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Sway sleuths solve mystery of benefactor who left village £1,000



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SWAY sleuths have solved a mystery about the background of a benefactor who left the village £1,000.

Eunice Gale had bequeathed the funds in her will to the parish council but it had little information about her.

Cllr Stephen Tarling put a plea on social media asking villagers for more information about her, so her money could be spent in a fitting way.

It's hoped a new piece of playground equipment will be bought for Jubilee Fields (picture: Google)
It's hoped a new piece of playground equipment will be bought for Jubilee Fields (picture: Google)

He said: “I felt, and other councillors did as well, that it would be nice if the money could be spent in a way that she would have liked.

“But the trouble was we knew nothing about her apart from her name.”

Cllr Tarling appealed to villagers to rack their memories for any information about Eunice they may have.

He said: “My hobby is tracing family histories and I hoped someone in the village may have known her.

“But I did not expect the huge response I got. It was amazing – there was a lot of detective work by lots of different people and by piecing it all together I think we have got the full story.”

Together, the village managed to discover that Eunice was Eunice Elsie Rooney who was born on 30th June 1922 in the district of Sleaford, Lincolnshire, to a George and Violet. Her father was a railway crossing keeper.

Cllr Stephen Tarling turned to village detectives to solve the mystery
Cllr Stephen Tarling turned to village detectives to solve the mystery

She later married Edward – known as Ted – Gale, who was from the Lymington area, in the district of Horncastle, Lincolnshire, in September 1945.

The couple moved to Edward’s home town and had a daughter Judith born in 1948 in the New Forest.

Eunice was a teaching assistant at Sway Primary School. The couple also at one time ran a shop in Sway which is now the new post office.

According to one of the amateur detectives, Ted had been with Bomber Command during World War Two then worked as an electrician for Thoday and Longmans in Lymington.

Eunice died in April 2009 while Ted died in March 2013.

Cllr Tarling said he hoped that because of Eunice’s work with children her bequest could be used to fund a new piece of playground equipment at Jubilee Fields which would be dedicated to her.

He said: “I think it would really be something that she would approve of. Obviously, it is something other councillors will have to agree to but I hope they do.

“I am so pleased we managed to piece together Eunice’s story. I really did not think it would happen so quickly and I am indebted to all the people who responded to my plea.”



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