Mimie Eva Simmonds
1910 – 2007
Born in Rawal Pindi in India, Mimie was the youngest daughter of RSM Frederick William Williams R.E. The family lived in the military town of Roorkee and Mimie spent the first ten years of her life there. At an early age she was sent away to a boarding school in Simla in the Himalayan foothills. While there she attended a special tea party at the Vice Regal Lodge and was presented to the Viceroy of India.
Her father retired from the Royal Engineers in 1920 and the family returned to England to live in Sydenham close to the Crystal Palace and Mimie completed her education at a college in south London.
The family moved to Chipperfield in 1925 and set up home at Osmunda in Scatterdells Lane, one of the many wood and asbestos bungalows which filled the lane at the time. Mimie soon joined Chipperfield Baptist Church.
She got a job at the nursery garden run by Herbert Simmonds and in 1934 married the bosss son Jim Simmonds, a marriage which was to last for 69 years. They raised five children, Terry, Robin, Philip, Monica and Pat and Mimie was a familiar face in the nursery and garden centre until the 1990s. She loved growing plants and until quite recently still sowed seeds and took cuttings in spite of failing eyesight.
Mimie has left behind thousands of pages of handwritten memoirs and notes. She loved people and would do all she could to help her family and friends and even perfect strangers. Mimie passed away at her home in Chipperfield on 4 November and her five children, 15 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren will remember her with great affection.