orderForm.noItems Des Page

DES Page (94), of The Priory area of East Farleigh, survived the ferocious and costly Arnhemba�les of 1944, and later returned toOosterbeek on a remarkablemission. Deswas anArmy glider pilotwho landed his plane loadedwith soldierswithminimal casualties at a time of very heavy losses. The 1stAirborneDivision then had tomake an eight-mile trek in the face of enemy fire to Oosterbeek. There hewas

Picture:Matt Alexander

involved in intense house-to-house

shooting. Bi�erly cold, he found in a house a lady’s short fur coat towear to replace his sodden jumper. The coatwas drenched when the troopswere ordered towithdraw andmake theirway across the River Rhine toNijmegen. Des brought the coat back to England to

be cleaned and 10 years later returned to the Dutch house,where he astounded JoDe- Wi�when he handed back the coat. Itwas the start of a long friendship. Des’swar-time experiences and views

frequently featured on television programmes and he a�endedmany military reunions, including the 70th Arnhemanniversary in 2014. After thewar, he became a senior sales

personwith Sharps inMaidstone. Born and educated inMaidstone, he lived

in a bungalowin East Farleigh and is survived byMrs Fay Page. Failing eyesight and health restricted his busy and outgoing life in later years.

Robert Bray

ROBERT “Bob” Bray (78),who lived for the final 25 years of his life onUpper Fant Road, lived in theMaidstone area hiswhole life, working on farms and in local parkland. Bob grewup in Yalding and lived in

Barming from1965-1993.Heworked at Bell FarminNorth Street, Barming, for 28 years before beingmade up to farmforeman. After beingmade redundant hemoved to Upper Fant Road. He thenworked for Turfsoil inGreenwich Park,Danson Park andHall Place.After

retirement hewas employed byMaidstone Borough Council,working in their parks and open spaces.

Bobwasmarried to

Margaret for 58 years andwas father to Sharon and Sue. Bob’s family said he

was a bubbly character who loved a laugh and joke, and enjoyed time with friends and family. He collectedmodel

buses, amassing a collection ofmore than 100, and enjoyedbus shows andmuseums. Bob leaves hiswife, daughters and

grandchildren Joe,Georgia, Ryan and Kieran.


JoyMcCrerie (85)was known for running the Royal British Legion Playgroup for many years.

Shewas brought up

inDi�on and lived in the Royal British Legion village, Aylesford for 60 years. Born Joy Sharp, she

trained as a nurse but followed a career in childcare. Shewasmarried for almost 60 years toNoel

andmother to Jan and Sue. Jan said: “My motherwas a very giving, caring and generous personwho hadmany life-long friends. She held a strong religious faith and formuch of her lifewas involvedwith the SalvationArmy, a�ending their church. “Shewas a regular a�ender for over 20

years at the over 60s club run by the SalvationArmy. In her later years, shewas in poor health, but continued going to the Sunday service at the SalvationArmy church until the last fewweeks of her life. She loved simple things like gardening and kni�ing.” Joy,whowaswidowed three years ago,

leaves her daughters, grandchildren Laura- Louise, Samantha, Thomas, Jason, Carly-Ann, Josh and Chris and great- grandchildrenAlfie, Poppy, Freddie and Gracie.

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32 Maidstone East July 2018 ShahnawazAkram

SHAHNAWAZ “Shany”Akram(49) lived in Sheals Crescent,Maidstone. Heworked as a pharmacistwho offered freemedical advice toworshippers at his mosque. Shany ran clinics for peoplewho

struggledwith the English language and asked only for voluntary donations.At the pharmacy he ran in EastHamhe offered multi-faith services. His public-spiritedwork brought himto

the a�ention of a number of notable people, and amongst those a�ending a service to honour his life atMaidstoneMosquewas BradfordMP ImranHussain. Shany leaves hiswife,Nosheen, daughter Aiza and sonNoshin.

Sylvia Slender SYLVIASlender (79) lived in a number of locations in theMaidstone area, including Barming and Bearsted. Nine years ago, shemoved to Queenborough, Sheppey,where she died. Born inMaidstone,

she grewup in Mangravet as Sylvia Raymen; one of seven children in her family. Shemarried John in

December 1957 and they had five children.

Her daughter-in-lawJane said: “Sylvia

was a very active lady,more so in later life, when she became a carer after John passed away in 2001. Sheworked as a carer visiting people in their own homes and later onworked in care homes. “She finally stoppedworking in 2009

when shewas 70. “When she left school, she did kitchen

work and during the years shewas raising all her children she still did farmwork. She will be remembered as a caring, giving personwho liked simple things. “She loved gardening and visiting the

county showand also enjoyed going on visits by bus. Shewas active until the end of her life although breaking her hip in 2015 limitedwhat she could do.” Sylvia leaves her four surviving children

(one son pre-deceased her) and 10 grandchildren, one ofwhomwas born two days after she died.




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