Oxhill News

www.oxhill.com / www.oxhill.org.uk

South Warwickshire, England.

The Oxhill News

November 2008

This months News



Mrs Evelyn Colyer, nee Gilks

100th Birthday

Mrs Evelyn Colyer, who was born Evelyn Gilks in Oxhill on 5th October 1908, has just celebrated her 100th birthday.  Her mother was a Summerton, a family who lived in Oxhill for many centuries.  Her father, William Gilks was the son of the village blacksmith, and followed the same trade, finding work first at Rugby.  When he joined up in the First World War, his wife brought her little family back to Oxhill, to be among her many relatives in the village.

When the War ended, and Evelyn was eleven, the family moved to Quinton, but Oxhill remains very much in her heart, and she has many happy memories of her childhood here.  (Her only complaint is that Gilkes Lane has her family’s surname spelt incorrectly!)   She has written articles in Country Life in 1991 on The Village School, and in This England in 2000 about Mayday celebrations, and her Reminiscences 1914-1919 are in the Warwick County Library.  There are articles too on her grandfather John Henry Summerton, and the village Empire Day celebrations.

I have also enjoyed interviewing her on tape about village life during the First World War period, and her memory for detail is impressive.  She has peopled the houses for me, and answered many queries.

Evelyn has been a traveller too.  Before her marriage, working as a nanny in Aden, she was evacuated as the Second War loomed.  On the ship she met her future husband, one of the ship’s officers, and she subsequently often travelled with him during his career.

The couple had two daughters, and now Evelyn has 6 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.  Evelyn enjoyed a splendid party in Quinton to celebrate her birthday.

Many (belated) Happy Returns from her childhood village of Oxhill.

Ann Hale

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Last modified: November 02, 2008