Cynthia Mary Thurling

Author: Sandra Copas
Date published: 22/04/2017
© Sandra Copas

Click to enlarge

©Sandra Copas
Click to enlarge
taken from a Staff photo of H James (Newbury) Ltd in the 1950's
©Sylvia Green
taken from a Staff photo of H James (Newbury) Ltd in the 1950's

Cynthia Mary Thurling nee Copas                                                                (grave: W23)

Cynthia was born at 78 Gloucester Road, Newbury on 23rd. July, 1921 (a day after her mother’s birthday).  Her father, Francis Victor “Frank” Copas was a butcher working for Liddiards and later as Retail Butcher Manager for Mrs Cuff in Inches Yard, Newbury. Her mother, Daisy Annie nee Hartridge, was born in Bromley, Kent where her father was a Master Butcher with his own shop in Palace Road. Before their marriage, Daisy was a ladies maid for Lady Cross at the Manor House in Aston Tirrold near Didcot, Oxfordshire.

Cynthia went to Newbury Girls’ High School during the time that Miss Luker was headmistress. She always had a great love of animals, books, antiques and curiosities.  After leaving school, she worked as a Librarian with Boots the Chemist in Newbury and for “Mr Harry”  at Doltons the corn merchants, before being called-up, joining the WAAF in 1941. She spent time in Ireland and was mentioned in despatches for distinguished service while at RAF Ballykelly. In Italy, she was at Caserta Palace and spent time in Egypt. Cynthia met her future husband, Oscar “Brum” Thurling, in the Sergeants’ Mess, 51 MT Company, when they were both stationed at El Hamra in the Middle East.

They married at St Nicolas Church, Newbury in August, 1949. They went to live in Rugby, where Brum served as a Policeman and planned to sail to Australia. Instead, they bought a huge, old house, “Riverdale”, in Swan Street, Kingsclere and spent many years restoring it. Cynthia worked in the local council planning department and later as Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages for the Kingsclere and Whitchurch R.D.C. A front room in their beautiful home becoming a venue for marriages in that time. In the early 1970s, they moved to Cornwall to fulfil a dream of living by the sea. They spent a year touring in their VW campervan, travelling with their pet dogs and a cat. They bought a bungalow at Mawgan Porth, near Newquay, and ran a B&B and later the post office stores. Cynthia stayed on there after Oscar’s death in 1996 until her sister, Katherine, needed more care, when she moved to St Mawgan to be with her.  In March, 2010, Cynthia was taken into hospital and was diagnosed with liver cancer. She passed away at Truro hospital in May, 2010.  

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