Joy Clist, d. 1935

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Helen Joy Clist

Youngest child of George and Mary Clist of Shoreditch, Taunton. Born 12 Apr 1904, died 28 Feb 1935.

The portrait in the page banner is of Helen Joy Clist (always called Joy), a beautiful young lady whose life was cut short by tuberculosis at age 30. It seems so sad, because both her parents had died within the previous year.

She was my grandfather Sidney's youngest sister, a late addition to the family, being 11 and a half years younger than the next youngest, Annie. She was only 5 years old when her eldest sister Edith (then 24) emigrated to Argentina, and 6 years old when her brothers Sidney (24) and John (18) left Shoreditch to emigrate to New Zealand. It must have been hard for them to say goodbye knowing that they would not see her grow up.

There are a lot of photos of Joy in Sidney's photo albums, many being taken in 1931 when Sidney and Mercy Clist made their one and only trip "home" to visit Sidney's parents and relatives on both sides of the family.

Edith's youngest daughter Betty Sipowicz (86, neé Jenkins) told me quite a lot more about her Auntie Joy when we visited Betty in Argentina in March 2009. Joy lived at the Ivy Cottage with her parents, and cycled into Taunton where she served in a drapery. I understand that she got chilled in wet weather and was unwell for a long time. After her parents passed away, she went to live with her sister Dorothy and Tom Bellamy in Tiverton, where she died a few months later.

Betty said Joy had a sweetheart named Mr Maddox, but as Joy's disease took hold, he held back from giving her the loving attention that she needed. I suppose that is understandable, considering the deadly contagion that tuberculosis was in those days. But it must have been sad for Joy.

Joy used to send books as birthday gifts to her nephew Eric in New Zealand (my father) and some of these are in my possession. She wrote him a postcard when on holiday at the seaside, mentioning that she and a friend had been doing some rowing in a small boat. Eric was aged 21 when his Auntie Joy died, and he never had the chance to meet her (or his grandparents). Sidney was aged 49. The years 1934 and 1935 were very sad for Sidney and Mercy, and I recall Mercy telling me about it. No doubt all the relatives felt the same.

Joy and her parents are buried in a triple plot in Orchard Portman Churchyard, near Taunton, Somerset. A photo of the joint headstone is held on this site. My brother Alan has visited the grave in 2007 (see the section Day 4 on the page Coming home to Exeter in Alan & Kathy's travel blog).

Owner/SourceTribute written by Roger Clist
DateJuly 2008 (expanded May 2009)
Linked toHelen Joy Clist
AlbumsHelen Joy Clist

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