The Funeral And Thanksgiving Service For Joy Bigwood At Warminster Baptist Church

Thursday 4th August 2016:

 Joy Bigwood.
Photograph by Danny Howell. 

The funeral and thanksgiving service for Eva Bigwood, known to all as Joy Bigwood, was held at Warminster Baptist Church, North Row, Warminster, on Thursday 4th August 2016. It was attended by 24 persons. Joy Bigwood, who lived in Warminster, passed peacefully away at Salisbury District Hospital on Monday 18th July 2016.

The service was conducted by Rev. Andrew North, who made the introductory remarks, read the scripture and gave the devotion. The hymns: The King Of Love My Shepherd Is, For The Beauty Of The Earth, and Thine Be The Glory, were sung. The reading was Psalm 121, including verse 6: 'the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night.'

Joy's son, Tim Bigwood, wrote the following tribute which he read out during the funeral service:

"Eva Ketteringham was born in Salisbury Hospital, to proud parents Percy and Eva, on 2nd September 1929."

"She spent her childhood in Warminster, growing up with her sister Marjorie."

"Although named Eva, from an early age she was known as Joy, perhaps because of her happy and positive outlook on life, and this stayed with her throughout her childhood and adult life."

"As a young woman she worked as a shop assistant in the local Co-op, was a member of the WVS and, along with her sister, cooked and delivered hot meals to the elderly. She loved to cook and was still cooking and baking for neighbours up until leaving her home for the very last time."

"She attended the Baptist Church in North Row, Warminster, where she met George, a supporter and Trustee of the church and, in 1956, she married him here. In 1965 Joy Bigwood gave birth to me, their son Timothy. Joy gave up work to be a full time mother and housewife, devoting herself to her son and husband."

"On George's retirement, Joy and George moved to Suffolk for 17 very happy years, where Joy took on two part time jobs at the local wildlife park and the holiday camp where she was close to two of the things that she enthused about: a love of the seaside and a love of animals."

"Joy then returned to Warminster with George for her final years amongst old friends and family before passing away peacefully. She always said she was Wiltshire born and bred and that's where she should be."

"Throughout her life everyone and anyone who met Joy commented on her cheerfulness, positive outlook and willingness to help a friend or neighbour in need. She was not particularly one for material things and led a relatively simple and contented life. The important things to Joy were family, friends, community and her faith."

"Joy's grandparents lived at Imber and some time ago she jotted down a few notes on her memories of Imber village. I would like to share a small selection with you as Imber played an important role in Joy's life and she visited the site on many occasions after it was taken over by the armed forces and the villagers long gone."

'Happy Memories Of Imber' by Joy Bigwood:

'My grandparents were Emily and James Goddard. They lived at No.27 and then a cottage called 'The Barracks.' As a child it seemed to be dark and smoky but I loved the long garden full of fruit bushes, gooseberries, blackcurrants, red currants and, of course, plenty of vegetables. There were fields at the back, full of daisies and buttercups.'

'After my grandad died my gran moved into a new house with all mod cons and was there until the army had everyone moved out. It was heartbreaking for families who had lived in Imber for many generations.'

'The Goddards were Baptists and I used to go the little chapel, no longer standing. I loved the walk to chapel. It was a path that ran along the back gardens of cottages that were full of flowers. Everyone loved flowers; they were a picture.'

'A cricket match was held in the summer and my uncle Bert was one of the team. The match was held in a field next to a farm where I used to get gran's milk. It was always a little worry to me as the farm had two large dogs.'

'Another fond memory was gran's cooked breakfast ~ bacon, eggs and lots of mushrooms freshly picked that morning from up by the windmill.'

'My mother Eva Goddard married Percy Ketteringham. He was a soldier stationed at Imber before going to France. The marriage took place at Imber Church and my mother told me that the vicar had mud on his boots and tied them with string as he'd just come from his allotment.'

'Their first home was 'Church View,' which is now only a few bricks. Three daughters were born. Ester died as a baby and was buried at Imber. My sister Marjorie was also born at Imber and I came along after they had moved to Warminster.'

'A bus went through to Devizes, stopping at Imber twice a week. Sometimes in the summer holidays I was lucky enough to get a lift in the shop baker's van with the great smell of hot bread.'

'This was such a happy village. People helped one another and never grumbled. A post office-cum-shop, pub, church, chapel and blacksmith's ~ they asked for nothing more.'


Tim Bigwood continued:

"Of course Joy Bigwood was my mum and she was the best mum that a son could wish for. Together with my dad she provided a safe and loving family around me throughout my childhood and continued as a valued guide in my adult life."

"Some of my early memories are of a gentle and caring mum lulling me to sleep and cooking a myriad of treats with amazing aromas wafting from the kitchen."

"As a young boy I recall she always found time for me, showing boundless enthusiasm and energy even after a tiring day. She loved the seaside and we shared many a holiday collecting shells and exploring seaside villages and coves along the south coast."

"In my teens I remember a generous and proud mum always encouraging me with schoolwork. I also remember an endlessly patient mum when I displayed the behaviours of a typical teenager."

"As a student I remember a hard working but ever cheerful mum as I worked close by at the wildlife park during my summer long breaks in Suffolk."

"As a man I saw a loving and deeply loved mum and wife. Together mum and dad enjoyed a long and happy marriage, enjoying the joys and challenges of life together for over 53 years."

"I also saw a mum with inner strength who still thought about others first and didn't want to be a bother even after losing her husband of over 53 years and after becoming unwell during the final weeks of her life."

"Mum was a fine role model and raised me with strong family values, to respect other people and the natural world around me. She was always there to show me the way, always put me and dad first, always there for us."

"Just over six years ago I stood here to say a few words in remembrance of my father and I know that my mother missed him deeply every day since they were separated by his passing. Although this is a sad day as we say goodbye, in many ways it is also a joyous one as I know that Joy has found George once more and they are together again."

"Her favourite hymn was 'I've found a friend, O such a friend!' and I like to think the first verse amply describes both her love for God and for her beloved George."

'I've found a friend, O such a friend!
He loved me ere I knew Him;
He drew me with the cords of love,
And thus He bound me to Him;
And round my heart still closely twine
Those ties which naught can sever,
For I am His, and He is mine,
Forever and forever.'

"Eva 'Joy' Bigwood was my mum and I will remember her with love in my heart and thanks for the fondest of memories that will always stay with me."

After the commendation by Rev. Andrew North, the committal and interment took place at Pine Lawns Cemetery, Warminster.

The back cover of the order of service featured the words:

'There is one link that death cannot sever,
love and remembrance live forever.'

Below it was this photograph of George and Joy Bigwood with the caption: 'Together again.'

The funeral arrangements were carried out by F. Curtis & Son. Donations, in memory of Joy Bigwood, if desired, to the Dog's Trust, c/o F. Curtis & Son, 11 Portway, Warminster, BA12 8QG.