Aelfthryth Gittings 1939-2012
A Tribute from her brother
SCPR 1978-2000


1954: Aelfthryth at the age of 15



Aelf, my sister – Having a sister is a matter of fate, having an interesting one was luck, having one that I not only loved but really liked, was great, good fortune.

While I might say ‘Don’t worry – half the things in life don’t matter very much and the other half don’t matter at all’, Aelf would say it’s all important – and she was ABSOLUTELY ALWAYS  there for you – and sometimes woe betide you if you had other ideas (John will be nodding his head here).

She was always focussed, determined, energetic and, YES, intrepid – from a youngster she was studious, serious and organised and always believed you should set out to make the world a kinder, more caring place for every person – to use ancient language – be they high or low, rich or poor, derserving or undeserving, wherever in the world they came from – A true socialist at heart – We are being free and equal, but everywhere some are in chains – we can strive to loosen them.

That is her legacy—in practice, from a youngster who was highly impractical and undomestic to the powerhouse of five adoring men – a family of loving, kind, considerate people;  her goodness to her very difficult, cantankerous old father; her friendship to many; her help to and with good causes.

And the manner of her death reflected the manner of her life – steadfast, indomitable, loving, kind to and considerate of others first… AND, of course, ORGANISED.

Just a short anecdote – our younger daughter has 3 girls, twins of 4 and the other 3 years old – they added a kitten for Christmas [2012] – Aelfthryth paid us a short visit last summer and made such an impression on them that, unbeknown and unprompted by us, the girls chose the name Aelfie! [who loved cats].

In a society often dominated by vanity and celebrity, there is a real world FULL, yes, FULL of remarkable but unremarked people – Aelf is one of these, and we are here to remark it, to shout it from the rooftops (which she never would), to celebrate her.

If we have wealth and comfort and we have not LOVE, we have NOTHING  -- AELFTHRYTH had it in spadefuls, in bucketfuls, in skipfuls. In short, it was and always will be a true privilege to be her little brother.

THANK YOU, BELOVED SISTER – THANK YOU, THANK YOU. Please raise your glass – full or empty, or a hand , in salute to my sister, OUR SISTER – AELFTHRYTH.  ---------------------------------------------