Watton woman remembered for her love of dog walking and helping the community

Margaret Helen Wilton-Jones with her husband Lawrence in 1987 Margaret Helen Wilton-Jones with her husband Lawrence in 1987

Monday, January 20, 2014
7:00 AM

She met her husband on a commuter train before the outbreak of war, her mother was chief court dressmaker to a royal and she called Merton Hall home while her family house was being built.

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The 98 years of Margaret Helen Wilton-Jones’ life were eclectic and community-based, from her upbringing in Wandsworth to her family life in Watton.

Mrs Wilton-Jones died this month at a nursing home in Griston after suffering Alzheimer’s for 14 years.

With a great passion for dogs, Mrs Wilton-Jones would often be seen walking her two labradors in the countryside.

One of her four children, Graham Wilton-Jones, said the family would always remember her walking the dogs with 
the wind blowing through her hair.

Mrs Wilton-Jones met her pilot-to-be husband, Lawrence, on the Southend to London commuter train in the 1930s, and they married just before the start of the Second World War.

One of his postings was to RAF Watton, flying Bristol Blenheims – and the pair loved the area so much they decided to move to Norfolk once the war was over.

Lord Walsingham offered them accommodation at Merton Hall while their house was being built and they were together for 42 years, until Lawrence’s death in 1992,

Despite being small in stature at 5ft 2in – Graham Wilton-Jones said his mother was a “strong 
and feisty woman who would do what she thought was right regardless of what other people thought she should do”.

With a love of helping others in the community, Mrs Wilton-Jones would tirelessly collect for the Royal British Legion, RSPCA, the Red Cross, Guide Dogs for the Blind and the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, as well as helping out with Scouts and Brownies.

She was a well-known figure in Watton, known to be out on her maroon bicycle around the town or at St Mary’s Church where she would go to services up to three times each Sunday.

She is survived by her four children, nine grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.

The funeral takes place at St Mary’s Church, Watton, today at 12.30.

The family requests donations rather than flowers, which will be divided between her favourite charities.

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