Raymond Chapman (19 May 1926 - 13 Jan 2021)

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RaymondSt Christopher's Hospice

£500.00 + Gift Aid of £113.75
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Donate in memory of
RaymondAction for Children

£270.00 + Gift Aid of £60.00
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Funeral Service

Location
Beckenham Crematorium Elmers End BR3 4TD
Date
5th Feb 2021
Time
2pm
Funeral Director
N. S. Wibberley Funerals

In loving memory of Ray Chapman.

Ray was a very loving husband and will be greatly missed. I have many happy memories. I am profoundly grateful that his death was so peaceful and in his own bed and that I was able to care for him at home until the end. With much love , Judi

Please make a donation to the charities listed here rather than sending flowers.

Due to the restrictions, the funeral is sadly by invitation only, but the details of the live webcast of the funeral are as follows:
Website https://www.obitus.com/
Username Jeyo1322
Password 158191

Memorial service at church will follow when restrictions allow.

Georgina Hamblyn donated in memory of Raymond
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Marie Shallcross donated in memory of Raymond

Ray was a lovely man; it was always a delight to chat with him. I will treasure my memories of him, as will Nathan

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Dorothea Jessop donated in memory of Raymond
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Carol Weston donated £30 in memory of Raymond

In memory of a lovely man, who always had a quip to tell.

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Jane Davies donated in memory of Raymond

A great cause to support in memory of such a lovely man.

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Sarah and Chris Phillips donated £30 in memory of Raymond

Such a gentleman, and Judi and Ray are very special people.

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Lorraine Payne donated in memory of Raymond

Rest in peace, Raymond.
RC recruited me into Northern Rock BS in 1981 and I was fortunate to work for Raymond at the London Regional Office of NR between 1985 - 1989 when he retired. I learnt a great deal and will always be grateful to him.

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Linda and Eddie England donated £30 in memory of Raymond

It has been an absolute privilege to have been next door neighbours to Ray for the last 15 years. He has always been the perfect gentleman. We shall all really miss him. RIP.
Lots of love Linda, Eddie, Charlotte and Jack xxxx

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June Mackenzie donated in memory of Raymond
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Joy Ferguson donated £50 in memory of Raymond

An absolute gentleman.

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Tracey Miller donated in memory of Raymond

In memory of dear Ray.

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Mark Chapman wrote

Ray was born on 19th May 1926 at 70 Every Street Nelson, Lancashire to Gordon & Lily Chapman who themselves were born when Queen Victoria was still on the throne. This was the same month as David Attenborough and Eric Morcambe were born. He was born into a close knit devoutly Methodist community recovering from the horrors of the First World War.
Ray did not talk too much to me about his childhood, but it revolved around the life of Carr road Methodist Church. He was fully immersed in games, parties, Sunday school and worship which instilled into him deeply held Christian views which he questioned, sometimes profoundly throughout the whole of his life, but which he held onto. These Christian values guided him through his whole life and subsequently our lives - for which we are very thankful.
As a boy he enjoyed his sport and was capped at cricket for Lancashire schoolboys. We have all heard him talk about what a wonderful cricketer Learie Constantine was. The professional for Nelson in the Lancashire League from 1928 - 1937. Indeed I was interested to realise that he left Nelson when Ray was only 11.
It was at this age that Ray’s love for fairgrounds was kindled. He used to sit on his 3-legged tuffet by the roadside watching the traction engines pull their fairground rides and side shows up the hill outside his house. Indeed, I remember his surprise and delight when middle aged he was reunited with Bertha, a showman traction engine from his childhood under a tarpaulin at Leven’s Hall. Indeed, this love of the fairground continued, as small children we spent much time visiting fairgrounds, rather to our mothers dismay. Recently, I found a copy of Fairground World in his desk- to which he had taken out a subscription.
I think Ray was a reasonably able student, attending the local grammar school and on leaving -aged 17 – there were no A-levels, was taken on by the Burnley building society, whose motto “is by service we progress”. I assume he worked as an accounts clerk there were no computers in those days to work out the compound interest.
The 2ww broke out when Ray was 13. I remember him telling me how distraught he was when his father called up the stairs to say the HMS Hood had been sunk. 5 days after his 15th birthday. 3 years later aged 18 in 1944 he received his call up papers. Ray talked little about his war service. Initially, he wanted to join the RAF but the need was for infantry to serve in the Far East. He did his initial square bashing in Lancashire before setting sail for Burma and being terribly sick in the Bay of Biscay. In Burma he fought the Japanese until their surrender following the dropping of the Atom Bomb. I doubt he would have come home if this had not happened.
I am not sure when he was de mobbed but it was not for a few more years. He was posted to Rawalpindi in India and tried to help maintain the peace between Hindu’s and Muslims in their fight for Independence from Great Britain and the partitioning of their country. I think this mainly consisted of clearing up dead bodies. At this time he was seriously injured by a truck requiring hospitalisation. As part of his convalescence, he served in Lord Mountbatten’s map room in Calcutta and met Neru.
Finally, he came home to Lancashire in about 1946-7. He was offered his old job back at the Burnley Building Society.
I suspect Ray found it very difficult to process his war years. He was dislocated from a loving Christian community, an only child surrounded by doting Aunts and Uncles, to the brutal life of an Infantry man. Indeed, having signed the Temperance Pledge he went through his war years tee total upholding his Christian values. And ever since has been very warry about the risks of wine and alcohol.
I assume, he found it very difficult to settle back in Nelson after his war experiences and he quickly took up an offer to move to the London Branch of the Burnley Building Society.
He moved to Bloomsbury in London and came under the influence of Herbert Butler at the Burnley B/S. He played a major part in Ray’s career primary by urging him to move to the Rock B/S, which later became the Northern Rock, where he stayed for the rest of his career. He also moved from Bloomsbury to the Manse of Upper Norwood Methodist Church where Arnold Bellwood was minister. I suspect his father Gordon played a part in suggesting this solution to help Ray find his feet again in civi street.
It was at Upper Norwood Methodist Church that Ray met the Gilmour twins Heather & Joy who had returned from working in Geneva. Ray took a shine to Heather and indeed they kissed for the first time on Norwood Common only a couple of miles away but well over half a century ago.
They married in 1952, bought a house in Colesburg Road before moving to 39 Greenways which Gillian and I were born in the 60’s.
Ray commuted daily to the West End of London, Conduit street, rising up the ranks of the Northern Rock Building society. Sadly, I am not qualified to talk about his work but I know that he was inspired by the ideas of hard work, prudence and home ownership. He opened many branches of the Northern Rock from Brighton to Cambridge and made over a thousand trips to Head Quarters in Newcastle. In the process he helped many people become homeowners. He perfected a talk on the romance of the B/S and home ownership. Towards the end of his career, I think, he found the transition from mutual status to one of Banks difficult and indeed with the collapse of Northern Rock after he retired probably felt his position was vindicated.
As a man of his generation the roles of husband and father were clear and distinct. He always arrived home at the same time, the Evening Standard folded on the same page- JAC cartoon and had a bath before dinner at 5.45 followed by washing up, conversation and shoe cleaning.
Ray had a great love of books and scholarship. Our house was full of books and holidays were spent looking for second hand book shops to fill already over flowing shelves. From this flowed stimulating conversation and occasionally heated disagreements. As in the reading I remember discussing what Paul meant by principalities and power - we didn’t agree! His protestant work ethic was strong and he was determined that Gillian and I would realise our potential. I still remember his attempts at Saturday school and spelling tests on Sunday afternoon before Match of the Day. He was rather risk adverse- he took a lot of persuading to allow me to own a bicycle- too dangerous and Heather had to have driving lessons in secret. I am sure this was his way of protecting and loving his family.
Devastatingly, Heather died in 1982 just as Ray was getting ready to retire. This was a huge blow and he coped with typical British fortitude. I was at University by this time and Gillian bore much of brunt supporting him though this difficult time. He found solace in watching cricket, reading and music. I think he must have been desperately sad, but this only showed occasionally. Gillian was his consolation, a huge burden for a 16yr old girl. For the first time Ray now ventured abroad for his holidays and over the next few years they had some lovely trips to Rome, Paris etc..
He was a staunch member of the Bromley Road Methodist Church for probably 40 years, running the Youth Group, teaching in Sunday School and being Church and Circuit Steward on a number of occasions. It was here that he met Jan Hetherington who had an elder sister Judi. Jan arranged a blind date and Ray fell in love a second time. Ray and Judi married in 1991 leaving Greenways to move to Kenwood Drive. He also left his beloved Methodist Church and became an Anglican attending St Georges Church regularly with Judi.
Then followed many happy years holidaying, visiting family and getting to know grandchildren. He was able to spend more time with his books and music the accruements of which filled the house – I suspect to Judi’s frustration!
Growing older he was vehemently opposed to any form of medical intervention, much to our frustration and despite or in spite of this was in good form to celebrate his 90th birthday in Bromley. However, he was becoming increasingly infirm and in his last 3 years do not leave the house. He died peacefully in his sleep at home which was his wish – indeed our wish. We are truly grateful to Judi who was able to care, look after him and love him right to the end. Thank you.
Now in true Raymond fashion I’ve gone on too long, but I hope you have found it interesting.

In summary Raymond’s life was shaped by his strong loving Christian up bringing in Nelson followed by a rude awaking to the world as an Army Infantry man. Then a period of readjustment and two long happy marriages. He had an inquiring mind always striving for knowledge and this perhaps did not make him an easy or comfortable man to live with but he always strove to do what was right from a Christian perspective. He was a devoted husband to Heather and Judi and father to Gillian and I.
By complete coincidence or perhaps a God moment my bible reading verse on the day he died was John 14 1-6 … Jesus speaking
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God believe also in me. In my father’s house are many dwelling places. If it were not so would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself so that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way to the place where I am going”.
Raymond did know the way and I believe would have said Amen to those words.

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Comments

  • Thanks for that lovely tribute. I was recruited by Ray in 1976 to work in Conduit Street. We shared a common love of Jesus and he would often at managers meetings ask “ who can give me a text from the bible as I have a talk to prepare “ A simple but profound way of saying where he stood on Christian matters. Invariably when we met he would ask me when I was going to return to the true church as he considered my belonging to the house church/ happy clappy brigade not correct. All done with good grace and many an interesting discussion ensued. . I did meet you at your mothers funeral as several of us from Northern Rock attended to support Ray . I know he enjoyed eating at the In And Out club in Piccadilly. After his retirement and indeed many ex managers, we used to have an annual reunion at a wine bar restaurant In Fleet Street to reminisce on times passed and indeed put the world to rights. It was a real privilege to have known him and a blessing to me as he was to very many others. John Hooper.

    Posted by John on 28/02/2021 Report abuse
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Mark & Sue Chapman donated £50 in memory of Raymond
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Mark & Sue Chapman donated £50 in memory of Raymond

to our loving father and grand father

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Tracey, Jack and Alex Miller donated in memory of Raymond

In memory of dear Ray Chapman.

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Vanessa Vavala wrote

It is so lovely to see these pictures of Ray -- especially with that ever present twinkle in his eyes. We had hoped to visit England and see him again, but that was before the pandemic. Sending you all love and prayers.

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Alison Emsley is attending the funeral
Desmond and Ann Hall donated £50 in memory of Raymond

It was always a great pleasure to meet such a bright and cheerful character, a true gentleman in the old sense of the word. Ann especially enjoyed many challenging but very good humoured discussions with him and we shall miss him.
Love from us both. Desmond and Ann.

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joan conway is attending the funeral
Gillian Chapman posted a picture
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Gillian Chapman posted a picture
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Gillian Chapman wrote

My wonderful Dad .... so many happy memories - singing on the school run, playing in the garden, coffee and an iced bun on a Saturday morning, hours spent in second-hand bookshops ...

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Gillian Chapman posted a picture
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Gillian Chapman donated £50 in memory of Raymond

Lots of love from Gillian, Graham, Izzie and Heloise x

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Gillian Chapman donated £50 in memory of Raymond

Lots of love from Gillian, Graham, Izzie and Heloise x

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Paul Francis donated £50 in memory of Raymond

It was always good to spend time in Ray's company, a warm welcome with good discussion and robust debate.

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Mark Chapman posted a picture

Ray with Gillian & Mark

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Mark Chapman posted a picture
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Heather Walker wrote

Ray was always so pleased to see me and was interested to know all about my family. He was a real gentleman so kind and caring.

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Elizabeth Verlander donated in memory of Raymond
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