Memorial Page 2020

As the Covid-19 spreads across our community we have opened this page for everyone who wishes to record and remember the lives of people in Moseley who have died. We wish to include everyone, particularly at a time when normal funerals and memorial services cannot take place.

Some will have died in hospital and have been tested for virus, others will have died with symptoms but without testing. We want to include everyone who has died during this difficult time whether before their time or from natural causes.

We wish them all to be remembered.

Dorothy Joan Scott

Clare Wainwright has sent us this tribute to her mother Dorothy Scott 15-06-29 to 28-12-21.

“Dorothy was born in June 1929, the only daughter of Edith and Arthur Perry.

She firstly attended Westhill School and then George Dixon where she obtained her School Certificate.

Her first jobs were with the Gas Board and as a Medical Secretary before meeting her future husband David. After a relatively short courtship they married at St. Mary’s church in Selly Oak in June 1954.

They were blessed with a very happy marriage and they had two children, Judy and Clare. They moved to Moseley and became a part of the local community and she had various part time jobs in local shops whilst David worked as an architect. They both became active members of the Moseley and Balsall Heath Institute where Dorothy organised the programme of speakers, dances and musical events for very many years.

In 1979 they celebrated their Silver wedding Anniversary. Sadly in 1982, ill health struck as Dorothy experienced extreme pain and lost all feeling in one of her legs. After numerous tests and the threat of amputation she was finally diagnosed with a rare blood disorder and spent some time in a wheelchair. Despite being told that she would never walk again she finally did with the aid of a calliper and then later on, just sticks. In 1984 she was diagnosed with breast cancer and had a mastectomy followed later by a hip replacement.

Ill health did not stop her as she took on several voluntary work roles. In order to help people who had had the same experience as her, she set up a mastectomy support group to help people both practically and emotionally with the effects of this operation.

She worked as a volunteer at Centre 13 Community centre for many years as an admin assistant in the office until the Centre was closed. She then volunteered at the British Heart Foundation Shop in Kings Heath which she was still doing in her early 80s.

Having lived in Moseley all their married lives, both she and David were active members of the Moseley Society and she worked as advertising manager on the Birmingham 13 paper for a while.

Sadly, David died  in 2006 and so she moved into Sorrento Court in 2009.  She liked the independent living but with the activities and company in the communal lounge. As she was a keen knitter, she knitted toys for the premature babies in hospital and blankets for the Dog’s Home. She was very upset when she had to stop this as her advancing arthritis in her hands and her deteriorating eyesight made this impossible. Unfortunately, her health continued to decline and with advanced heart failure life became increasingly difficult.

Sadly she passed away  just after Christmas after contracting  COVID in the QE hospital.”

Bruce Tanner

The following tribute for Bruce Tanner DL   21.2.1931 – 17.12.2020  was contributed by St Agnes Residents Association, February 2021.

“Bruce Tanner died on 17th December 2020, aged 89 years, after an extremely active and successful career as a businessman and eminent citizen of Birmingham where he lived throughout his life.

He was educated at King Edward’s School, having been awarded a foundation scholarship, at Birmingham University where he studied Russian, Spanish and Economics, and at Oxford University although his education was interrupted by National Service in the late 1940s.

Bruce spent 27 years in the travel business and was at the forefront of the package holiday surge in the 1960s -70s in his role as founder, Chief Executive and Chairman of Horizon Holiday Travel based in Five Ways. By the late 1970s Horizon had become one of the largest tour operators in the UK with its own airline Orion.

Notwithstanding Bruce’s hectic business life, he carried out many other public roles as a JP, Director of Birmingham Cable, Chair of the Birmingham Civic Society, which he helped to revive, and Chair of the Hippodrome Theatre Trust. In recognition of work at Aston University Bruce was awarded an honorary doctorate. He was also closely involved with St Basil’s Charity for homeless youngsters and Birmingham Rathbone Society, whilst in 1991 he was appointed High Sheriff of the West Midlands and subsequently as a Deputy Lieutenant of the County.

In all these activities Bruce enjoyed a reputation for being firm, fair and generous. He was held in the highest esteem and affection by all those with whom he worked and dealt.

Moreover, Bruce was a tremendous family man, neighbour and friend within the Moseley neighbourhood. He was strongly supported throughout his career by his wife Alma. They were early members of St Agnes Residents Association (1982) and the Moseley Society (1979). They were generous donors to local causes and very supportive within the community. They enjoyed a truly happy family life with their three daughters Jane, Ruth and Jude with many holidays spent travelling and also visiting their holiday home in Wales where hill walking was a favourite pursuit.

Bruce will be greatly missed by many and we are proud to acknowledge his achievements and pay tribute to his life.”

Gerald McEvoy

Emma McEvoy has provided this obituary for her father:

“Gerald first moved to Moseley in the 1970s and resided with the Mobsby family who remained close friends. He had been brought up at the Father Hudson’s Children’s Home in Coleshill and his first job was working at Wrenson’s Grocers in 1960. He moved to Moseley in the 1970s and he went on to start his own candle business, Abbey Candles, which was based in St Mary’s Row.

Gerald was a familiar and friendly face to many in Moseley village. He was a committed Catholic and had been involved in worship at SS John & Martin’s and St Dunstan’s. He also helped at the coffee mornings at St Mary’s church.
He was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2018 and continued palliative treatment until lockdown in 2020. He passed away peacefully at home in August 2020. He is sadly missed by Mary and his three children- Emma, Mark & Jason”.

Margaret Gosney

Margaret Gosney died on 22nd June 2020 in the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.  Her children Jeanette and David have sent us this message:

Margaret Gosney“Margaret Gosney (née Vicary) was born in Moseley and lived much of her life there. She lived as a child in Greenhill Road. She had eventually to ‘down-size’, but remained a Moseley resident until the end. She went to Moseley College and then to King Edward VI High School in Edgbaston. She moved away briefly after marrying, but returned to live in King’s Heath with her husband, Michael, and two children, Jeanette and David, before moving back into her childhood home in Moseley when her mother died in 1979.

She was always keen to be involved in local activities and in supporting the community. She was a member of the Moseley Society. For many years she was a member first of Moseley tennis club (which later amalgamated with others to become West Warwicks in Olton), then later Chantry tennis club, playing in the teams, helping on the committee and providing match suppers and afternoon teas. She was very involved in St Mary’s Church, Moseley, amongst other things caring for the garden of remembrance – she loved gardening, being a sidesperson, doing the flowers and helping at the Good as New shop. For over ten years she was the administrator at ‘Centre 13’ in School Road, ensuring that the centre ran smoothly and being there for all-comers.

Inevitably life got harder as she aged, but until the last few months there wasn’t much about Moseley and its people that she didn’t know about or have a link with in some way. She survived a bout of Covid-19 in April, celebrated her 90th birthday in May and died after a short illness in June, with both her children with her in the QE hospital. She will be remembered by many, I’m sure, with affection.

Abdulla Saif Muqbil

Insigam Muqbil has sent us this message:
“It is with great sadness that I write about the passing of my dear father Abdulla Saif Muqbil, affectionately known to his friends and family as Obaid Saif.  Dad had battled with heart failure due to a rare heart condition for the past three years and we unfortunately lost him on the 31st May 2020 at the age of 78.  He had been a Moseley resident for the past 27 years living with his wife and family on St. Albans road and was a much-loved member of the community with an infectious smile, kind heart and an incredible sense of humour.

He made the UK his home after coming alone from Aden, Yemen at the young age of 17 in search of work.  He worked for many years in the Steel industry in Birmingham and Yorkshire, before developing his own business here.  He was a very active and supportive individual who helped many others start up projects and was always happy to lend a hand in whatever way he could.

He loved his family in abundance and stood by us all throughout our lives, encouraging us to pursue education and careers we could not have achieved without the drive he installed in us.  He adored spending time with his wife, two daughters, five grandchildren and three great grandchildren and was the life and soul of our family.  He will be missed sorely by the communities he was a part of both in the UK and Yemen, by all the friends and family whose lives he touched and most of all by his wife of 60 years Mariam.

We love you dad and will forever be indebted to bravery of that teenager whose journey alone to a new land changed not only his life, but all of our lives forever! You are missed daily and are always in our thoughts and prayers.”

Pat Dowell

Sadly, we report that Pat Dowell, a Moseley resident for nearly sixty years, died in her sleep at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital on 8 April 2020.

Pat was from Maltby in South Yorkshire and left there aged 18 to study Art and General Science at Trent Park Teacher Training College in London, which specialised in Music, Art and Drama. She had the desire to teach from a very early age, and after completing her studies, moved to Birmingham where her teaching career began. She had a real vocation, teaching in inner city schools, firstly City Road Girls, then Portland Secondary Modern and finally George Dixon Comprehensive. She had a unique and special ability to connect with those children from poor socio-economic groups and immigrant families, and she was a pioneer of a “world culture” that she could realise through art. She wanted to teach big kids from an early age.

It was while teaching English at Portland School that Pat was introduced to narrow-boating. Many Easter holidays and half-term breaks saw her on the canals with Mike Lloyd, Head of English, and his two boats plus a dozen or more children on each trip.

It was in Birmingham that Pat met her husband to be, John, whose work as a physicist took Pat on many foreign adventures. Living in Geneva, Switzerland for two years shortly after they were married, they had their first child Laura there. A second child, Simon, arrived two and a half years later and was born in Moseley. A year spent in the late 1960s in Chicagowas followed by a further year in Geneva in the 1980s. John’s participation in international Physics meetings meant travel to many overseas countries, including Japan and India. Pat and John celebrated 60 years of marriage in August 2019.

Pat’s life in Moseley while still teaching and post-retirement was varied. She was the scenery painter for Drama 13 (formerly St Mary’s Amateur Dramatic Society) for many years, and was commended by NODA. She also took part in several plays, memorably as Mrs Alving in Ibsen’s Ghosts.

Pat contributed to life at St Mary’s Church and was, at one time, a member of the PCC, and later leader of the Visiting and Welcome Team. Her love of children saw her participation in outdoor activities organised by the curates, including borrowing the two narrow boats for weekend trips, as well as going on excursions to Snowdon and to the Malverns.

After retiring, Pat joined the University of Birmingham Staff Wives’ Club, eventually becoming Chairman, whereupon she soon renamed it as the University of Birmingham Women’s Club. She introduced the idea of soireés, as she thought it might be fun to include women’s husbands now and again!

Pat loved art and poetry, and always had a quote from a poem to share with you. Her own personal art included self-portraits in pastels, various subjects in oil paints, but mainly in water colours. She had a great love of painting male and female figures, notably dancing girls, and beautiful flower paintings, roses and pansies being a particular speciality.

Everyone who knew Pat will remember her for her sense of fun, her warm welcomes into her home in Oxford Road, and her radiant smile. She was a big personality and will be much missed.

Pauline Cable

Gill Davies sent us this message:
“Pauline Cable lived on Billesley Lane for over 40 years. She passed away in the early hours of Thursday 1st May, aged 88.
She was an avid dog and cat lover and would always have a bowl of fresh water outside her gate and doggy treats to hand out to any dog walkers passing by. Pauline was fiercely independent but had spent the past 15 months in a care home after a fall at home left her unable to look after herself.
She was taken in to hospital with breathing difficulties and passed away a couple of days later from Covid19.”

Graham Collingwoode Underhill

Graham Hindley has sent us this report:
“Graham Collingwoode Underhill, who has died aged 90, was the last in his family line to reside in Moseley, Birmingham. His parents, Baron Underhill and Gladys Barton, both came from old Moseley families dating back to the 19th century and were married at their Parish Church of St Anne in Park Hill in 1928.

Baron, following WW1 service as a signalman, returned to his Architects practice to specialise in the design of houses in the Arts and Crafts style, designing what was to be the family home in the late 1920’s, where Graham was to reside for majority of his life, in St. Albans Road.

Graham was educated at Rugby and Emmanuel College Cambridge, where the seeds were sown for his stoic precision of the English Language and his ability to maintain high values and standards in every activity he undertook.

After National Service, where he spent most of his time in the intelligence corps in Vienna, he then went on to follow his father as a signalman for seven years attaining the rank of Lieutenant.
Following a brief spell at Joseph Lucas, he was in the summer of 1965 appointed by Canon Lunt as a language master at King Edward’s School, teaching English, German, French and Spanish, participating in many school trips to the continent. Graham went on to spend the next 30 years there, latterly as admissions registrar, a position he carried in his customary precise way.

During all of this time he worshipped at his beloved Church of St Anne, where he served twice as Churchwarden, for over 30 years, firstly at the young age of 29; helping to sustain the fabric, the good order of which today is a testimony to his perseverance.

Graham, who was a true quintessential gentleman very much of the old school, is survived by his first cousin once removed, Jonathan Pitman, to whom we send our sincere condolences at this sad time.”   

Articles about the Underhill family’s role in World War I, written with Graham’s considerable assistance, can be read here and an article about the career of Graham’s father, Baron, is also available here.

Jill Shoesmith

Some of you may remember Jill Shoesmith who lived in Cotton Lane for many years with her husband Michael and children Paul and Claire. They were early members of the Moseley Society. Jill worked at Wake Green Surgery and Michael, when he could spare time from his work as a member of Birmingham 13’s Editorial Board, at Pebblemill with the BBC.

We are very sad to tell you that Jill died on 16 April. She was in hospital being treated for a serious kidney problem and was about to be discharged when it was found out that she had contracted the Covid-19 virus from which, unfortunately, she did not recover.

Pauline Conmee

Pauline Conmee died on 14th April 2020 at Highbury Nursing Home, Moseley aged 82.

Her daughter, Mary McEvoy writes:
“Mum heralded from a family of 12 in Boyle, Co Roscommon, Ireland. She arrived in Birmingham in the late 50s where she met and married our dad Paul, also from Boyle.  They went on to have 5 children: Paul, Mary, Dominic, Kevin and Oliver.

Mum’s family have a long history with Moseley. Her 2nd (?) cousin was Sir Patrick Hannon, Conservative MP for Moseley back in the 1920s.

Mum is to be buried at Brandwood Cemetery.”

David D Mishra

Doreen Deakin writes:
”It is with my heartache that I write about the passing of my beautiful Dad, David D Mishra. He and Mum, (Sylvia Mishra) lived in Moseley Birmingham for over 50 years and were hugely active in the community back in the day. A few of their friends are still around although it is more likely the bigger reunion will be heaven. Dad worked at BT for 40 years and dedicated his life, along with Mum, to their family, friends and helping anyone who need help. They were active in the Catholic Church and loved supporting the community and the elderly. After mum passed in 2011, Dad continued to be active in the community until his last few months and his conditions worsened, he had heart failure & diabetes but sadly it was Coronavirus Covid-19 that speeded up his time with us. He is loved forever and always will be missed.”

The two photographs above show Dad and me in the first one and then my beautiful parents in 2007 celebrating their 50th Wedding anniversary. They had 54 years together before Mum passed.”

Michael Wakelam

See tributes from the Babraham Institute and Richard Lutz  (published by the Birmingham Press) and a full  obituary from The Guardian.

“As you will see from the announcement from the Babraham Institute here, before taking up the post of Director in 2007, Michael had been Professor of Molecular Pharmacology in the Institute for Cancer Studies at the University of Birmingham. When he took on Directorship of the Institute in Cambridge, the Wakelam family continued to live in Moseley and have been members of The Moseley Society for many years.

Not only was Michael a passionate scientist, he was also an enthusiastic member of our community. He helped establish Moseley Forum in 1998 and became its first Treasurer. I’ve attached a photograph of the vote being taken at the second public meeting in St Columba Church Hall. That’s Mike in the front row, turning to ensure all the effort we’d put into leafletting the whole of Moseley had paid off and we had secured a majority vote in favour of setting up the Forum.

I will always think of him as someone who led from the front. Not only is this a terrible loss for his family and for science – it is a tragedy for our community too.


If you would like to add a name and an obituary to this website, please contact us via the contact page.