Robert Benjamin Naish

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Description

Bob was born in Riseley, Berkshire and was the youngest of eight children of master butcher, Amos E. Naish (1873-1955) and his wife, Sarah A (1876-1945) who lives at Cherry Tree Cottage, Swallowfield. His brothers and sisters were Ethel L.(b 1896), Albert Edward (1898-1981), Elizabeth A. (1900), Frederick Thomas A. (1904-1978), Beatrice E. (1906), Cecil J. H. (1908) and Winifred J. (1911). One would have imagined that he would have had few advantages, being the youngest of a large family, but his parents had high hopes for him and they paid for him to go to a private school, a luxury that was available to his brothers and sisters.
Bob married Gwendoline Annie nee Robins (1913-1992) in 1939 and moved to 70 Evendons Lane. They had no children.
He served in the army during the Second World War and sometime later moved to Wokingham where he started a business as joiner, carpenter and decorator. He didn't drive but could often be seen around the town on his bicycle carrying a wooden ladder which he had made himself over one shoulder with a tool bag on his back.

During his term of office as Mayor in 1977, he signed the Twinning Charter between Wokingham and Erfstadt in Germany.

Bob loved St. Paul’s Church and gave much of his time to its affairs, occupying a number of positions over the years including church warden, recorder and free will offering secretary. He generously gave £1,000 towards the new lighting system.

To many, Bob was regarded as being a very kind man and someone who was very proud of his wife, his town and his country. he was a man of strong beliefs who wasn't afraid to stand up for what he felt was right. To some, he was a difficult man to get along with mainly because of the seriousness and importance with which he regarded his role in the parish and town. He was always determined that things should be done properly. There was only one way to do things and that was the right way which was his way.

In later years he and Gwen moved into a flat in Alderman Willey Close. When Gwen was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease Bob, at first, insisted he should look after her himself but eventually he allowed her to be cared for in the Berkshire Nursing Home.

After several years of ill-health, Bob died in Wokingham Hospital in the early hours of the 8th of October 1987, just two days before the official 10th annual own twinning celebrations were due to commence. His funeral service was held at St. Paul’s Church, followed by another at Easthampstead Crematorium. Gwen died five years later.

Source

Former Mayors of Wokingham from 1947 - 1979, by J Bell.

Identifier

WTH0127

Citation

“Robert Benjamin Naish
,” Wokingham's Virtual Museum, accessed September 22, 2020, https://wokingham-tc.gov.uk/museum/document/WTH0127.

Collection

Date

Mayor 1977