From the Surrey Advertiser, July 1968:
HEAD OF CHILWORTH RETIRES
The cheque was presented on behalf of parents, school and officials by the vicar, the Rev. D. Box, before a crowded audience. A bouquet and a framed photograph of the whole school were presented by Janice Berry and Mervyn McFadden.
Miss Apling trained at Hockerill College in Bishops Stortford, coming to Guildford as assistant at Stougton Infants' School in 1932 At the age of 27 she was appointed head teacher at Burpham Primary County School. She transferred to Sandfield Infants at head in 1940, and then, from 1953 to 1956, was at Ilford. In 1956 she returned to Surrey to take up the position of head teacher at Chilworth, seeing the school over its move into the new building in January 1967.
Mr. Instone said he had worked in happy co-operation with Miss Apling, and thought being a head mistress from the age of 27 was perhaps a record. The new school was now established and Chilworth people could be proud of it.
Miss Stanley said Miss Apling had been a wonderful head of an aided church school.
Mr. Box praised Miss Apling for her organisation during both the "stop-go" period during the new building's construction; a building she had been told would be built soon after her arrival 12 years ago. He thanked her too for her personal care of the children in helping them across a dangerous main road outside the school.
He added that she was responsible for inaugurating the successful Parent Teacher Association and the school's first two sports days.
Miss Apling expressed astonished gratitude, and said she had not known there would be a gift, nor that the children would be present. She recalled her 30 children at Burpham School, her change to the larger school at Sandfield, and her enjoyable past 12 years at Chilworth. She was delighted with the school's photograph, and said that on her birthday she had received card signed by every child, so she would remember all their names.
She thanked all those who had helped her and said she was "happy to have played her party in starting the new school" It had always been a "friendly school" she added.
There be no goodbyes, as she would continue to live in the village, Miss Paling said.
Note by her nephew (CEA):
It is worth adding to the above that Vera returned to Ilford in September 1952 to look after her mother when Grandpa died, and was temporarily a head of department at Fairlop School, Ilford, until her mother too died in January, 1956. By then adminstrative chamges in the Local Education Authority meant that she was no longer eligible for a headship in Guildford, but was offered the headship of the Church school in Chilworth.
After her retirment Vera continued to live in the village, and for many years organised the Meals on Wheels service, which she inaugurated in Chilworth - and which for a number of years involved travelling to Guilford to collect the dinners for distribution, until eventually dinners were prepared locally. When it eventually became too difficult for her to drive, she reluctantly relinquished her part in the service and was awarded a "Long Service" medal by the Women's Voluntary Services (WVS). .
In January 1997 she was finally warned by her doctor she could no longer live alone and she reluctantly felt she had to accept our offer to bring her to Norfolk to join her eldest brother (my father) in Lincoln House Nursing Home, Swanton Morley, where she was given a room next door to her brother, who, unfortunately died later the same year, on 24 November 1997.
In her room she had her comprehensive collection of music and opera CDs, listening to which she enjoyed daily until she died peacefully on Tuesday, 26th October 1999, aged 91.
The details of Vera's funeral service are on another page.
Copyright © E.C.("Paddy") Apling, October 1999
return to Apling page
Harry Apling (1904-1990) Obituary
Stanley Apling (1899-1997) Obituary
Paddy Apling's Home Page