Blitz survivor and popular Lewes resident dies at 94


Stella Lloyd Thomas, a Blitz survivor who later came to be a familiar figure on Lewes High Street, has died aged 94.

Mrs Thomas came to Lewes on the death of her husband in 2010 and lived in the town with her son Andrew until she went into a care home in Woodingdean in the summer.

She quickly became a well-known face around town, frequenting charity shops, coffee houses and the Brewers Arms, accompanied by her sons.

She had an interesting background. Having been at Bristol University during the Blitz, which killed her best friend, she joined the Wrens, the women’s naval service, which posted her to Liverpool.

There, the Blitz continued around her with a greater intensity.

She went on to attain the rank of Third Officer and her varied duties included censoring the mail.

Mrs Thomas was born and raised in Newport, Monmouthshire, coming to south London after the war with her husband Roger, who fought in the western desert and was later a senior civil servant.

Two of the couple’s four children live in Lewes, though Rupert, for many years a presenter on Rocket FM, emigrated to Canada.

A dedicated trawler of second-hand shops, Mrs Thomas had an eye for bargains and from time to time, made startling sums selling them at auction, giving the proceeds to animal charities.

Mrs Thomas was also an acknowledged expert on children’s literature and would submit corrections to the work of published authorities.

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