Warm tributes to 'remarkable' scouting stalwart May Alderson MBE, who dies aged 101

Warm tributes to 'remarkable' scouting stalwart May Alderson MBE, who dies aged 101

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Staff Reporter

Tributes have been paid to a ‘determined’ and ‘remarkable’ community stalwart.

May Alderson MBE, who lived at Llys Eleanor extra care housing scheme in Shotton, died peacefully on June 4 at the age of 101.

Mrs Alderson was born in Wrexham, she was the daughter of a policeman, and was the eldest of five, her sisters being Bessie, Violet, Lily and Ivy. 

Her scouting service began in Rhyl in 1944 where she was Cub Master. She was a member of the North Wales training team for many years, training leaders of the various sections of Scouting.

Mrs Alderson’s daughter Jennifer James told the Leader: “In 2011 she was awarded the Silver Wolf, Scouting’s highest honour for outstanding service, eventually giving more than 70 years to the movement.

“She was president of Flintshire District Scout Council and enjoyed joining in whatever activities and events she could manage. She had made so many friends, as well as having influenced the lives of hundreds of young people.” 

Until she left school Mrs Alderson lived in the Llay and Hope areas, following which she had a variety of jobs, including working for a judge in Gloucestershire and as a nanny in Chester.

She moved to Rhyl in 1935 where she joined the ATS before the outbreak of World War Two, and became a Corporal.

It was while Mrs Alderson was serving at Sunnyvale Camp, near Rhyl, that she met and married her husband Joe, with whom she had almost 55 happy years.

They had three daughters, May, Jo and Jennifer. Mrs Alderson was also the proud grandmother of three grandchildren, Jonathan, Martin and Suzanne, one great granddaughter Emily, a great grandson George and a great great granddaughter Mia.

Mrs Alderson also welcomed their husbands and wives, Peter, Ken, Ian, Bridie, Andrew, Alison and Chris into the family and was close to her nephews and nieces and their families.

Mrs James added that for her community work Mrs Alderson was awarded the MBE in 1998, and her daughters proudly escorted her to Buckingham Palace to have the award presented by Prince Charles.

Mrs James continued: “She watched her daughters grow up and follow different careers. She loved her sons-in-law, and appreciated everything they did for her. She helped in looking after her grandchildren, going on holiday with them at times, and was a very loving mother, not only to her own immediate family but also to her nephews and nieces.

“She always wanted to hear about what they were doing, and showed sympathy, patience and concern where it was needed. She always wanted the best for them.

“She was a very remarkable, determined lady, with an iron will, and duty was always there in all she did. She always seemed to know what needed to be done, and was always willing to do her part.

“She would not knowingly let anyone down, which left her very little time for herself, but she did not seem to mind that at all.” 

Mrs Alderson also served many years with the British Red Cross, helping to train people in First Aid as well as helping at local hospitals in emergencies. 

She was awarded the Badge of Honour for her service, and made a life member.

She was also proud to be confirmed in Gresford by the first Archbishop of Wales, The Most Reverend Alfred Edwards, and had been secretary of the Church Council, Church Warden, Secretary and then Branch Leader of Mothers’ Union.

Mrs James said her mother very much enjoyed knitting, board games and all kind of puzzles including crosswords, sudoku and word games such as scrabble.

Richard Hebden, Scouts District Commissioner for Flintshire said: “May was Flintshire District Scouts President and although at 100 wasn’t camping, air rifle shooting, sailing or canoeing these days was very much part of the scouting team. 

“I had the pleasure of presenting her with an award to mark her 70th year in scouting but had already been awarded an MBE and a Silver Wolf, the highest award a scout leader can attain. 

“She was very much a lady who supported active and well developed young people all her life whilst being very supportive of the like minded volunteers in scouting today.”

See full story in the Leader

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