Yardley Road Birmingham B25 8NA
4th Sep 2014


In loving memory of the late Emily Margaret Pauline Graves 'Pauline' who sadly passed away on 13th August 2014.

Born in Durban, South Africa, she married Stanley Francis Graves after he returned from fighting with the Allied forces in WWII, in Italy.

Between them they had four children, nine grandchildren, and to date 5 great-grandchildren, with another two on the way.

She has also lived in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), and the UK. She has worked as a secretary, nursery school teacher, librarian and for an animal rescue charity.

She loved to sew, knit and garden; wherever she has lived he has started a garden and grown her own vegetables.

She loved to read, novels, non-fiction and poetry.

In character she was forthright, devoted to family, determined and well-informed. She had an irreverent sense of humour, and loved music, especially from the forties and fifties.

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Alison Hiscock wrote

Here is an extract from a book Pauline write in the last years of her life. She describes her first taste of working in a library:

I had been told that I would easily find a job and so, as soon as we were settled (after arriving in Rhodesia, now known as Zimbabwe), I went to the Government Job Centre. When asked what I could do, I replied, “Type”. They looked through their files and asked would I like to work in a library? Would I! I nearly jumped over the counter to hug the woman. So that was how I became a clerk/typist in the library of the Ministry of Agriculture.

The woman in charge, Mrs Man, was a fully qualified librarian, with a degree in Library Science. She was also a dear. The two of us became friends very quickly. She not only helped me to get to know everything I needed to know in the library, but she became a personal friend and generously gave me loads of plants from her beautiful garden to help me start mine.

I loved the work. Every part of it. I typed library cards and spent hours and hours putting them into long drawers in alphabetical order until I felt cross-eyed: this was before the age of computers.

I did not mind going through endless journals looking for an elusive article one of the extension officers had seen.

“I’m sure it was in the Farmers’ Weekly,” one would say vaguely, “and it had a picture in colour all about sheep.”

Well, invariably it would turn up in a completely different publication, in black and white, and would be all about cattle!

Once a man came in looking for a book.

“It’s about this big,” he said, showing me the space between his hands, “and it’s green.”

Gently I explained that we did not file our books by colour or size, only by the author’s name.

It was at the Ministry of Agriculture that I learned all I needed to know about ‘specialists’. A specialist is someone who knows more and more about less and less until he knows everything there is to know about nothing at all. One phoned me one morning, and the conversation went something like this:

Me: “Good morning, Central Library. Can I help you?”

“Er, yes, good morning. This is er, erm, um, this is er, er…”

“Yes, Dr R, what can I do for you?” (He couldn’t remember his own name, but I’d recognized his voice…)

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Alison Hiscock wrote

Here is a link to one of Mom's favourite stories, which she read to us as children, and also to her grandchildren.

It was one of my daughter's favourites, and she read it to her Gran in hospital, in the final days of her life.

I hope you enjoy it!


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