1918 - 2013

Kath Male has passed away at the grand age of 95. Although not a ringer herself, she was the last representative of three generations of the Male family who rang at St Mary’s, Warwick.

Her brother, William, who conducted my first quarter peal on ten bells, was Tower Captain at St Mary’s for some years. Bill was a talented musician as attested by the plaque in the Unitarian Garden in Warwick. He was notable for tapping peals on the model bell tower keyboard, now housed in St Mary’s. His father had collected these bells – previously door and servant bells. Bill rang and conducted Holt’s Original from each bell position.

It was after a nasty fall which hospitalised Kath that she reluctantly left her beloved home in the shadow of St Mary’s and the sound of the bells to go and live at Fourways Care Home in Lillington. Visitors must have been few as her remaining relatives lived up near Kendal. She was always pleased to see me on the rare occasion that I was in the area and would chat about past events in a long life.

I remember her attempting to explain to me what it was like on the night of the big air raid on Coventry – impossible to comprehend the terror of taking the only refuge under the stairs with the noise droning on up above and the bangs and explosions of suffering Coventry which lasted all night; twelve hours.

When Kath was aged ten, her mother died, leaving Kath to do her best to look after the family, Bill being only 18 months old. This she did with never a thought for herself; she had shown promise at school, with a particular interest in English Literature, but it simply wouldn’t have crossed her mind to put her own wishes above those of her family and neighbours – a position she maintained until the end of her life.

The funeral took place on 22nd January in the imposing church of St Mary and Kath was laid to rest beside her brother Bill in the wooded setting of the town cemetery which looked quite enchanting with its snow-covered branches.

Called home – a good and faithful servant.


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