Phyllis Reddick

Published in Windlesora 07 (1988)

Miss Phyllis Reddick, an enthusiastic supporter of the Windsor Local History Publications Group, died recently at the age of 92.

The Reddicks from Thorpe settled in Old Windsor Green in the early nineteenth century and Phyllis was born at Sunnyside, Old Windsor on 30th April 1896. Baptised by the Revd. T. Harwood, she later attended St. Peter’s School where Mr. William Ellis was headmaster. As soon as her own schooling ended at the age of 14 she was asked to help teach the infants. For this, she was paid 2/8d (14p)a week.

When she was 7 years old her father became the landlord of the Jolly Gardeners and the whole family moved into the public house and also ran the adjoining shop. They remained there until 1915. However, in 1912 Phyllis went to London to Mrs Evan’s Court Dressmaking establishment to serve a two-year apprenticeship at a cost to her parents of £30 a year.

At the start of the First World War Phyllis was working as a lady’s maid in Invergarny. In 1915 she joined the V.A.D for general and clerical services and after three weeks was put in charge of the food stores at the newly built Maudsley Hospital which had been taken over for shell-shocked victims.

After the war, she became lady’s maid to Lady Mary Montague living in Kent and Derbyshire, where she remained until 1936 when she returned to Old Windsor to care for her aging parents. In 1937, she began to organise the annual collection for the R.N.L.I and in 1964 she was presented with a lifeboatman statuette in appreciation for over 25 years of service. In 1939 she was involved in the formation of a Women’s section of the British Legion and in 1977 was awarded a silver badge in recognition of 40 years of work for the R.N.L.I. But she was interested in all aspects of village life too and a mine of information on Old Windsor and its history.

Just before her death, she learned of a branch of the Reddick family thriving in Australia – a consequence of her Great Uncle’s enforced departure from Old Windsor 150 years ago.

Phyllis Reddick was a Church member throughout her long life and she was blessed with a sense of duty to others, a sense of humour, and her own brand of determination. She will be greatly missed in the village she loved – Old Windsor.

Ann Brett