Mollie Edith Hubbard (née Buckett)

20th October 1917 – 2nd June 2010

Notes for funeral address at Milton Malsor, Counties Crematorium.


Mollie, the third of three girls, was born in the East End of London in 1917. Her father William Robert Buckett, a lay reader at Christ Church, Spitalfields was training for the ordained ministry. Her mother Alice Blanch (Whitmore) had to do much to support the family whist her husband was at college.  Phyllis and Nancy were Mollie’s older sisters.

The family then moved to Walthamstow where Mollie’s father was curate. She remembered fields at the back of the house looking towards Epping Forest.

In 1924 the family moved to Gloucester, Mollie was aged just seven. Her father took up the chaplaincy to the seafarers in Gloucester docks. He came from an Isle of Wight family of boat builders, so was at home in that dockside environment.

Mollie loved the house in Brunswick Square, Gloucester and had a large attic playroom for her own use; her sisters being just that bit older. She writes – ‘Sometimes my mother would bellow up the stairs and order me out into the Square gardens to play with other children but I was happiest in a world of make-believe playing with my family of dolls and Billy the teddy or with the homemade dolls house – or spreading the farm animals all over the floor using Phyllis and Nan’s old building bricks to make walls for the fields. I realise how lucky I was to have this space to play and I was supremely happy there.’  I quote this bit from her memoirs as it says much about her – with her lively inner world of make believe and imagination.


Her father was a stern Evangelical with a firm protestant work ethic and expected everyone else to follow his tough example. Mollie writes about how she was forced to take a Sunday School class from the age of 12 and absolutely hated it; however this experience possibly shaped her for a teaching career later on.


Life has its ups and downs. Her mother died while she was at college in 1937. Mollie was now nineteen and within eighteen months in 1939 her father had married again to René who was not much older than Mollie’s oldest sister. This had a profound effect on the three girls. Mollie write ‘No doubt there were faults on all sides, but my sisters and I were never happy at home after that.’ This huge understatement covers over a deep well of unhappiness and hurt that Mollie never really worked through. Nowadays she might have had counselling about it all.

1939 brought even more deep hurt when Nancy, mother’s favourite sister died.


Her father and new step mother René had started a new life together in London, in Bermondsey. …

In the same year the 2nd World War broke out with all its difficulties and dangers.

The war was a huge chapter in Mollie’s life – but brought out the best in people as communities pulled together to do what they could. The vicarage was bombed and once she together with her father and Rene were virtually buried in the ruins of their bombed home to be helped out by kind friends.


I remember as a child she would talk endlessly about those extraordinary war times. It also seemed the best time of her life, bringing out the best in people, inspite of the attendant traumas of personal family and national life.


She then had a spell in Sidmouth teaching evacuee children; then back to London.

Her father and René then moved down to Edmondsham, Dorset where he stayed as Rector for the rest of his life. 

In 1946 Mollie married George Edward Hubbard at the little church in Edmondsham. He had been out in India for some twenty years but was an old friend of the Bucketts from Gloucester days where he had been one time lodger.

In the 1940’s it was certainly expected of him to be married, if taking up an English parish. In his words he ‘chose the prettier of the two sisters who both loved me to bits.’  Certainly the wedding pictures show her to be an attractive woman in her late twenties.

George was also twenty years older than Mollie.


We three came along; myself Judith, Robert and Nicolas.


Life was not always easy. Mollie could be a volatile volcano – we children learnt to gage where the ash was blowing; she could also be very funny on occasions and thoroughly enjoyed playing card and board games. Every year, she always put a good old fashioned Christmas stocking together for each of us.


Every two years we seemed to move house.

Thankfully our time in Milton Malsor was the longest and it is fitting that we are here today, where father was both Rector and the Wednesday duty chaplain.

Father then died in 1977 aged 79.

This has meant 31 years of marriage but 33 years since.

A few more moves, Mollie eventually settled down at Sheraton Close where she made new friends and became a well-known member of that community.

She often chose to keep her own company but had lasting friends. She was happy making posters, doing her embroidery and painting. She also at one time enjoyed a bit of public speaking to groups and associations.


Always very strong; at the age of 90 she had a mastectomy and amazingly sailed through it all.

In late April 2010, feeling unwell, she started a spell in hospital. We had set up a care package for her to be able to go back home; but on 1st of June, the day she was to have gone back home, she felt nauseous. The following day, quite suddenly, she died from a massive heart attack.