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Stanley Spencer's daughter, Unity, laid to rest in Cookham

A daughter of famed Cookham artist Stanley Spencer was laid to rest at Holy Trinity Church last week.

Unity Spencer, who was 87 when she died of kidney failure on Wednesday, October 18, wanted to be buried near her mother Hilda.

The service, in Church Gate, was held on Wednesday, November 1 and about 150 people attended.

Her son John Spencer, 54, an editor, writer and director, said: “It was joyous.

“I wanted it to be a celebration of Mum, to pay a slight homage to her father.”

Stacks of jam sandwiches were served after the funeral, echoing Spencer’s Tea in the Hospital Ward painting.

John’s friends, family and members at the painter’s eponymous gallery, in Cookham High Street, were in attendance.

“Our extended Stanley Spencer family all joined in with the celebration of Mum,” John said.

Unity and her sister Shirin Spencer, 92, lived in Cowbridge, in the Vale of Glamorgan, South Wales, with John.

They had worked on a BBC documentary, due to be shown in the New Year, and the family has released works about the Spencers in recent years, an experience John enjoyed.

In his formative years, Unity had been depressed with living in Cookham, and she eventually moved to London.

John said: “Being Stanley Spencer’s daughter was difficult for Mum, but in the last few years it was a pleasure.

“The Cookham gallery, and all the people who work there, and all the people I’ve worked with in connection with Stanley Spencer – it is a great pleasure and privilege.”


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