Died peacefully, aged 91 – 14th March 2017
Born in December 1925 in Myers Road, Crosby – Nora was the youngest of seven siblings, five of whom attended Merchant Taylors’ Schools. Her father, Commander CP Freeman attended Merchant Taylors’ Schools as a boy, often telling mother of the time his class marched from the Old Merchant Taylors’ School to the ‘newly-opened’ Merchant Taylors’ Boys School in 1874. With strong ties to the School and Nora’s mother being acquainted with Miss Fordham, headmistress of the Girls school at the time, it was hardly surprising she started at Merchant Taylors Girls School in 1933-4. Unfortunately, this was a difficult period, with her mother dying aged 45 in 1933 and World War 2 looming, but Nora had a big family for support and enjoyed school, winning form prizes and developing a liking for literature. She wasn’t just academically successful but also enjoyed sport, playing netball, hockey, and cricket, and developing an interest in rugby, all of which she passed on to her children and grandchildren in later years.
Nora left Merchant Taylors’ School in 1943, commencing orthopaedic nursing at Oswestry Orthopaedic Hospital, helping nurse the returning wounded soldiers and qualifying as a physiotherapist. After working locally Nora moved to St Thomas’ Hospital in London as a lecturer in Physiotherapy. In 1952, following her work at St Thomas’, she was invited over to Saskatoon in Saskatchewan, Canada, where she helped set up and develop a physiotherapy department in the newly built University Hospital. Following the death of her father in 1957, Nora returned to physiotherapy in Oswestry. It was there where she met my father, 10 years her younger, a toy-boy, but they were smitten and their marriage lasted 52 very happy years!
On reflection, Nora was an inspiration, passing on much she had learnt at Merchant Taylors’ School and in her own life to our family. A stable loving family life, a deep Christian faith, the love of sport, academic success and never being afraid of trying new things or travelling. Last year, three of her grandchildren played for regional representative teams in rugby, cricket and hockey in New Zealand!