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We Remember ... Heroes of the Faith at St. Michael's - Thomas and Florence Stroud

1870 – 20 March 1955

Thomas Stroud was born in High Wycombe and married Florence Mary Nockolds in 1900. They lived at 58 St Mary’s Grove for most of their married lives. They had three children; Francis, Vera (who was a lifelong supporter of St Michael’s and played the piano at Sunday School) and Victor.

Mr and Mrs Stroud worked with great energy for St. Michael’s. During the winter of 1924-5 they organised half a dozen whist drives and several dances, including a fancy dress dance. The money raised from all this activity went towards the £1,700 needed to restore the organ, parts of which dated back to at least 1833 and which had seen far better days (Mr Pugh, the Organist warned “The organ is playing tricks, be prepared for anything!”).

Over the years Mr and Mrs Stroud helped St Michael’s in many ways. They continued to organise numerous social events. At one dance there was a tango, prompting the Magazine editor to comment that, although the intrepid couples looked a bit anxious, they took to it well. Mr Stroud was a Sidesman and Secretary of the Church Council. He stood unsuccessfully as Churchwarden in 1921 but when the successful candidate, FE Dodridge, moved to the country in 1925, he took over as People’s Warden. However there were obviously problems. Mr Stroud remarked in 1926 that the warden “needs a hide like a rhinoceros” and in the following year he slated sidesmen who were “in need of alarm clocks”. He resigned soon after, prompting Rev. Vaisey to thank him for his “efficient services diligently performed during a difficult time”.

It had truly been a difficult time for the family. The Stroud’s son Francis, who had been a chorister at St Michael’s had become ill in February 1925 and, despite a time away in an attempt at recuperation, died aged 23 on August 22. A memorial to Francis Stroud in the form of a brass tablet was dedicated on April 3 1926.