Mrs Pamela Vaughan-Jones
4 April 2019
In loving memory of Pam
Resident of The Royal Star & Garter Homes
We are privileged to have been able to care for Pam and we are very grateful for the generous support from family and friends in her memory.
We are pleased to share below the wonderful tribute from her daughters and the kind messages from everyone who has remembered Pam in this way.
Pamela Elsie Roberts was born in Hove on the 27th February 1925, the youngest of three daughters. Her father, Sidney had qualified as an engineer by attending night school, and throughout her life Pam recognised the value of working hard to gain a secure job in a good profession.
At the age of three, Pam had a terrible accident and was very badly scalded by fire. At first doctors thought she might not survive. It took many years for her to recover, and she was permanently scarred.
Pam’s family moved to Bristol when she was six, but returned to Hove three years later. Pam and her sisters attended the new Hove County Grammar school. Pam was sporty, playing in the netball and hockey teams. She also won several awards for swimming, which she treasured.
During the War Pam was evacuated to Settle in Yorkshire. The local people came to the village to choose their evacuees but Pam and her friend, both rather gawky fourteen year olds, were not chosen so the Billeting Officer took them round the village. Reluctantly at first the local Co-Op Manager and his wife took Pam in, and soon became very fond of her.
The school buildings were shared, so Pam attended school in the afternoons only. In the mornings, their teachers used to take them walking on the Yorkshire moors. She thought the scenery was magnificent. Pam and her friend got free tickets to the cinema and so they went a lot – maybe, this is when she gained her penchant for ice cream. Pam passed her school matriculation and had a special dispensation, as she had only been able to attend school part-time. She always said this was lucky, as otherwise she would have failed.
In 1943, ever the enthusiastic volunteer for a new adventure and aged just 18, Pam enlisted in to the army Auxiliary Territorial Service and was stationed in Goodge Street. This was very much against the wishes of her father who didn’t want his daughter living in London during the Blitz, but Pam enjoyed her life in central London.
One of her responsibilities was to set up a library for returning troops and was allocated a 17 year old German POW who helped her and did jobs like lighting the fire in the morning and clearing it up in the evening. Pam and her fellow soldiers became very fond of the young German and saved him sweets from their rations and she often wondered what happened to him after the war.
In August 1944 when a depot was bombed in London, Pam and her colleagues formed part of a human chain passing buckets along the line to put out the flames. Their actions were reported in the Evening Standard.
Although Pam enjoyed the camaraderie of the army, her feisty temperament wasn’t so well suited to anything she considered futile. She would still grumble about various regimental punishments, such as washing coal, well into her 90s!
Always one for a party, on VE Day Pam went out to celebrate with other ATS women she was stationed with, dancing the Hokey Cokey in and out of the fountains of Trafalgar Square and staying out all night. They met American GIs and burnt benches in Hyde Park to keep warm.
Pam was demobbed in 1946 aged 21 and worked for several years as a secretary in London, playing tennis at weekends and in her free time. She met Peter and they married in the Spring of 1953.
Pam and Peter set up home in Hove as they loved being by the sea, and they had three daughters – Mandy was born in 1954, followed by Nicola and Emma.
Instead of continuing her work as a secretary, Pam wanted more from life and when Emma reached nursery age decided to run her own business and started a nursery school, called the Jack and Jill Nursery. The nursery school was very popular and successful.
Pam encouraged her daughters to live life to the full. She had a great sense of humour and could laugh at herself. She and Peter were very sociable and great fun, with an adventurous spirit. Family holidays were taken caravanning all over Europe.
Pam’s determination came to the fore in her forties when Peter had to retire early due to ill health. She took a full-time job, took advantage of the training on offer in her company and became a counsellor. Working mothers were unusual at the time. She was a great role model for her daughters.
Sadly Peter died just as Pam retired. But true to form she harnessed her enthusiasm for life and adapted to her new circumstances. She learnt to play Bridge and Bowls, winning “Best Newcomer”. She went skiing for the first time.
The Grandchildren arrived and she embraced them, her family was so important to her, and she was an invaluable support to them.
Adventure beckoned and at 66 she flew across the world to meet her daughter Emma and son-in-law Tim in Australia. Pam loved people and always had an opinion, Emma remembers that they met more people in the six weeks with Pam than she and Tim had in the previous 16 weeks without her! Following this trip, Pam travelled extensively in Asia and Europe with her friends.
Later she met Dennis and they were happy together. He was surprised to find himself on a bike and she was surprised to find herself on the back of a Jet ski! After Dennis died she moved into a flat overlooking Hove cricket ground.
Due to deteriorating mobility, she moved to The Royal Star and Garter Home in Surbiton. Pam’s daughters can’t thank the staff at the Home enough for the amazing end of life care they gave Pam and the family.