2:00pm Thursday 29th August 2013
By Hayley Mortimer
TRIBUTES have been paid to former nurse and seamstress Pearl Smith who has died aged 90 at the hospital where she worked during the war.
Pearl died peacefully at Stroud General Hospital on Tuesday, August 6.
Her daughter Ali said: "Mum began her career as a nurse at this hospital and this is where she spent her last hours.
"There is nothing more fitting, an honoured guest in an honoured place.
"We are so grateful to all the staff. She was treated with kindness, respect and dignity at all times."
Pearl Iris May Cook was born in 1923 to a large extended family who all lived in the hamlet of Stockend near Edge.
Her mother died when she was very young so Pearl, her sister and brother were brought up by aunts in the village.
When Pearl was a child, the Cook family were the focus of a book written in 1936 by Henry Warren called A Cotswold Year which depicted life in the village, the people who lived there and the changing seasons through the year.
Pearl began her working life as a seamstress at Anthony's Tailors in Stroud before training as a nurse at Stroud General Hospital.
She worked at the hospital throughout the Second World War.
Pearl met her future husband Ray at a dance at the Sub Rooms in Stroud and they married in 1949 at St John the Baptist church in Edge before moving to Ebley.
She left nursing to have four children, David, Jill, Steve and Ali, but continued to employ her dressmaking skills by making wedding dresses and mending and altering clothes for many Ebley residents, without charge.
"She was incredibly kind and was so loved for everything she did for people," said Ali.
Twenty years ago, Pearl was put in touch with long lost family members on her mother's side who lived in Southampton, after a cousin wrote a request to find her in the letters page of the SNJ.
"Mum was so happy to be reunited and has stayed in touch ever since", said Ali.
Pearl leaves behind her husband Ray, 90, their four children, nine grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren, with two more on the way.
Her funeral was held at Gloucester Crematorium on Thursday, August 22.
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