The funeral service has taken place at Breaney Methodist Church in Breage, for Mrs Matilda Asenath Jeffery (nee Renowden), aged 97, of St Johns, Helston.

The Rev Danny Reed officiated, assisted by Pastor Bill Reed, both of whom knew Mrs Jeffery well. Some of her favourite hymns were chosen: Blessed Assurance, Son of God, if Thy Free Grace and Heavenly Father, Thou Hast Brought Us. The organist, John Gilbert also played Amazing Grace and finished with Charles Wesley’s great conversion hymn, And Can It be. She was laid to rest at Breage Parish Cemetery.

Sonnie, as she liked to be known, was born on August 24, 1919, in Pontypridd, in the Rhondda Valley of South Wales, and spent her first three years in the nearby village of Ystrad. Her Dad and Mum, George and Tilly Renowden, were both from Breage, but her father, who was a professional tailor, was ordered to work in the coal mines for the duration of 1914-18 war. It wasn't until about 1922, just after her brother Robert was born, that the family returned to Breage. By this time Sonnie was talking and had picked up a Welsh accent, she was told, and the neighbours were calling her little Welshie.

The Renowden family lived at the far end of Bakers Row in Breage, and Sonnie and Robert went to Breage C of E School. Times were not easy in the 1920s/30s and her father’s tailoring business had been hit by the ready-made manufacturing and he had to find other work. In those days water had to be carried from the pump in Bakers Row. Her grandpa, Robert Matthews, used to maintain the pump. He had been a timberman in Wheal Vor and had just returned from the gold mines of Arizona. For a long time there were only oil lamps in the cottage but Sonnie could remember Mr Reed installing their first electric light.

Sonnie was a very lively girl around the village, up to the usual mischief. Her mother used to take them to the beaches in the summer, Tremearne, Hendra and Praa Sands. Also there were visits to their grandpa's farm at Transingove, Cury. Sometimes they would walk to Porthleven and then across the shingle bar to Gunwalloe and Cury. From age 11 to late teens, Sonnie sang in the Breage Methodist Choir. Sometimes on a Saturday she would walk with brother Robert to Nancegollan and catch the bus to Camborne to the cinema. Later when she got her bike, Porthleven was her favourite spot. One evening on a visit to Helston with a friend she met with a young farmer from Mullion called Fred Jeffery and the rest is history.

World War Two came in 1939 and Sonnie could remember bombs being dropped on Tregew Farm near Breage. She worked for a time making camouflage nets at Porthleven. Around this time her father had been caught up in the evacuation of our expeditionary force off the French coast and was reported missing. In November 1941, Sonnie and Fred volunteered for the RAF. Sonnie was sent to Morecombe, Lancs then to Titchfield near Southampton to train on barrage balloons. Her first posting was to Coventry which she described as a very dangerous place.

Going out on night duty one evening she was hit on the head by a piece of falling shrapnel. Miraculously her tin hat saved her. Despite the danger she said she was happy there and Fred was close by at RAF Edgehill. Eventually Sonnie was promoted to Corporal and sent with 16

girls to Glasgow to guard John Browns shipyard. Sonnie's balloon unit was disbanded in 1943 and she was sent to Melksham, Wiltshire to retrain. It so happened Fred was there also taking his finals and they spent Christmas together.

It was about this time that Sonnie received word that her father was alive and had been taken prisoner to Poland. Sonnie`s last posting was to RAF Predannack. On June 2,1944, on what should have been D-Day, they were allowed a 72 hour pass, and she travelled to Reepham, Norfolk and Fred and Sonnie were married. At Predannack, Sonnie worked in the Lynk Trainer Unit, which was an early flight simulator and learned to 'fly' it as good as the pilots.

Fred had been sent to India but was demobbed by the peacetime government because he had been a land worker. They took over Fred`s grandfathers farm at Meres near Mullion. Their first child, Alastair had already arrived and a few years later Eleanor was born. Fred who was very

innovative, brought in milking machines and later a milking parlour and Sonnie took summer visitors. She always kept the farmhouse meticulously clean, no animals were allowed in but was surprised to return one day and find an Ayrshire heifer looking out of her kitchen window.

Eventually the farm took its toll on their health so they sold up and moved to Helston and Fred got work with a local builder. In 1970 Fred built a new house at St Johns where they stayed almost to the end. Sonnie loved her gardening and later took up painting. They enjoyed many lovely holidays in Wales, Ireland, Scotland, Norway and France. They also loved going off early and spending a day on Dartmoor. Wherever they were, they would always try to call in at a church or Methodist chapel, if it was a Sunday. They both had a strong Christian faith and this helped see them through many difficult times. After Fred passed away in 2014, Sonnie found it increasingly difficult living at home and she decided to move to Mount Pleasant House, Camborne where she received excellent care.

Family mourners were : Ellen Ferguson, daughter; Alastair Jeffery, son; Paul Ferguson, grandson;

John and Penny Eddy, first cousins; Susan Lewis, Janet Trounson, and Sarah Trounson, nieces; James Trounson, nephew; Jonathon Bryant, nephew rep Judith Bryant niece and family; Gina Metcalfe, Maureen and John Gilmore, Kris Lowe, Martin Matthews rep Janet Spargo, Lesley and Ray Boyt, Mary Rule rep Tony, Miriam Wearne, Pastor Bill Reed and Pauline Reed, Teresa and Colin Neal rep Christopher Neal, Justine Harris rep Ian Harris, Jackie Dart rep Mount Pleasant, Peter Gordon rep Breaney Chapel, Alan Jones, Marion Beer. Unable to attend: Judith Bryant, Millie Vigor, Ione and Arthur Pascoe, Jane McCutchan, Malcolm Welch and Sybil Benney.

The bearers were: James Trounson, Jonathon Bryant, Paul Ferguson and Alastair Jeffery.

Funeral directors: Pendle Funeral Services, Helston.