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Lorna Kinloch, pupil 1939-45, Eulogy


Lorna Kinloch 2/11/28-22/5/18


The following eulogy was read at Lorna's funeral by Tom, one of her sons.


My Mother has been described to me by so many as a lovely Lady, a proper Lady with a tenacious character who did not complain despite seemingly increasing disabilities.

So, what made that Lady?

The first of two sisters, 10 years apart in age, she was born Lorna Creighton Cullen on the second of November 1928 at her maternal Grandmother's flat built on the site of the original Fort Matilda in Greenock, Scotland.

Fort Matilda was erected in 1814 by George the third.  Mum described it as built "to keep the Scot's under control".  I think it was actually built to protect the port of Glasgow but perhaps there were signs even then that she was destined to become a magistrate.  Her father was a doctor in the colonial medical service in West Africa and her Mother had travelled home for her confinement.  West Africa was considered unhealthy for babies so she was boarded at a nursery school from the age of 18 months, being looked after by her Aunt Nancy during school holidays.

Between the ages of 4 and 9 she boarded at St Brides School, Helensburgh, being spoilt as the school baby.  She talked of these as happy times.  The boarding house had been a shipping magnate's mansion and the school grounds, of which they had free rein, were apparently magnificent.

When she was 10, her parents returned from Africa and her father bought a General Medical Practice in Scunthorpe.

After a short spell of schooling in Scunthorpe she went to Hunmanby Hall Boarding school, near Filey in Yorkshire, which, in 1940 was evacuated to Armthwaite Hall on Lake Bassenthwaite in the North of the Lake District, a former luxury hotel with beautiful gardens and wooded walks as well as sports facilities and horse riding, all of which she used.

After VE day the school returned to Hunmanby.  Again, the sports facilities were exceptional.  She played tennis, lacrosse and cricket, all, by her own admission, with a lot of enthusiasm but not a great deal of ability.

During the holidays, back in Scunthorpe, her father took her to Holme Hall Golf Club.  He was Club Captain there and whilst he played, often using young master Tony Jacklin as his caddy, she amused herself on the putting green for hours which probably explained her ability to hole anything inside 20 feet.

At the end of her school days she was head of house, vice-head girl of the school and attained sufficient grades in Higher School Certificate Biology, Physics, Chemistry and Maths to be admitted to Glasgow Medical school - at the age of 17.  She qualified as a doctor in 1951.

She worked in Glasgow then in Scunthorpe, returning to the Glasgow Royal Maternity Hospital where she met her future husband, my Dad, Peter Kinloch.  They married on the 12th September 1953 back in Scunthorpe.

Now, Dad was working as Medical Officer to the British Embassy in Moscow and he had travelled home for the ceremony.  So, she returned to Moscow immediately after her wedding, living in a flat within the British Embassy, directly across the River Moskva from the Kremlin.

These must have been interesting times during the early years of the cold war, just after the death of Stalin and Mum used to tell stories about MI6 sharing their flat as Dad examined spies including double agent, George Blake, on his repatriation from North Korea.

Perhaps it was this diplomatic interlude combined with her great sense of fun that meant she would go on to love nothing better than hosting dinner parties to entertain friends later in life.

In July 1954 Mum came back to Scunthorpe for the confinement of my brother Peter, returning to Moscow afterwards. A year later, they returned from Moscow to live in the Glasgow suburb of Bearsden, then Rothesay on the Isle of Bute, where I was born in 1957.  In 1961 we moved to Merseyside. Wallasey for the first 6 years then into Liverpool.

She worked in Rheumatology at Leasowe and part time General Practice in Garston until 1973 when she joined Dad in their own two doctor practice in the newly built Halewood health centre, that is until I joined them there in 1985.

She was a keen teacher of aspiring GPs, helping many young doctors understand general practice during their training attachments.  She was a medical officer for BT and a member of the Liverpool Medical Institution.  She wason the Board of governors of Halewood's Plantation school and Chair of Halewood's St Mary's day Centre.

She taught sex education classes to the girls of Belvidere School. "never let a sailor get above your knee" is the phrase I remember- although that might have been my dad's version of her teaching!

She became a magistrate in March 1981, first being appointed to the Liverpool bench, moving to Knowsley when my brother, Peter, was appointed as a senior police officer in Liverpool.  She enjoyed her time as a magistrate and although I knew little of what she did I have subsequently been told that she was respected and not afraid to hand out a sentence, which explains much of our childhood, hey, Peter!

She retired, with Dad, in 1989, but not before leaving her mark on Halewood.

In the mid 80s she decided there was a need for sheltered housing in Halewood.  She approached Knowsley council who, at first, knocked back the idea.  But, they obviously didn't know my mother who approached the challenge with her usual tenacity, so much so that when the street complex of sheltered accommodation finally opened, just before she retired, they named it Kinloch Close.

Now, many people here will know my Mum for her passion for golf.

A member at Childwall Golf Club for over 40years, she was lady Captain in 1987 and was the first ever lady member elected to council in 2002.

She approached her role as Chairman of House with her usual great enthusiasm and tenacity - and she got things done.  The Club was refurbished under her watch with, amongst other improvements, the laying of the CGC themed carpet, some of which I hope we can retain somewhere with the next impending refurb.

In 1997, she introduced the Ladies very successful local interclub Autumn Tournament for which she provided the trophy.a trophy that was mislaid until recently . Not much cheered her up in hospital after her latest stroke but the news that the trophy had been found certainly did.

With Dad she travelled the length and breadth of the country and went overseas, playing all the best courses.  I think she even let him win once or twice.  Indeed they both enjoyed travel and even flew on Concord to New York.

For many years, after Dad was sacked from the team, I played with her in mixed competitions.  I have so many fond memories.  We even won a few things together.  However, on one occasion we entered a foursomes competition at Childwall, the Laurie Lewis.  I launched a drive, unusually for me, 250 yards straight down the middle of the first.  I was pleased as punch. She got to the ball, looked at it from all angles and declared "you've left me with a downhill lie, I don't like downhill lies" .... that was my mum. We didn't play foursomes again!

I started by describing Mum as someone who did not complain despite seemingly increasing disabilities.  She had her first stroke in 2008.  It took away much of her speech. She had a calcium balance problem and developed a stoop and a limp, but she soldiered on.

She bought a sit in buggy and went out to play 4 of 5 holes whenever she could.  She bought an exercise bike and used it daily.

After Dad died in 2010 she threw herself wholeheartedly into bridge, stroke association meetings, the reading group in the park, Arts club and theatre trips, Magistrates association and National Trust events.

She volunteered to be a patient for Medical Student's exams.  She organised several touring coach holidays and regularly flew up to Scotland to visit Peter and Berni.  She continued to help organise her Autumn Tournament.  Most of us would have given up with her disabilities. I think I would.  But she would not give in.

Unfortunately, on Wed 11th April, she had her second, dense stroke which paralysed her right side.  Even she said she did not think she could carry on with her new level of disability.  She did not want to be here anymore and on the 22nd of May she died peacefully in Kingswood Manor Nursing Home with my wife, Helen, and I at her side.

I’m sure we all have our own individual memories of Lorna Kinloch. Mother, Sister, Grandmother, Godmother or friend.

And we will miss her.

Like others, I will remember Mum as a proper lady.  She had standards yet with a sense of fun.  She was a tenacious doer who would not give up.  She was a wonderful role model.  At the end, it was my Mum's body that let her down.  Her determination and intellect were unaffected by her recent illness.

I will remember her for her true pleasure and delight at seeing her children and her grand children succeed in life with each milestone reached and for her generosity towards us all.


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