Denton a village in South Norfolk, England

Monica Ready 23rd November 1920 – 5th January 2007

From the Parish News – February 2007

A large congregation attended St. Mary's Church to pay their respects to a lady who in her 27 years spent in Denton, through her quiet manner and example, had won the affection of Denton parishioners. Many of us were sad to say farewell to her as she left the village last October to join her daughter's family in Wiltshire, as she reluctantly accepted that her age, which she carefully disguised, had at last overcome her so that she needed to leave her beloved house, garden and most distressing of all her many friends in the village. It was her wish to be brought back to Denton for her final goodbye.

The service was conducted by the Rev. Barry Cramp assisted by Gill Hipwell, included a large extent of participation from her own family. We heard in the eulogy written and read by daughter Caroline details of her very full life, with a Bible text read by her son Nigel and other readings written and read by her grandchildren, all of whom had their own individual memories to record.

Caroline recounted her mother's childhood days in Bristol where Monica, one of a family of five daughters attended a convent school, where she developed a love of literature and history, this with her taste for art and music became a major influence in her life, especially during her later years of widowhood.

Monica's father Walter, an accomplished cricketer, while on holiday on Exmoor invited Colin Ready to make up a team for a cricket match, where he met Monica and they instantly fell in love, as was said by Colin's sister Mary "Clad in school blazers and gymslips". It was a love that never faltered although at times it was greatly tested. At the outbreak of the war Colin joined the army, Monica influenced by this and the experience of the bombing of Bristol City, volunteered for the ATS. They had a wartime marriage dressed in uniform, her sisters Rita, Joan, Ruth and Sheila pooled clothing coupons to buy a silk nightdress; the only concession to luxury. They had a short honeymoon, and then were parted for three years. Monica smoked a cigarette for the first time given to her by her CO, when she learned that Colin had been reported missing, it was some time later she was told he was safe by a telegraph boy, whilst she and her sister stood frozen on the stairs at their house in Bristol. Colin's war time experiences however were to haunt him for the rest of his life, and eventually overpowered him causing him to take his own life some twenty years ago.

Colin completed his degree on returning from the war, and they moved to Chester to live in a farm cottage which they renovated, but, disillusioned by post-war England, Colin took a contract in East Africa and was joined there shortly after by Monica. This was the start of engineering contracts that took them to many parts of the world including West Pakistan, the Fiji Islands, Scotland and Iran. For seven years they had a home near Tonbridge in Kent, and it was from there they came to live in "Sawyers" and found the home and life they both loved in Norfolk. It was during these years of travel that their three children were born, Nigel in Dar Es Salaam, Caroline in Scotland and Juliet in the Fiji Islands.

During her years in Denton Monica became a very familiar face at village events, her great support for the Church life was predominant, rarely missing an event or service, her expertise in floral arranging was always appreciated, the gift of the donations made in her memory to Denton Church reflect this devotion. She was for several years secretary for the Conservative and the Disabled Associations, and was also a member of the local Bridge Club. Her love of Bridge and her passion for literature and Church life brought her in close contact with William Pickard, and it was to be the second great loss of the love in her life when William died, which left her very distraught. It was the love which encompassed so many of the friends and associates she met that will perpetuate her memory.

Our sympathy and condolences go to her loving family of whom she was so proud.

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