Disabled campaigner dies

ONE of Suffolk's best-known campaigners for the disabled, Dorothy Thomas, has died at St Elizabeth Hospice, Ipswich, aged 88.Mrs Thomas, who was awarded the MBE in 1975 for her work on behalf of the National Savings Movement, was the first Conservative to be elected to represent Whitton ward on Ipswich borough council.

ONE of Suffolk's best-known campaigners for the disabled, Dorothy Thomas, has died at St Elizabeth Hospice, Ipswich, aged 88.

Mrs Thomas, who was awarded the MBE in 1975 for her work on behalf of the National Savings Movement, was the first Conservative to be elected to represent Whitton ward on Ipswich borough council.

She was injured during the war while serving as a senior VAD nurse with the Royal Navy at a hospital in Skegness. An aerial torpedo attack on the building left her with a broken back. Having been encased in plaster for several months, she later gave birth to two children, which further weakened her back.

Born in Norwich, she moved to Ipswich in 1944 and devoted the next 30 or so year to working on behalf of the disabled, becoming secretary of the Ipswich and district standing committee for the chronically sick and disabled.


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Her husband David died in 1962 and she served for three years as a Tory councillor before resigning in 1979 to move to Western Australia to live with son Christopher.

Mrs Thomas's disability was such that when receiving her MBE at Buckingham Palace, she could not walk backwards and had to turn her back on the Queen to walk return to the other recipients.

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She returned to Ipswich in 1988. Mrs Thomas, whose daughter Gillian died three years ago, is survived by her son Christopher, who has lived in the United States for the past 14 years. The funeral will take place at North Chapel, Ipswich Crematorium, on August 26 at 10.45.

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