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20th Oct, 2021

Salwarpe WI members tidy the overgrown graves of their founder and her family

HARD-WORKING members of Salwarpe WI have visited and cleaned up the graves of the group’s founder and her family.

The graves of Lucy Hingley and her family in Salwarpe churchyard had become very overgrown and it was recently decided by Salwarpe WI to arrange for them to be cleared and to take over maintenance, with the Worcestershire Federation paying for the initial clearing.

The area has now been cleared, the graves tidied, and replacement gravel was added as a finishing touch—thanks to the efforts of some of our members, who braved the heat to tackle the job. Amazingly, it took two bags of gravel to fill each grave.

Lucy  lived in High Park to the west of Droitwich – on the hill to the left of Roman Way, near the old Westwood Park entrance.

She started the WI in Salwarpe in 1917 and was the delegate to the National WI conference in 1917.

She was elected as county chairman in 1920, holding the post until 1931 when she retired because of ill health.

The retiring chairman back then became the President of the Worcestershire Federation of WIs (WFWI) and in that capacity she presided at the majority of council meetings until her death in 1942 when the office of the president was allowed to lapse.

Lucy was generous and WIFI owes much to her leadership over a long period.

In her speeches she constantly set before members the highest ideals of patriotism, loyalty and service and inevitably had her critics who on occasion felt she crossed the thin line that separates leader from autocrat

In appearance Lucy resembled Queen Mary on whom she is said to have modelled both her manner and style of dress.

At one meeting she spoke at she is remembered for saying: “Of all our possessions in this world there is only one that matters – our character, for it is the only one that we take with us into the next world.”

Following her death in 1942 the WI members of Worcestershire generously donated to a Memorial Fund and it was this fund that endowed a bed in Worcester Royal Infirmary as well as providing furniture for WI House.

Medical staff agreed/offered to give WI members an annual medical memorial lecture and these took place at the hospital for many years. This was greatly appreciated by the Federation as the lecture came under the ‘education’ remit of the WI.

The Lucy Hingley Memorial Medical lectures continue to be organised today by the Public Affairs Committee.

With the passage of time and along with the advances of the NHS the medical lectures have been widened to embrace many allied professions and services that make up ‘medicine’ in the modern era.

 

The inscriptions on the six graves are:

LUCY MILLER HINGLEY, who fell asleep in Christ April 6 1942.

EMILY GEORGINA HINGLEY, who fell asleep in Christ February 13 1948.

ALICE LINTON HINGLEY, who fell asleep in Christ April 2 1924.

HENRY MONTAGUE HINGLEY, who fell asleep in Christ September 30 1909.

FANNY GEORGINA HINGLEY, who fell asleep in Christ January 6 1910

(Fanny is the mother of the other five – none of whom seem to have married)

GEORGE BENJAMIN HINGLEY, 2nd baronet, who fell asleep in Christ August 19 1918.

The graves are located not far from the path and gate down to the canal, behind 3 big standing crosses.

This inscription, which appears in the Lady Chapel (south side) of the church, refers to the family:

“For remembrance before God and in dear memory of their mother and brother, FANNY GEORGINA HINGLEY and HENRY MONTAGU HINGLEY who fell asleep in Christ 6th January 1910 and 30th September 1909. The reredos in the Church is offered by GEORGE, ALICE, EMILY and LUCY HINGLEY of High Park in token of abiding sorrow for their loss. Also in dear memory of GEORGE BENJAMIN HINGLEY 2nd Baronet who fell asleep in Christ 19th August 1918.

ALICE LINTON HINGLEY of Middle Hill Park, Broadway, 2nd April, 1924.”

The information on the reredos says:

“Behind the altar is a reredos from the 19th century given by the Hingley family of High Park in memory of family members. This depiction of the Last Supper is carved from a single piece of white alabaster backed by red marble, and framed in Corsehill stone. The life-like figures are well worth studying.”

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