Remembrance for Rosemary


Rosemary Gitsham 1935 – 2021

thumbnailRosemary in 1948; on top of the world and looking out at the many enticing horizons ahead of her.

It is with a mixture of sadness and gratitude, I write this brief article. My subject is Rosemary; personal friend to many; kind friend to myself and an all-encompassing friend to the village she loved.

For a very good thirty years she was the Village Recorder of Trimley St. Martin. Open minded, kind hearted, generous to a fault, and a fighter for the causes in which she passionately believed. Born in 1935, Rosemary lived in our village from the age of three weeks old and always regarded it as her heartland; this was where she belonged. It goes without saying, her opposition to the despoiling developments in both Trimleys was both ferocious and firm.

Her bricks and mortar home was an idiosyncratic nineteen thirties bungalow and as such was entirely in keeping with her unique nature. Other than a short period of exile during the Second World War, her childhood was spent playing in the quiet fields and lanes of Trimley. Each day proved to be one long adventure, full of curiosity for the world around her. Throughout her long life, she looked at unfolding horizons seeing the many possibilities they offered, as the photograph above defines. Her favourite location was Trimley Shore. Here her father taught her to swim and she launched herself into the River Orwell with the same determination and fighting spirit which became her hallmark.  As a young woman she went to London where she met her husband Eric Gitsham before finally returning home to the village where she spent the remainder of her life.

I came to know Rosemary  best after the death of Eric. At one chance encounter we discussed the old Manors of Walton and Trimley: learning, knowledge and curiosity always had a tremendous appeal for Rosemary. It was on the basis of this rather niche conversation, I was single-handedly selected as her successor, an exhilarating and terrifying prospect because after all, who can follow on from Rosemary? It goes without saying all of this was done without consultation to anyone else: as far as Rosemary was concerned it was a fait accompli.

And so it turns out that because of the documentation of the Walton and Trimley Manors, here I am today remembering the unforgettable Rosemary. Because last night on Saturday 9th October 2021 at 11.59p.m., on the cusp of one day and the next and between one heartbeat and the failed other, Rosemary died.

The village has lost its most ardent and devoted supporter and we, Rosemary’s friends, are left to mourn our loveable and  irreplaceable companion.

I do believe Rosemary would approve if we raised a gin and tonic in her memory. Let’s do it.

Here’s looking at you, Rosemary.


You can read more about Rosemary here:

and here:

Liz Rastrick

10th October 2021

13 thoughts on “Remembrance for Rosemary

  1. Morning I was sad to hear about the passing of Rosemary Gitsham I remember her as a young girl growing up in Trimley st Martin she has done so much in keeping these records I love reading about Trimley my thoughts are with her family at this sad time.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A ‘Grand Old Lady who will be much missed by all who knew her. Your Blog has summed up her personality brilliantly, thank you so much for doing it. Barbara S.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a privilege to spend the weekend with you learning the gentle way of Village Recording in Suffolk.I will follow the life of Trimley from now on, I’m sure it is going to be a fascinating experience. I’m just off to Google Trimley, despite knowing and cycling through Suffolk the name does not ring a bell with me at all.I await a location revelation.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Vivien. You are most kind. It was delightful to meet you and your Blog this weekend. I’ll be following you closely. Liz


  4. This is a beautiful tribute to your friend Rosemary. Thank you for sharing it with us. It was lovely to meet you over the weekend and now I shall look at the map to locate you and your blog. I don’t know the area at all so look forward to learning about it.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Rosemary was a very close neighbour and friend of many years, we had various common interests including geneology and dollshouse, she will be greatly missed for her knowledge and passion.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Liz, a really lovely piece on Rosemary. A terrific lady and a wonderful inspiration for campaigners who will carry the baton on for her. Her advice was always welcome. She will be much missed. Becca Atherstone

    Liked by 1 person

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