Flora Ellen PECKHAM (1901-1991)

Flora Peckham was a much-loved and faithful member of the Bournemouth congregation. Her graciousness combined with a natural sweetness of temperament made an encounter with her memorable, although she was a shy and very private person. In 1981 when the congregation celebrated her eightieth birthday, she was genuinely surprised at receiving greetings from so many friends, believing that she was only known to her family and immediate neighbours.

Flora Ellen Hill was born on 24 September 1901. Her long marriage to Walter James Edward Peckham (190-1971), which took place in 1922, was a very happy union and she bore him one daughter, Rosie in 1927.

When tragedy struck her family, first in her daughter’s unhappy marriage and later in other domestic trials, Flora Peckham’s inner resources and strength of character became the rock on which her family found support. The death of her husband and of her daughter’s second marriage (which had been a happy one) in July 1978, were just such trials. Her fifteen grandchildren were blessed in having a second mother in “Gran” and when Rosie died suddenly in 1982 she assumed the role in earnest. Her personal example, wise counsel and generosity earned her both respect and deep affection.

From the opening of the Bournemouth Church in 1951, when all the clergy vested in her sitting room before processing from there into the church, she was a faithful member of the Bournemouth congregation. Increasing ill health and a stroke left her very frail, but mentally alert to the end. After her stroke she fought to regain control over her power of speech and showed that she had no fear of death by the calm manner in which she responded to each bout of illness and her spiritual preparedness. She died  on 12 November 1991 aged 90 years and is buried in the Wimborne Road Cemetery.

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