Eslyn Woodward (14 Aug 1918 - 7 Oct 2014)

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Funeral Service

Location
St Albans Catholic Church Roe Farm Lane Derby DE21 6ET
Date
22nd Oct 2014
Time
12pm

Burial Details

Location
Nottingham Road Cemetery Nottingham Road Derby DE21 6FN
Date
22nd Oct 2014
Time
1pm

Woodward – Eslyn Derrick, known as ‘Mick’, 96, died on Tuesday 7th October 2014 at Derby Royal Hospital.

Mick leaves behind five children, Coral, Anne, Derrick, Liz and Freda; seven grandchildren, Sarah, Katy, Rachel, Richard, Jack, Joanna and Alicia; three great-grandchildren, Darcy, Daisy and Beatrice; and many relatives and friends across the world. He was pre-deceased by his beloved wife of 65 years, Yvonne, and his eight siblings.

Born on 14th August 1918 in Adra, India to Frederick and Louisa Woodward, Mick was the seventh of nine children in a close and loving family. In 1924, the family moved to Bilaspur, where Mick attended the railway settlement primary school. He remembered these as carefree, adventurous years and it was during this time that he nurtured his love of games and sport and revealed his lifelong passion for wildlife, notably through the rearing of his infamous pet leopard cub, Spotty. From aged ten, Mick began attending boarding school in Calcutta – an eighteen-hour train ride from home. At Saint Xavier’s School he was happy and excelled at sport. Around 1934 Mick returned to Bilaspur and lived at Margaret Villa, a home designed and built by his father and always fondly remembered.

In 1936 Mick joined the Territorial Army; he was later invited to join the regular army, and in 1938 became a member of the Royal Signals regiment. Though trained as a wireless operator, in 1939, Mick transferred to become a despatch rider, and participated in numerous campaigns in the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Europe during and after the Second World War. Mick proudly served in the British Army for 22 years and was decorated with seven medals: the 39-45 Star, the Indian Defence Medal, the Burma Star, the Africa Star, the British Defence Medal, the Victory Medal and the Long Service and Good Conduct Medal. Mick relished the friendships, travel and experiences afforded to him as a soldier and the opportunities to play hockey – a sport he loved – for his regiment.

On his return to India following the Second World War, Mick met his wife, Yvonne, whom he married in Nagpur on 9th November 1946. Following the declaration of Indian independence, Yvonne, Mick and their first child, Coral, moved with the regiment to England, taking passage to Liverpool in 1948 aboard the Empress of Australia. This voyage marked the start of their life in the UK, though international military postings followed in Egypt and Germany. Mick took retirement from the Army in 1959 and in 1960 the family moved to Dartford, Kent to be close to Mick’s siblings. Here Mick and Yvonne raised their five children and enjoyed watching their grandchildren grow.

Mick was a skilled mechanic and a passionate gardener, woodcarver and craftsman. He was also an enthusiastic cook and enjoyed recreating his mother’s curry-based dishes. His love of travel and nature never left him and was nourished in later life through his avid collection of foreign stamps and coins, his study of maps and the travel stories of his children and grandchildren.

In 2001, Mick and Yvonne relocated to Derby, where they lived with Coral, Liz and Jack. Here Mick made a number of fond new friends and sustained his many interests while keeping in close correspondence with his family members around the world. It gave Mick enormous pleasure to recount the stories of his childhood and the travels and adventures that ensued. We hope that those who knew him might take a moment to share their memories of Mick on this website.

The funeral service will take place on Wednesday 22nd October at 12pm at St. Alban’s Catholic Church Roe Farm Lane, Chaddesden, Derby, followed by a burial at Nottingham Road Cemetery. All attendees are welcome to join the family afterwards at a reception at the Breadsall Priory, Moor Lane, Derbyshire.

Mick was a generous supporter of many causes, but particularly the Royal British Legion (RBL). If you would like to make a charitable contribution to the RBL in his memory it is possible to do so via the link on this website.

Georgie Vine wrote

The world may never notice
If a Snowdrop doesn't bloom,
Or even pause to wonder
If the petals fall too soon.
But every life that ever forms,
Or ever comes to be,
Touches the world
in some small way
For all eternity.
~Author Unknown

.....and so too does yours, Uncle Mick. My thoughts are with your family and all whose lives you touched.

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hilary wilson hilary & gladys wrote

Mick was our neighbour for many years and we will miss him very much, he was a true gentleman, with a great sence of humour, mum will miss his phone calls god bless mick. I will always think of him when I. Watch Mrs brown boys xx

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Alicia Woodward posted a picture
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Margaret and John Simmons wrote

part 2
Dad was a gentleman, very kind and thoughtful. Generous, he supported various charities and causes.He had great insight and an understanding of people. He was practical, he loved working with wood, he made me a side table and a lamp.He collected tools and in James Road had a shed and a garage full of bits of wood and things, he always knew where everything was. He wore shirts and waistcoats with pockets in order to carrry essentials like a screwdriver or two.They weighed a ton!
He collected pictures and newspaper clippings to show visitors.He enjoyed writing letters and cards.One of his last cards was full of memories about Cooie his yonger sister (he gave her that nickname) and how his parents travelled to Australia with her in 1949.Dad embraced IT he had a facebook account and loved to skype the family in Australia.

He enjoyed the cafe culture, a nice piece of cake and a cappuccino but most of all he loved telling stories and chatting.

Dad was a professional soldier, in the Royal Signals for 22 years serving during World War II and after in Europe.Coral was born in India, Anne in Egpyt, Derrick in Darlington and Liz in Germany. I was born after Dad retired from the Army in Dartford. He remained a soldier at heart always inspecting new places,security conscious curtains had to pulled tight, no gaps. He would eye your shoes/boots as soon as you arrived and loved nothing more than giving them the army standard polish.

Dad was always dapper, he loved hats. I love looking at photos of him when he was young but really he didn't change much, his standards were always high.

Recently Dad and Liz embarked on a tour visiting me in Eastbourne, he loved Beachy Head, Birling Gap and the sheep farms. He went to the Towner art gallery. They went on to visit Derrick and Debbie in their lovely house in Kent and then to Anne and Geoff's house where they spent time with Rachel and Tony and their two amazing daughters, Darcy and Daisy.
I wore the necklace that Dad bought me for Christmas, to the funeral. Apparently he chose it from a catalogue and knew exactly what he had in mind.I could hear him saying
" that's a flashy one my girl".

Mum and Dad were married for 65 years in later years Dad looked after Mum with great love and tenderness. They were very happy. Dad lived a long,full life to the end he was a great character.
He lived in various countries, adapting to new cultures and new people.Moving to Derby to live with Coral didn't seem to faze him he just embraced the new experience joined a lunch club and the local branch of the signals and met new friends.He never stopped living, he had a great love of life.

Freda

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Chris and Michael Payne donated £25 in memory of Eslyn

To Mr Woodward,

What a full and interesting life you have had. May you now rest in eternal peace, reunited with all your loved ones, gone but not forgotten. Thank you for being a wonderful neighbour.

With much love from Chris and Michael.

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Cath Green wrote

Mick was a wonderful friend and will never be forgotten. His sense of humour was an inspiration to us all. With love from all your friends at St. Alban's Catholic Church Chaddesden

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Paul St.Denis wrote

My family and I are so saddened to hear of Mick's passing. He was a true gem in so many ways.
I had the fortunate blessing of meeting him only once last year around the time of Katy and Phil's wedding. I had heard of what a nice and interesting man he was ahead of my meeting him, and he truly did not disappoint in the least. He graciously shared his background with my son Eric and me, while truly enjoying hearing of ours.
Most people in their later years tend to confuse details in their memory. With Mick, there was virtually none of that in his conversations.
He proudly shared his cherished collection of photos from various times in his life. He also beamed when he displayed his military medals, and rightly so!
He loved playing with Phil's little nephews, and was able to keep their names, along with all our names straight all week long.
Eric and I have talked about our wonderful visit to London last year, and both agree that our time spent with Mick was indeed the highlight of our experience!
The world has lost a wonderful person. How lucky those of us that were able to get to know him were. His long life and time shared with his family was a true blessing for them and him as well. They were as proud of him as he was of them, as was evident watching them interact.
We will miss him deeply, and thank God for having met him. I pray he is resting peacefully as he so deserves.
Godspeed to you, Mick!

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Robyn Fry (nee Woodward) wrote

Even though we are thousands of miles away in Australia, it is with the greatest affection and fondness that we remember "Uncle Mick" and his incredible kindness, compassion, good humour and generosity towards others.
To explain the connection, Uncle Mick and Aunt Eileen were the youngest children of the large Woodward family and my grandfather, Frederick (Fred) Woodward was their older brother. Fred and his wife Sheila, who settled in Adelaide South Australia after leaving India, had four children - Terry, Cynthia, Fred (my dad whose nickname was "Mousie") and Corrie.
It is also worth mentioning the Adelaide contingent's spouses and their children as over the years some of us were able to visit and meet Uncle Mick and Aunt Yvonne as well as Aunt Eileen and Uncle Stan and I am sure we all have fond memories of them and their children and grandchildren. The Adelaide family are: Terry who married Aileen and had 3 children - Peter, Meredith and Paul; Cynthia who married Noel and had 5 children - Guy, Kym, Mary Ann, Sharon and Jane; Fred who married Tana and had 3 children - me (Robyn), Stephen and Kerry; and Corrie who married Howard and had 2 children - David and Nicolle.
I first met Uncle Mick, Aunt Yvonne, Coral, Liz and Freda in 1978 when as a young University student I was travelling in Europe for the first time and stayed with Aunt Eileen and Uncle Stan over Christmas. My fondest memory though was the visit to Kent in about September/October 2001 when my husband Grant and I travelled to England with my mum, Tana, and my daughter Anne-Marie. Anne-Marie was only 2 years old at the time and was a big fan of Bob the Builder. I clearly recall Uncle Mick spoiling Anne-Marie with Bob the Builder chocolates and from that time on he went out of his way to post cards and presents to her for Christmas and her birthdays. As a young child it was always so exciting for Anne-Marie to receive a special card in the post on these occasions from Uncle Mick and Aunt Yvonne who lived so far away in England. This remains a wonderful memory for us.
Later when I didn't get a chance to write or send emails I would always ask my mum, Tana, for updates on Uncle Mick and the broader family via Aunty Cynthia. The distance between us lessened considerably when Aunty Cynthia discovered Skype and most ably kept in touch with Uncle Mick and news of the UK clan.
Some of us were incredibly fortunate to meet Uncle Mick and Aunt Yvonne in person. Although our visits were only brief and few and far between, it didn't take long to work out that Uncle Mick was a wonderful story teller and I enjoyed his tales of days gone by immensely.
Over the years Uncle Mick made an amazing effort to stay in touch with family in Australia. I truly appreciate the opportunities I had to spend some time with him and his always warm and welcoming family. Special thanks to Coral, Freda and Liz for their updates at various times and for keeping in touch with us here in the Antipodes. I know that Uncle Mick will be most sadly missed and we are thinking of you all at this time.

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Tina Reeder donated £30 in memory of Eslyn

God bless, Mick. Have a real good rest now. Love, Tina

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Margaret and John Simmons wrote

Dad was a great storyteller he had an amazing memory for places,people and dates. His mum called him naughty Nick he loved teasing his little sister Aunty Eileen.He went to a boarding school but would take himself off to visit his sister Ines and her husband Aubrey.
He loved animals and would watch wildlife programmes on TV.
Growing up with these tales of adventure made me want to travel too so I went to Africa and the Middle East and to Australia where I met more of this incredible family.
He loved his food pickles and curry and fruit. He was a keen gardener and his garden in James Road was full of fruit trees peaches cherry and apple.
He loved sport he played hockey in his younger days and then enjoyed watching football, boxing and athletics.
He loved a good film anything with Clint Eastwood. He loved comedy and would throw back his head and laugh and laugh no sound coming out just his belly dancing.It was so funny and we would all end up laughing too.
He collected stamps and coins too he was so upset with the Euro as his range became limited!

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colleen field wrote

Hello Freda,
Whew! Memories of your Dad?
It's more how I saw you and what he meant to you. I recall travelling up with you to Derby and the next day we took your Dad out for afternoon tea. He had been so looking forward to that. He did enjoy the stimulation of being out with people he knew & trusted, we went up to Belper where he felt at home. We sat in the hot sun, in pleasant surroundings.
Then there was the passing of your Mum. Such a difficult time for all involved. I felt it a privilege to be part of the family's process of grieving for a loved one, your Dad's coming to terms with the loss of a wife. But he had a supportive family and that gave him strength. That's how I remember him, being cared for.
You will all miss him so much.

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Margaret and John Simmons wrote

In all our visits to the U.K. which is a total of 9 visits including the most recent visit John & I have always made time to go and visit the families in the U.K. especially Uncle Mickey, Aunty Evonne and Aunty Eileen. In that time we have met and got to know Uncle Mickey we grew very very fond of him and found him to be a very warm and loving person and so many stories over that time, we will miss him very much. It almost seems like he was waiting for John and I to arrive and we both spent as much time with him as we could during our last visit which will stay in our memories forever. Our sincere condolence's to all the families in the U.K.
Much love.
John & Margaret

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Ingrid Pires wrote

Looking back with memories upon the path you trod, We bless the hours we had with you and leave the rest to God. Those we love we never lose, for always they will be, loved remembered, honoured - Always in our memory.
Our darling Uncle Mick - from Jean Glenn Mitchell and Ingrid Pires

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