Herklots, Rosamond Eleanor
b Masuri, N India 1905, d Greenwich, SE London 1987. Born into a gifted clerical and missionary family, she attended Leeds Girls’ High Sch and the Univ of Leeds (BA, French). After teacher training she taught briefly in Palestine c1930, but did not pursue this profession, returning to England to train as a secretary. She worked with Unilever for some years, and during air-raids in the 1939–45 war helped to entertain the children among the thousands of Londoners sheltering in underground stations. Her hymn-writing began c1940. After the war she moved to a flat in Amblecote Rd near Grove Park station in SE London, which remained her home for the next 30 years, and was secretary to a distinguished specialist in Spina Bifida. Later she worked at the head office of the Association for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus. During these years of some loneliness and ‘ascetic simplicity’ she belonged to St Mary’s Ch, Plaistow, in Bromley just a mile away, and dedicated a small collection of 15 Hymns of Hope ‘for the Vicar and people…whose encouragement made this book possible’. Another booklet of Five Easter Poems adopted the ‘voice’ of NT characters including ‘Black Simon’s Story’—from Cyrene. These texts show a close affinity to those of her contemporary Albert Bayly, with their biblical roots, contemporary feel and wide social concern. She sang contralto with the Alexandra Choir who often performed at the Royal Albert Hall, and was noted for her amazing memory and ‘gentle, oldfashioned humour’. 5 of her hymns are in print, and more than 60 others (possibly up to 100) remain in typed and handwritten mss. No.824.