Well-known Bexleyheath church worker and active member of the community dies at the age of 95

PUBLISHED: 16:33 05 January 2017 | UPDATED: 16:57 05 January 2017

Joyce and Ted Blewitt at their Diamond Wedding celebration

Joyce and Ted Blewitt at their Diamond Wedding celebration

Joyce Blewitt was a former leader of the Young Wives and Mothers’ Union

A well-known Bexleyheath church worker and active member of the community has died at the age of 95.

Joyce Blewitt, former leader of the Young Wives and Mothers’ Union at Christchurch, Bexleyheath, and later at St Martin’s Church, Herne, died peacefully at Egerton Lodge Residential Home in Leicestershire on Christmas Eve.

Joyce was the widow of Edward Blewitt, known as Ted, who also held various responsibilities in the church. Edward died in 2009.

At the outbreak of the Second World War, Ted, who had been working for Lenare, a famous London society photographic studio, joined the RAF as a reconnaissance photographer and in late 1940 was posted to Prince Edward Island, Canada, to train Canadian Royal Air Force staff.

Managing to secure a 48-hour pass, Joyce and Ted were married on November 24, 1940, with only a few hours together before Ted departed.

Six months after his posting Joyce was allowed to join him. The couple made many strong friendships on the island, and while they were there daughter Daphne was born. A brother, Brian, arrived in 1946 after their return to the UK.

In 1944 Edward was posted to Burn, an airfield near Selby in Yorkshire, where the newly-created 578 Squadron, which flew Halifax B MkIII bombers on attacks over Germany, was based.

His job was to set the cameras that recorded the effect of the bombing - a complex task that had to take account of the height and speed of the aircraft.

After bringing up her family at Cuxton Close, Bexleyheath, Joyce worked for 20 years as a clerk for Pearl Assurance in London. Ted, in the meantime, changed his focus and became a medical photographer at King’s College Hospital, London.

During this time, Ted’s vision of building a five-roomed building for use as a Sunday School - located in Bean Road - came to fruition.

The school was so popular that the children were split into eight classes, and Ted and Joyce had to recruit several volunteers to help in the work.

The couple took great satisfaction in its success and were devastated when a fire destroyed the building.

After retiring, the couple moved from Bexleyheath to Strode Park Road at Herne.

Joyce continued to be a leader and area speaker for the Mothers’ Union in East Kent. While living at Herne, she received her certificate for 50 years as a member, and she continued for several more years even after her move to Leicestershire in 2011 to be near her daughter.

The funeral will take place at St Martin’s, Herne, on Wednesday, January 18, at 1.30pm, followed by interment in the family grave at Herne Cemetery.

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