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Tribute to woman who died months before 100th birthday

PUBLISHED: 10:07 15 April 2020 | UPDATED: 10:07 15 April 2020

Tributes have been paid to Maureen Boast, who died just months before her 100th birthday. Pictures: Supplied by the family

Tributes have been paid to Maureen Boast, who died just months before her 100th birthday. Pictures: Supplied by the family

Archant

A Norfolk woman who served in the British Army during the Second World War has died just months before her 100th birthday.

Maureen Boast, centre, on her 99th birthday last year, pictured with her children Wendy and Clive. Picture: Supplied by the familyMaureen Boast, centre, on her 99th birthday last year, pictured with her children Wendy and Clive. Picture: Supplied by the family

Maureen Boast had lived in Sheringham since 1974 after many years of moving around with her husband, who was a senior officer with the RAF’s Bomber Command.

She was born Maureen Ratcliffe on June 5, 1920, in Woodford Green in Essex and attended Woodford County High School. She later took a job with the Liverpool Victoria Friendly Society - now LV - where she met her future husband Roy.

Her son, Clive Boast, said: “After Dunkirk the office was evacuated to North Wales.”

She joined Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) - the women’s branch of the British Army - and Roy became a bomber navigator. They were married in Woodford in July 1943.

Maureen Boast, nee Ratcliffe, in 1940. Picture: Supplied by the familyMaureen Boast, nee Ratcliffe, in 1940. Picture: Supplied by the family

After the war Mr Boast continued in the RAF rising to the rank of Group Captain. Due to his service, the couple lived in Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe, for two years, Singapore for two years as well as at bases including RAF Gaydon in Warwickshire, RAF Hemswell in Lincolnshire and RAF Mildenhall in Norfolk.

After leaving the RAF, Mr Boast became executive vice-president of the British Scrap Federation and Mrs Boast ran a post office in Matching Green, Essex, for around four years in the late 1960s/early 1970s.

After moving to Sheringham, Mrs Boast became chairman of Beeston Regis Parish Council, a governor of Sheringham Primary School and a member of the Ladies’ Guild.

Clive said: “In 1988 they moved to Hadley Road in Sheringham and became church wardens at St Peter’s and joined the Bible study group.”

Maureen Boast in 1940, in her Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) uniform. Picture: Supplied by the familyMaureen Boast in 1940, in her Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) uniform. Picture: Supplied by the family

Mr Boast died in 2005, and Mrs Boast moved to Crossways residential care home in 2014.

Clive said: “Maureen continued to take an active interest in the affairs of north Norfolk through reading the EDP until the day she died.”

He said his parents regularly attended shows at Sheringham Little Theatre and went on coach tours around the country. Mrs Boast was also a keen gardener and wrote many pages of memoirs.

They also had a daughter, Wendy, and grandchildren Richard, Simon and Amy.


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