1949 - 2023 | Sheffield
Sarah, Mrs Grenville, Fash, Fashie, Fashetio, Mum, Mummalina, Ma G, GG (Granny Grenville).. Our lovely Mum died very peacefully on Thursday 8th June 2023 with the absolutely wonderful care and support from the team at St Luke's Hospice, Sheffield. Sh…
Sarah, Mrs Grenville, Fash, Fashie, Fashetio, Mum, Mummalina, Ma G, GG (Granny Grenville).. Our lovely Mum died very peacefully on Thursday 8th June 2023 with the absolutely wonderful care and support from the team at St Luke's Hospice, Sheffield. She has approached her life living with cancer during the last three years in the same way that she has done the rest of her life: with great relish for the things that she loved and enjoyed (her family and grandchildren, friends, holidays and trips, food, nature and her passion for politics, driven by a strong desire for the world to be a kinder and fairer place for everyone); with awe-inspiring strength, determination, resilience and stoicism; and always accompanied with a hilarious sense of humour. Her motto became KFG - "Keep F***g Going” - (prompted by a card sent from Mum's friend and past colleague Jenni) which will remain a continued source of inspiration for us. As Mum's friend Marg said to us three: Jack, Ella and I were the love and passion of Mum's life. She is painfully missed but will be loved, always.
As a retired primary school teacher and life-long socialist, Mum debated the idea of charities providing services in place of what she felt should be provided by properly funded public services, paid for fairly by a progressive taxation system. Despite this, Mum felt assured that she would like to have money raised in her name for St Luke's, because in her words: "Where would we have been without St Luke's?".
Rachel Booker (our named St Luke's Community Nurse) and colleagues from the community team expertly helped us navigate the bumpy journey of the last 6 months together with unending care, compassion and humour, so that Mum could continue to get joy from all the things in her life that she loved so dearly. In the last 3 weeks of her life, Mum was an inpatient at St Luke's Hospice in Sheffield. It is a challenge to put into words how grateful we are as a family to the St Luke’s inpatient-centre team for the amazing experience Mum had here for the last part of her life. Every interaction that Mum had with the staff team - from the Medical and Nursing team, Support Workers, to the Physios and Occupational Therapists, to the Catering Team and Housekeepers - gave her joy. She absolutely loved having a laugh with everyone, not to mention the care and support which was always skilful, empathic and person-centred. Mum’s symptoms were expertly managed so that she could continue to enjoy the good things in life, such as time with her family and grandchildren in the beautiful gardens of St Luke’s Hospice and local Ecclesall Woods, as well as the fantastic food, which she couldn’t get enough of!
We have been really moved by hearing people's stories, memories and photos of our Mum since her death. Many friends and family of Mum have also asked if there is a particular charity that they could donate to in memory of our Mum.
We would therefore like to use this Tribute Fund as a place to collect everyone's stories, memories and photos of our Mum, whilst also providing a place to collect any donations that people want to contribute, as a small thanks to the St Luke's Community and In-patient Teams in the vital role they played in supporting us to help Mum live life to the absolute fullest, right up until the very end of her life.
With love and thanks,
Alice, Ella and Jack Grenville
Current total raised
In loving memory of a dear friend and colleague.
She was good fun when I met her, always interested in what people had to say and I'm sure she enjoyed her time in Sheffield. Sorry for your loss x
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I didn’t know Sarah well but I know if I had, we’d have got on really well. She always came across as someone who had lots of interesting things to say, a genuine care for those around her and a great sense of humour. Her KFG mentality is an absolute inspiration. I know she’ll be deeply missed by many. Sending so much love to Alice, Ella and Jack xxx
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Sorry we were not in contact for so long - after I spent a year with your family at 8 Adams Road. But really glad we did meet each other again.
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Sarah,a much missed long term friend and colleague .I shall miss our letter writing and humorous political sparring !Remembering you and your Year 2 class rendition of The Party by Kit Wright and the reasons you chose it too!! xx
I have very fond memories of Sarah. Our relationship was difficult at times, but nonetheless we loved each other. It was lovely to tell her I loved her, and that she would always be in my heart, and to hear her say she loved me too. She also told me she loved/adored her children. She was refreshingly honest about dying and a big example to me. Rest in peace, Sarah. Much love Sophie xxx
There's a picture of Sarah lying in bed at St Lukes, looking every inch the queen. Next to her, a large window looks out to trees. Trees lovely trees. How this picture and the care eased my aching heart.
Fiona A Greig
Wish I could be there with everyone today to celebrate Sarah's incredible life. She always treated us like "real people" even when we were teenagers. She loved and respected her children so much that she extended this love and respect to their friends too. We always felt truly welcome and safe in her home, with her easy smile and laugh. Sending all my love x
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Sarah was vibrant, funny and caring. I loved chatting with her; even though I didn’t see her that often she showed such an interest in my life and genuine concern for my feelings. I really appreciated this. I will miss you Sarah and I’m so sad for Jack, Alice & Ella.
It was wonderful to get to know Sarah after her move to Sheffield, where she made new friends and was a natural at the local pastimes of walking in the local woods and hanging out in pubs. She was always fiercely opinionated, enthusiastic, and with a great sense of humour. She would in particular show great joy around her grandchildren, as well as whenever she met Maya. Much love to the Grenvilles. X
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Sarah was a wonderful person, always warm and friendly, and concerned for everyone. She also had a great sense of humour and was a lot of fun to be around. I’ll always remember how kind she was to me, and how she’d always ask after Maya and my family. She’s going to be really missed. Xxx
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What a great motto to have adopted. Fond memories of how welcoming and generous Sarah always was to Alice's friends - from playing games at Christmas, sat round the fire drinking wine. Much love to all the Grenvilles - Aden and Lily x
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In the short period I knew Sarah she touched my heart in her caring openness to people and conversion, no matter your political persuasion or thought. Love Richie xx
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I never knew your Mum but from what I've read I wish I had. I know she must have been an amazing woman to have raised 3 such wonderful humans!
Fond memories of Sarah at Catton Grove First and Nursery School. Loved her quiet but wicked sense of humour which was always said with a smile. I will also miss her lovely Christmas news letter. Rest in peace Sarah
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It was such a treat for Rod and I to share a week with Sarah aboard the Luciole back when Alice and Fi were crew members one summer. We enjoyed long conversations as we wandered or cycled along the towpaths and explored the culture (and wines!) of Burgundy. We got to appreciate her brilliant sense of fun, her compassion and frankness. These are lovely memories. We always meant to see her more frequently, but were grateful that she always kept in touch. What a very special person. We all send much love to Alice and family.
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Judith Elliott Hunter
So enjoyed chatting and working with you and listening to your politics. Good memories. Jx
We knew Sarah initially as a neighbour and later as a friend for over 40 years. We will remember many happy times together in Norwich and later when she visited us in Nottingham - conversations full of laughter and interest. Sarah was a very special person, and will be much missed. Hilary, Bill & Carmel
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Sarah was such a really decent kind, human being, with so much care for those around her. So sorry that her life was cut short. Seems so unfair. Rest in Peace Sarah x
I was Sarah's Teaching Assistant when she worked at Catton Grove School. She was professional, friendly and caring. I loved working with her and admired her social values. Our friendship continued in later life, with Christmas cards and letters putting the world to rights. The world was a nicer place for having Sarah in it. It has been an honour to have known her 💕💐
To a very special woman and friend ,who always was full of fun ,laughter and good conversation .We will miss you . Lots of love Sean,Jo ,Zach,Martha and Star.
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Thank you for giving a Sarah such a lovely place to stay before she passed. I met Sarah only a couple of times in the pub but spoke a fair bit on those occasions. She was friendly, inquisitive, interesting and very funny. I only wish I'd known her better. Wishing lots of love to her relatives.
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I had the pleasure of meeting Sarah on a few occasions, her fun loving personality was infectious. I remember sitting in the kitchen having a cup of tea with her after she dropped off some issues of the Byline Times after introducing me to the paper. A lovely, warm, witty woman who I'll be sad not to get the opportunity to spend more time with. I'm glad her final days were spent in comfort at St Luke's under the care of the brilliant staff there
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This is a beautiful tribute. We only met a couple of times but Sarah's energy was contagious, and it clearly lives on in those around her. Much love to all Grenvilles and friends x
Although we met infrequently and l refused to discuss politics over all the years of knowing Sarah. 30 +,I was proud to be considered her friend. We talked, laughed,drank discussed almost everything under the sun.. We had fun together and I will often think of her.
Remembering all the good times at CGFS. X
fond memories of working with Sarah. lots of fun and laughter.
Tribute to Sarah
Sarah was a child of the post war era, the daughter of Cecilia and George Scurfield, brought up in
Cambridge, as one of seven siblings.
Her mother Cecilia had 2 children, Elizabeth (Lizzie) and John Paul (Ponji), with her first husband,
John Robinson, a doctor, who was killed in Burma during World War 2.
Coincidentally, George also served in Burma, but he survived and returned home. He and Cecilia
married and had 5 children; Matthew, Sarah, Lucy, Polly, and Sophie. When Matthew, Sarah and
Lucy were very young, the family lived in a 17th century manor house called Docwra’s Manor in the
Cambridgeshire village of Shepreth, where George was the local postman and an aspiring writer.
Cecilia came from a family of engineer industrialists and was a literary enthusiast, having studied
English at Newnham College, Cambridge. In 1954, the family moved to 8 Adams Road in
Cambridge, next door to Cecilia’s older sister “Auntie” Alice (a GP and psychiatrist by profession,
and a fondly remembered, eccentric and formidable presence), and this is where Sarah spent the
bulk of her childhood. At Adams Rd, the children enjoyed great freedom in the large space afforded
them between the two houses and gardens. George and Cecilia initially baked and sold bread,
publishing two bakery cookbooks, which were praised by Elizabeth David, and have since been
hailed as classics of the genre. George also published two novels and a number of poems. They
later opened a pioneering kitchenware store visited by Terence Conran and Laura Ashley, a
forerunner of the Habitat chain (or Hab-i-‘tat’ as George preferred to call it!). Both were lifelong
socialists, with George serving as a Labour councillor, and in 1970, standing for parliament in
Cambridge. Their world view would have a profound impact on Sarah’s.
Sarah attended primary school at Newnham Croft, and then the Manor Secondary Girls School,
having failed the 11 Plus. She became a lifelong opponent of the grammar school system, believing
it labelled and pigeonholed children at an absurdly young age. The Manor was a struggling
secondary modern in a deprived area, and Sarah did not have many positive things to say about
the education there. She left with two ‘O’ levels. Lucy remembers her attending Cambridge Tech
after this. When she was 18, her family moved to Norfolk, first to North Creake, then Fakenham.
Sarah’s siblings have recounted a number of stories about Sarah which showed her caring nature,
sense of fun, and creativity. Matthew, 15 months older, remembers her as having the ‘aura of an
angel’ when they were very young, tending to him when he injured his knee in Shepreth. He says
she always retained an aspect of child-like innocence. Sophie, 8 years younger, says her first
memories of Sarah are of her being rather glamorous. She recounts a story of how she came home
to North Creake one Christmas, unable to afford to buy presents. Sophie remembers Sarah
creatively and industriously making colourful pots for everyone, which she filled with things like nuts
and raisins. Polly, 4 years younger, remembers the fun and laughs they shared when Sarah visited
her and her husband Keith in Cornwall, when she joined them on a camper van tour of the Scottish
highlands in 1981, and later when they would pay each other visits with their families.
While in North Creake, Sarah began a life-long friendship with Margaret and David Robinson, who
lovingly nicknamed her Fash (Sarah said it was short for facetious, but Margaret thinks it was from
her mother’s Glaswegian slang), later adapted to Fashie, and Fashetio. When Alice and Ella
supported Sarah on a trip to Norwich in April this year to see friends for a final time, they reflected
on the evident love, admiration and deep connection between Sarah and Margaret. In Margaret’s
words to Alice following the news of Sarah’s death: “Your Mum is in my eyes, my mind and my heart.
I’ve loved her long and deeply."
Sarah told me she did not have a big plan for life when she was young, but knew that she wanted
to work with children. Her father George’s exhortations to ‘get a training’ led her to Goldsmith’s
College in London, where she studied Movement as a precursor to gaining a teaching qualification.
There she learned about dance, and while she did not take naturally to being the centre of attention,
and found the prospect of her solo performance particularly intimidating, her older sister Lizzie, a
ballet dancer, supported her through it.
After Sarah achieved her teaching certificate, her first job was in Wheatacre on the Norfolk/Suffolk
borders, under the tutelage of Mrs Sutton, with whom she remained good friends. She then moved
to Bristol, living with her sister Lucy, and working first at Air Balloon Hill, and then at Connaught
infant school. She enjoyed her time there, and kept in touch with many colleagues from that period,
but always felt pulled back to Norfolk to be near family.
She returned to Norfolk to teach at North Walsham in 1978, and after a few years on Kingsley Rd in
Norwich, moved into a flat share with a friend called Christine, above a Hi-Fi shop on Portland St.
Sarah grew flowers and herbs on the terrace, and Chris recalls that one day, after the owner of the
shop below crushed Sarah’s plants by dumping building materials on them, Sarah marched down
to the shop to give the terrified owner a piece of her mind. Chris describes Sarah as an articulate
and forceful woman!
She was politically active throughout her life, and met her husband Paul through Norwich Campaign
for Nuclear Disarmament, after attending rallies and meetings. She described how he quickly
became enamoured of her and would come and knock on her door quite persistently several
months. Eventually she decided the attraction was mutual and they got married in May 1983, and
had Jack, their first child in April 1984. Paul shared her socialist politics, and had a similar love of
literature and music; the Ragged-Trousered Philanthropists and Bob Dylan were shared favourites.
Having read comparative literature at UEA, he was working as a nursing auxiliary when they met,
and she later supported him with her teaching income to pursue a degree in Homeopathy, and set
up a practice. Paul was an outdoors enthusiast and a keen cyclist. Sarah had fond memories of
their time together in the 80s, including circular walks on the Norfolk broads, and visits to London
see Paul’s middle brother Max, then partner Charlotte, and youngest brother Giles.
Sarah taught in North Walsham for 6 years and then at Catton Grove in Norwich, where she formed
many friendships. However, there were also difficult times, with a breakdown in relations with her
head teacher proving very stressful.
Ella was born in August 1986 and Alice in October 1990. Jack remembers many good times from
the late 80s and early 90s, with many fun trips to the beach at Waxham in East Norfolk. Finances
became strained after the family moved from Rupert St to St Philip’s Rd in 1990, with Paul’s
Homeopathy practice struggling to get off the ground, other investments failing to pay off, and high
interest rates throughout the 90s. These worries, and the struggles of running a house with 3
children, alongside a husband whom some might describe as a free spirit, placed a lot of strain on
Sarah. Her father George, to whom Sarah had always been close, and who had loved having
grandchildren, died in 1991. Sarah said she never stopped missing him. Later in the 90s, the
marriage to Paul broke down, with the differences in character between Sarah’s strong sense of
loyalty, duty and responsibility, and Paul’s more free-spirited nature, unconventional character and
differing values, proving too much to overcome. The divorce was a source of great pain and sadness
to Sarah but she always had one priority throughout this time – to stay strong for her children, and
keep providing and caring for them. For this she will always have their deep gratitude and admiration.
Later in the 90s, following the difficulties at Catton Grove and the turmoil at home, it was a great
relief to Sarah to move jobs to Lodge Lane School, where she had a much more supportive head
teacher, Pam Dons, who really saw and nurtured Sarah’s potential. In 2010, Sarah became acting
head of Lodge Lane, an experience which she greatly enjoyed, although it could be stressful at
times. She was disappointed not to succeed in her application to fill this role permanently, but was
close to retirement by this point, so elected to return to classroom teaching, on a part-time basis, at
Frettenham school. Here she shared a job with Jenni Porter, who had a saying which became a
motto between them: KFG - Keep F****g Going. It really summed up Sarah’s approach to life
through all the challenges she faced. Jenni recently made KFG into a card and posted it to Sarah,
who displayed it in her room at St Luke’s Hospice in Sheffield. When the staff inquired about it, the
explanation always elicited a chuckle. Alice has had the KFG logo made into pin badges for the staff
as a thank you.
Whenever Sarah spoke about her work, her affection and respect for children, and her commitment
to their development and learning, was so evident. Even after she stepped back from teaching, she
continued in a voluntary role as a school governor of West Earlham Infants, such was her passion
Sarah was also deeply passionate about politics, and could bring pretty much any conversation back
to the evils perpetrated by Tory governments! Jack remembers the Tories’ re-election in 1992
leaving her in tears. She served as a Labour city councilor for University ward in Norwich between
2010 and 2014. She was a Labour loyalist for most of her life, with a strong belief in social and
economic equality, but pragmatic about how this should be achieved. If anything, she became more
left-wing in her later years, being enthusiastically supportive of Jeremy Corbyn, highly critical of his
successor, and very impressed with the achievements of Cuban Socialism, when she visited Jack
there on his medical school elective in 2014. She also very much enjoyed the mojito cocktails, as
well as watching and (with heavy persuasion) dancing salsa!
In the words of Margaret, Sarah’s three children were the ‘love and passion of her life’. As they were
growing up, Sarah supported them to make their own life choices and develop their sense of self,
while also being an unwavering source of emotional support and sage advice. Had she known, when
Jack first began studying Geography at university in 2003, that she would end up helping to fund a
total of seven degrees, it may have given her a headache, but their achievements were a source of
great pride to her in later years. Jack now works as a Respiratory Specialist doctor in South Wales,
and lives in Bristol with his wife, Becky, and their children, Wilf, Jocelyn, and Ivo. Ella is studying to
be an Occupational Therapist at Sheffield Hallam University, having worked for a number of years
as a mental health support worker. Alice works as an Occupational Therapist specialising in mental
health, and lives with her partner Luca in Sheffield, just around the corner from Ella. All three would
credit Sarah’s model of professional dedication, dogged determination and persistence in the face
of adversity as having provided an inspiring model for their own approach to their lives and careers.
Their father Paul was sadly killed in a road collision on his bike in 2013, and the way Sarah
responded to this tragedy was a testament to her generosity and sense of duty to her children. To
spare them the hurt of doing it, she generously organized the funeral and wake of her estranged
husband, and testified on her children’s behalf in the court case relating to the collision. Her
generosity was later again in evidence when she supported Paul’s brother Giles, with whom the
family had stayed close, through a mental health crisis by offering him a place to live for a year. He
remains grateful to her for this and describes her as a ‘rock’.
Alice remembers her mum always being supportive of her “tom-boy” interests when growing up:
playing football and guitar, and skateboarding. When Alice was a teenager, Sarah played a big part
in supporting Alice’s ska band, including ferrying her and her band mates around, and attending
many gigs. In the words of Alice’s childhood friend Rikk, summing up the feelings of many others, “I
will always have lovely memories of her, especially the house parties, and her embracing us all as
teenagers…and…encouraging us to find ourselves.” In 2021, after 43 years in Norwich, and having
completed a course of treatment for malignant melanoma, Sarah moved to Sheffield, renting a flat
local to Ella, Alice and Luca from their friend, Imo. There too, Sarah developed close relationships
with Alice, Ella and Luca’s friendship group. She was a regular participant in many trips to the pub,
group dinners and walks in Sheffield’s green spaces and the Peak District; in the words of their good
friend Richie, who accompanied Sarah to Manchester when she regularly travelled there for a
clinical trial of a potential new melanoma treatment, “Sarah’s just one of the crew isn’t she?”.
Ella was very close to Sarah, even though she admits that at times there could be tension in their
relationship, mainly because they were so similar! She describes both Sarah and herself as “highly
stubborn, forceful women…with a determination not to be reckoned with, and a love, care and loyalty
to friends and family that is almost impossible to break”. Ella and Alice heroically supported Sarah
to make a trip to Norwich just a month before she died, despite her increasing frailty. On this trip
Ella was glad to see Sarah relaxed and having a laugh with friends, something she’d not always had
the chance to experience, and which allowed her to see their many positive resemblances,
especially a dry sense of humour!
Sarah’s approach to cancer has been described by her good friend, and retired nurse, Moira as
“awe-inspiring”. Sarah continued to demonstrate the same great relish for the things she had always
cherished and enjoyed: her family and grandchildren; friends; the pub; holidays; food; nature;
reading about, and discussing, politics, and her hopes for a fairer world. She did so, as ever,
displaying a great resilience and sense of humour. She was determined to raise awareness, among
healthcare professionals and acquaintances, of vulval cancers as a cause of postmenopausal
bleeding, for which she was originally referred to the Norfolk and Norwich gynaecology team in
2017, when it is likely the tumour was missed. Following her treatment, she resolved to pursue a
complaint against the Trust, both to try to help overcome her personal grief at her terminal diagnosis,
and to highlight to the trust how they might avoid anyone else finding themselves in her situation.
Although communication was slow, she eventually succeeded in getting a very reassuring email
from the consultant involved, detailing how the trust had adjusted their protocols based on her case.
This gave her great satisfaction at the end of her life.
Alice, Ella and Luca have many dear memories from the last six months. Alice recalls them leaving
an oncology appointment with Sarah in December last year, with the sobering news that the cancer
had spread to Sarah’s brain. They agreed that they were a team and would tackle what was to come
together. Sarah was always grateful to her children for their support; Alice recalls her saying “I don’t
know where I’d be without you [children]”, with Alice responding, “Mum, you’ve put us before
anything else your whole life, I think looking after you is the least we can do.” Mum’s response was:
“yes, but I chose to have you!”.
In the last 3 weeks of her life, Sarah was an inpatient at St Luke's Hospice in Sheffield. It is a
challenge to put into words how grateful the family are for the amazing experience she had there.
Every interaction that Sarah had with the staff gave her a little joy. She had so many laughs with
them, and the care and support she received was always skilful, empathic and person-centred.
Mum’s symptoms were expertly managed so that she could continue to enjoy the good things in life,
such as the delicious food, and time with her family. On the whole Sarah was of the opinion that
public services should not be charitably funded, but she did not object to a collection on behalf of St
Luke’s, because in her words, “where would we be without them?”. So please consider donating –
details are in the order of service.
Sarah, Mrs Grenville, Fash, Fashie, Fashetio, Mum, Mummalina, GG, Ma G, lived her life to the full,
right to end, and lives on in our memories of her. Rest in peace Sarah.
Added by - 05/09/2023
I’d just like to say a few words about what Mum meant to me, and her relationship with my children, Wilf, Jocelyn and
Throughout my life, Mum was a never-ending source of unconditional love, moral support and sensible advice. Through
all the trials of growing up, including navigating relationships at school, overcoming crises from leaving my assignments
until the very last minute, moving schools, and choosing my path in life, she was always my surest counsel, and greatest
believer and ally. She struggled through the hardship of the breakdown of her marriage, and while this caused her
immense pain, it never broke her spirit, and she always kept going for her children. She was a safe harbour in stormy
seas. Mum always believed in our potential to achieve whatever we wanted in life, and trusted us to make our own
choices – I was allowed to choose where I went to secondary school, what I studied, and how I spent my time. She
placed a lot of trust in me – at times I skated close to this being undeserved, with not always the greatest choice in
friends, and far too much time spent playing computer games! However, I always knew what she thought I should be
doing, and that she was usually right, whether or not she had told me, or I had listened!
She always worried about what she called my ‘brinkmanship’ in relation to getting the results I should at school, but
after some retaken exams at AS level, her trust paid off and I got in to my first-choice university in Manchester to study
Geography. When I was there, she again very much respected my independence, although I think she would have
preferred quite a few more phone calls. After I graduated with lots of credit card debt, she readily accepted me back
home so that I could pay it all off, before embarking on a backpacking adventure in Latin America, and then the long,
arduous, and expensive journey of a degree and career in graduate medicine. She was extremely supportive and proud
of my career choice; it’s a shame she won’t be around to see me finish my postgraduate training, by which point I think
she would have got the hang of exactly what type of doctor I was!
Mum loved young children, which is why she spent her professional life in the classroom, and was delighted by the
arrival of her first grandchild, Wilf, in 2018. I remember her saying, at the end of the first visit by Ella, Alice, Luca and
her to see Wilf when he was 10 days old, “I know I’m biased, but he is wonderful”. Ever since, we’ve always had a date
in the diary scheduled with Granny Grenville, better known as GG. We will miss the regular visits and trips away with
her greatly. Wilf stayed close to GG even through the pandemic, when for much of the time, he could only see her on
a screen. There is a beautiful photograph of her hugging Wilf and Jocelyn when they were reunited in person for the
first time in months in Summer 2021, which sums up very well what they meant to her. She was so attentive to them,
listening to all their flights of imagination, joining in with their games, reading them stories, and walking Wilf to nursery.
She found Jocelyn hilarious (as we all do), especially the video we sent her when she was in the hospice, in which
Jocelyn said “good night, I wuv you”. Ivo arrived in February this year, and she loved holding him, seeing him grow,
smile and laugh. Over the last few years, knowing that we needed to see as much of mum as we could, there have
been some brilliant holidays together. The memories of her splashing in the sea with Wilf in Gozo when we visited
Matthew in 2021, sipping wine on the terrace overlooking the Brecon Beacons in Monmouthshire, and walking a sunny
Port Meadow with her cousin Margaret-Alice after a delightful lunch at the Perch pub in Oxford, will last forever.
I would like to thank my sisters, Alice and Ella, for the incredible way in which they have supported mum over the last
few months. When it comes to managing illness and frailty, we are probably better equipped than most families.
However, the outstanding support she received from them in liaising with healthcare professionals, with occasional
input from me, allowed her to maintain her independence for as long as possible, get all the care and adjustments she
needed at home, and minimise her time in hospital. They have my enduring admiration and gratitude for the heroic
trip to Norwich in May. I agree with Luca, when he said that she’d had just about the best experience imaginable in the
circumstances. Even before Mum became unwell, Alice and Ella welcomed her to Sheffield with open arms, introducing
her to friends and inviting her to social occasions, so that she became, as Julie quoted Richie, “just one of the crew”.
Thanks to all of the Sheffield crew for making her feel so welcome, and for going out of your way for her in so many
There is no filling the hole in our lives left by Mum. I will miss so much about her, not least her absolute relish for the
most important moments in life, the family occasions shared over good food and wine, with noisy children charging
around. I will miss her always wanting to be a part of the fun, the lively political discussions in which we increasingly
despaired about Westminster politicians of both stripes, and her putting up with the incessant joshing from Ella, Alice
and me (up to a point!). Most of all, I will miss the fact that nobody will ever be as unconditionally on my side as she
was. I love you mum, thank you.
Added by - 05/09/2023
We were very sorry to hear that Sarah had passed away…love and condolences to all the family from Patric & Liz xx
Added by Patric OConnor - 17/07/2023
Sarah and I met when we were both teaching at a primary school in Bristol in the 1970s. She loved to return in the holidays to Norfolk where her heart and her family lay. I went with her on a couple of occasions to stay at her parents' (George and Cecilia Scurfield's) second hand bookshop in Fakenham. I loved it. Her younger sisters were still at home and I so enjoyed the lively debate around the kitchen table about social and political views. Sarah retained that ability to express her views freely which I envied. Some years later she decided to return to live in Norwich and set about finding a job. She applied to various schools, and was offered an interview at a private school - not somewhere Sarah would ideally choose to have worked. On the way to the interview she suddenly remembered that she had a Labour Party slogan displayed on the window of the car, and deciding that this might not go down too well she stopped the car and ripped it off!! I don't know if she was offered the job but I don't think she ever worked there!
Added by Penelope Halpin - 09/07/2023
I've only lovely memories of Sarah, conversations and spending time at her house as teenagers especially. She was always effortlessly and without question, a "cool" Mum, who seemingly didn't question the occasional house parties and huge amounts of us in her living room. We always felt welcome. She just embraced us all as teenagers and supported our social lives revolving around music and our band. Not only putting up with us but kind of encouraging us to find ourselves really. It could have been very easy for someone to not be as supportive as she was - taking stock of it all, she played a big part in my life growing up. Alice, Ella and Jack, I'm so sorry for your loss, your Mum was absolutely ace. Lots of love xxx
Added by Rikk Richardson - 04/07/2023
My thoughts return to one weekend quite some time ago when Sarah came to London to visit us for the weekend. As any cooking I attempt is likely to fill the house with black smoke (and intervention from a fire alarm), we decided to go to the pub for something decent to eat. Courtesy of the local pub, we enjoyed a great dinner and, fully replenished, and in high spirits, headed for home. En-route back to base camp there was plenty of reminiscing and no shortage of family anecdotes – so much so that, on arriving home, so swamped in mirth were we, it rendered us totally incapable of getting out of the car and making the short journey from car to front door. There we sat, marooned in the car, hilarity having completely taken control of us, and, just when you thought it couldn’t get funnier, Beck (sitting in the back and bent double laughing) -went the extra mile and …. threw up laughing! Needless to say, further recovery time was required …. (accompanied by a few wet wipes). What a fun evening that was. Sarah was always so upbeat and ready to laugh (I can hear her now) – and she will be greatly missed by lots of people.
Added by Charlotte Grenville - 03/07/2023
I loved working with Sarah and becoming friends with her. We had great hugs, laughs, drinks and cigs on many occasions. I loved her political debates and cleverness. I will KFG x
Added by Jenni Porter - 21/06/2023