Denton a village in South Norfolk, England

Ethel Mary Walker 15th August 1920 – 1st November 2009

From the Parish News – January 2010

It was with great sadness that we record the death of one of the oldest native residents in Denton, Ethel was born at Mill Farm, Denton, and apart from seven years when she and her late husband Billy lived in Earsham, her whole life of 89 years was spent in the village.

Her parents Samuel and Rosina Martin farmed at Mill Farm; Rosina was daughter of the Tyrrell family who farmed at Moat Farm, now "Oak Lodge". Ethel spent her childhood with her older sister Ivy at Mill Farm, from where they walked to Denton School every day whatever the weather, as well as helping on the farm. She continued to work the farm with her father after leaving school, and can recollect taking the Rent for the Glebe Meadows (opposite side of the road to Mill Farm), to the Rev. Lavers at Denton Rectory.

Ethel married Billy Walker on the 22nd April 1943 at Diss Registry Office. Billy, who lived at Trunch House before his marriage, moved to Mill Farm where their first son Brian was born. In 1944 the family gave up Mill Farm and moved to Vale Farm, where Joan and Peter were born. There over her time Ethel looked after her father, father-in-law and also her sister and niece. During their time at Vale Farm Billy worked as cowman for Jack and Bert Wade at Manor Farm until they gave up the farm.

In 1964 they moved to Bath Hills, Earsham. However they always wanted to return to Denton and in 1971 they came finally to live in "Homefield", almost next to her original home. In 1996 her husband Billy died, and in her latter years Ethel's life revolved around her family, especially her grandchildren and great-grandchildren and she was always at her happiest when they visited her.

She enjoyed knitting and sewing, she received commendation for knitting woolly hats for a project being organised by Lizzy Adeane. She also enjoyed the challenge of crossword puzzles and particularly watching the television cookery programmes. Ethel was particularly grateful for her good neighbours Karen, Roger and Derek who were a great support during her fading years.

She died peacefully at Adele House Nursing Home with her family at her bedside. Her funeral in St. Mary's, attended by many of her family and friends, was conducted by the Rev. Reg Kirkpatrick; her grandson Mark read a poem, "I am Free". The service was followed by burial in Denton Churchyard beside her late husband Billy.

Our sympathy and condolences go to Brian, Joan and John, Peter and Sally; grandchildren Darren, Clare, Jill and Mark with their families and great-grandchildren Jamie and Megan. We will remember her as a kind and gentle lady who loved her country roots.

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