Chief Officer Elizabeth Mary Sunley (78) died on 5 October 2022 while on holiday in Italy.
Born in 1944, Elizabeth joined the WRNS after a secretarial course in London and became a signals Wren serving in UK and overseas in Gibraltar She also spent time in Malta with one of her sisters who was also in the Service.
Elizabeth was commissioned as an officer in the Supply and Secretariat branch where she served all over the UK and overseas gathering friends and fun all the way. She had overseas postings to Belgium, Malta, Australia and Norway – and she definitely caught the travel bug.
She had numerous important postings as she rose up the ranks with a hundred tales to tell about events such as the Falklands War. She reached the rank of Chief Officer and spent time as the Deputy Director WRNS before she left to go to University as a mature student at SOAS where she gained a 2.1in South East Asian history.
After this she took up a position as Deputy Director of the British Meat Manufacturers Association where she found a whole new world of pasties, pie crusts, EU regulations, the Min of Ag and Fish (now DEFRA),hairnets, white wellies and sausage rolls.
Retirement was a full time job. She made a significant contribution to her local community: she was a sidesman at her church, read and edited the local newspaper for the blind, and she was a trustee of the St David’s nursing home for veterans. She was a member of the Historical Association and Chairman of the local National Trust Association. She was also a talented needlewoman and examples of her work are in most of the family homes.
As for travel she never stopped. She explored the world – China, Japan, Taiwan, Vietnam, Uzbekistan, South America, Italy, Holland as well as all over the UK.
She was also a vital part of family life. Elizabeth was greatly loved, greatly respected, and lived life to the full. A Service to celebrate her life was held in Sherborne Abbey on 23 November 2022.
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