Miss Gladys Windo

Today we present an extract from the Easterton Echo for August/September 1988. This tribute to Miss Windo was written by Sheila Judge on her typewriter. We have scanned the page as text and hope we have spotted the errors which that generated. Of course, Sheila’s 1988 typewriter could not do photos so we’ll add a photo of Miss Windo.

Gladys Windo of Easterton in later life

Gladys Windo of Easterton in later life


This is in the nature of a tribute, a tribute to a very brave lady, which I am both sad, and proud, to write. I am sure that the Village will endorse everything that follows and I can only hope that it reflects the feelings and views of the residents.

Sadly, Miss Gladys Windo died on Sunday, August 15th, in St, Martin’s Hospital, Bath. A funeral Service was held at St Barnabas Church, Easterton, on Friday afternoon, the 19th August. Not surprisingly, when one considers the length of time Miss Windo was living in the village, and the service she had undertaken for the people here, the Church was filled with local people who wished to say their final farewells.

There was a big Choir in attendance, and the singing reflected the general feelings of the congregation. The Reverend Harris, from Potterne, gave the sermon. The Reverend Harris did not know Miss Windo personally, but he had heard of her work as a teacher, and on this he based his address.

It is not just as the Village schoolmistress that Miss Windo is remembered, however. She came to the little School at Easterton in 1934, and remained there until it was unhappily closed in 1971. During that time she taught several generations of Easterton children. She not only taught them, she knew them all individually, the clever, the not so clever, the strong, and the weak. She helped all, as they needed it. It is for many of the little things she personally did to help that she will be remembered by many.

A read through the school records provides ample proof of this. In 1939, at the outbreak of War, she was faced with an influx of evacuees, some lonely, some intractable, some plain grubby, and she managed to find room, and time, for all. When many returned to their place of origin, as they did, there was still a nucleus billeted at the Vicarage, and these stayed “for the duration.” As well as teaching them, she helped care for them in their adopted home. That she carried out this task with care and understanding I can vouch for, from personal knowledge. Many evacuees who were in the Village in wartime returned to visit her in the years that followed.

After the school closed, Miss Windo gave her time, and service, to the welfare of the village. She took her place on the Church Parish Council, she played a big part in the building and running, of the Village Hall, and she was a member of the Parish Council. It is only in the past two years that she has resigned from these commitments.

For, during the last years of her life, she was the victim of a debilitating illness, which necessitated frequent visits to Hospital Despite this, she continued with all her Committees, which also included being an active member of the Womens Section of the British Legion. She was always delighted to see her friends, and never complained about, or discussed, her ailments.

At the Church, there were family floral tributes, and wreaths from the Church Parish Council, the Village Parish Council and the British Legion.

There is no two ways about it, her going will leave a big gap, and be a cause of sorrow to many people. Her life of service, and her bravery in the face of illness, will always be remembered, with both respect and affection.

She set on example that it would be very hard to follow. We are privileged to have known her, and the Village has benefited by her work and care.

Now I’m sure that many people will agree with the above, for I have only recorded some of the comments and remarks that I heard at the time.

It would not be out of keeping to end this month with a quotation, from a poem by Rudyard Kipling, a writer who had a great regard and respect for all teachers.

It goes like this:-

“Let us now praise famous men”–
Men of little showing–
For their work continueth,
And their work continueth,
Broad and deep continueth,
Greater than their knowing

That, I feel, is a fitting ending.


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