Friends of St Cross volunteer who survived the blitz meets Prince Edward at Battle of Britain commemoration

Mary is escorted for the day by Sir Neil Thorne OBE TD DL
Mary is escorted for the day by Sir Neil Thorne OBE TD DL

A dedicated Friends of St Cross volunteer was invited to St Paul’s Cathedral last week to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain.

Mary Lock and her family survived the blitz on the November 14 1944 when their house, in Three Spires Avenue, was destroyed by a land mine.

Mary met with Prince Edward

Mary met with Prince Edward

But many of her friends and neighbours perished that night and her mother died shortly afterwards, undoubtedly because of the stress under which the family laboured.

Undaunted, Mary joined the Civil Defence and was drawn to the Fire Guard where she became the only female Instructor.

Mary, 92, is a member of the Civil Defence Association (CDA) and she is believed to be the only surviving member of the association from Coventry and as such, she was invited to St Paul’s Cathedral last week to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain.

She was greeted by Sir Neil Thorne, representing the CDA, to whom she emphasised that she was there representing her comrades in the CDA.

After the moving Service at St Paul’s, Sir Neil escorted Mary to the Guildhall where she was introduced to Prince Edward.

Mary continues her voluntary service to this day as a member of the Friends of St Cross.

She regularly staffs the Tea bar in the hospital and also helps serve tea in the staff room in Out Patients.

Another of her proud moments came in 2014 when she presented a bouquet to Princess Alexandra when she visited the hospital to open the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Rehabilitation Centre.