Tributes to Mary, 91, who had ‘great social conscience’

DIGNIFIED The coffin of Mary Tyrrell being carried out of St Mary's Church after the service. Picture: Sarah Standing (131783-432)
DIGNIFIED The coffin of Mary Tyrrell being carried out of St Mary's Church after the service. Picture: Sarah Standing (131783-432)
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SCORES of people marked the death of a woman who was devoted to helping others.

Friends and family were joined by five former mayors of Gosport and the incumbent John Beavis as they paid tribute to Mary Tyrrell at St Mary’s Church, Alverstoke.

The 91-year-old, of Forton Road, Gosport, was formerly a teacher and deputy head of Rowner Junior School. She died on Saturday, June 9.

Her great-nephew Richard Newland was at the service, among other family members.

Miss Tyrrell had a ‘lifelong desire to help others’ and this was recognised when she was awarded the MBE in 2003.

The honour was for her role as Honorary Secretary of the League of Friends of Gosport War Memorial Hospital.

She held this position for 52 years until she died.

Gosport borough councillor Christopher Carter gave the eulogy at the service.

Cllr Carter and sister Jenny Draper had known Miss Tyrrell their entire lives.

He paid tribute to her work as a volunteer and a teacher, which saw her support the National Union for Women Teachers.

He thanked family and friends, and neighbours who had supported Miss Tyrrell, including Alan Cowdrey, 
who helped her over the 
last 30 years to stay in her home.

Jenny said: ‘She had a great social conscience.

‘Her concern for other people really ruled her life.’

In addition to the MBE, she was also awarded the Order of Mercy.

It is granted to just 30 people in the country each year who have given outstanding service to a hospital and its patients.

Miss Tyrrell had jointly spearheaded a campaign to defend the hospital, in Bury Road, against closure.

A former Justice of the Peace, she was on the 
bench until she had to retire aged 70.

Chairman of the League of Friends, Brenda Sharp, said: ‘She was a charitable lady.

‘And to her very end she was involved with it.

‘She spent every Christmas Day having her lunch at Sultan ward at the hospital, except the last year.’