My dear mother in law May Beatrice died on Thursday night at the age of 97.
When Tom Brokaw wrote a book entitled The Greatest Generation in admiration of those who grew up in the years before and following the 1929 Wall Street crash it created some controversy and discussion.
But as an amateur historian and son in law there is no discussion from me our May was a member of the greatest generation. She was one of Britain's heroic generation that saved this country.
Born in 1911 as a young child she saw her father go off to fight in that 'Great War to end all wars'. He never returned to 'a land fit for heroes' with his DSM, but was lost in the North Sea serving on the submarine HMS G8.
Leaving school at 14 May lived through the tough times of the Depression and then watched her husband go off to fight in another terrible war. She herself spent the Second World War working in a munitions factory near Portsmouth, not exactly the safest place in England.
May struggled to bring up her children during the post war years of austerity, and in her later years went on to nurse an ailing husband till she was well into her 90s.
Only in the last few years did May enjoy a little of the luxury and rest she so richly deserved.
May was always grateful for any small task that was done for her, and lived her life on three principles:
1) There is good in everyone.
2) Always pay your bills as soon as you get them.
3) Never borrow money.
The comparatively easy life we lead today was built on the toil and sacrifice of her generation, and the world would be a happier place if we could follow her simple principles.