Alice Leslie

14/Sept/1918 - 08/April/2007



Alice Leslie, who died on Easter Sunday 2007, peacefully at the good age of 88 was a genuinely happy person, bright, slightly dippy, loving and beloved by a happy family and a wide circle of friends.





Born in Hackney in 1918, her father died when Alice was quite young, and, in a tough time for single mothers, Alice was placed in a residential school in Ongar with her sister Lila and brother Walter. Alice achieved a scholarship to the Blue Coats School in Greenwich and went on to have a number of pre-war jobs whilst also attending night school.


Alice and Lila were initially in service, but soon found other jobs. Alice became receptionist for a Doctor in Harley Street!


During the Second World War, Alice lived in London and was evacuated to Hampton Court with her sister after their home had been demolished by a flying bomb as they slept in an Anderson shelter in the garden. Alice worked for the Admiralty and visited Paris & Berlin after the war.



Alice & Keith

In 1947 Alice met Keith Leslie at a dance at the Wooden Bridge pub in Guildford. Keith’s family welcomed Alice as the woman to bring him back from the war and provide a much-needed anchor. She succeeded wonderfully.



They married in 1948 and had three children; Christine, Alan and Andy. As the children grew up she was loving and understanding of sometimes erratic lifestyles and the occasional shocks provided!






All her children remember Alice singing song such as “Wŭnderbar” in the kitchen as she cooked up a Sunday lunch, her love of poetry, often (mis)quoting “I am Queen Of All I Survey” or “I wandered lonely as a cloud”. She was fond of reminding us all that “This is the day”, and then sending us out to play whilst the housework got done.


Alice loved all her grandchildren – Michael, Carl, Kim, Jan, Philippa, Simon and Daniel and was delighted when Michael made her a great grandmother with the arrival of Dylan, upon whom she doted. She also loved Vanessa and Corin, the children of her brother Wal, who sadly had died when they were very young. Throughout their lives, Alice kept in close contact with Lila and sons John & Peter and their families.


She and Lila went to many reunions of the people who had been at Ongar with them, and was always glad to renew acquaintances from so many years ago.


For more than 50 years, Alice and Keith loved to visit Virginia Water Lake, Windsor Castle, the rose garden at Hampton Court Palace and Wisley R.H.S. Gardens. The family spent many Sunday afternoons at these places.


She was always busy, if not with the children, then with the Red Cross, the WI and the Labour Party. She put great gusto into her life and, when the kids were older, into her work, especially at British Gas. She was very sociable and “dragged” Keith out on many occasions when he wanted to stay home.

She appreciated the gift of longevity in her retirement, enjoying holidays abroad with Keith, going all over the world in their travels.


Alice and Keith celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary on April 24th, 1998. It was an immensely happy day for all the family and friends and a great party was held. 


In August 2001 Alice suffered a stroke and became partially paralysed. Keith looked after her until just a few days before his death, in 2004.


After some time in Hospital, having suffered a broken hip, Alice moved to Abbey Chase Nursing Home in Chertsey, where she was regularly visited by family and friends. She particularly liked their rose garden and enjoyed being taken into Chertsey town for a cuppa, or along to the Thames, where she and Keith had walked so regularly for so many years.


The family would like to thank the carers at Abbey Chase for everything that they did for Alice, who appreciated their efforts.


Her parting words to Andy, when he visited the day before she died, were of Keith, and her pride in the family. They, too, are proud of her.


Andy Leslie 17 April 2007




 The Leslie Family Photo Archive