Tribute to Beryl Hepworth

After studying Nursing and Midwifery, Beryl travelled by sea to South Asia in 1959 on a 3-week journey to the country’s capital. Language study ensued before being located to an Australian-run Children’s Home, but sadly, amoebic dysentery laid her low for over two years before a correct diagnosis. Eventually, Beryl received the right treatment and slowly recovered. Whilst Beryl was in the Children’s Home, not one baby under her care had passed away, something that had not been the case before, despite Beryl not having any additional training beyond her midwifery knowledge that only covered the first ten days of a baby’s life. 

After a time, Beryl relocated to a medical college and hospital in a different part of the country, as a better fit for her expertise. Beryl returned to her widowed mother in 1964, who expected her to stay in England. However, she did not oppose her returning to her country of service in 1965 as it was agreed that Beryl would leave if her mother needed her.  

Nurse holding baby's hand

Beryl took on the running of the post-natal area of a Maternity Department in a different hospital, which also required her to learn a different language! She finally came home to England in 1968 and back in Ealing, the question was: what should she do? She began further training at a local psychiatric hospital, which went on to win her a Silver Award and a highly acclaimed thank-you speech that was talked about for weeks; her training at Bible College came in very useful in preparing a “three-point message” for the occasion! 

She was able to retire early and learned to drive, as long as it was a Morris Minor! She cared for her mother who died at 90 years of age after a short stay in hospital. Subsequently, she shared a home and her life with Elizabeth Curry, a friend of sixty-four years. They had spent time together overseas and remained close friends ever since, providing hospitality to many. Elizabeth was with Beryl until the Lord called her home on 30 January 2022. 

Kindly written by Elizabeth Curry, April 2022

At Beryl’s Thanksgiving Service, 30 April 2022, there was an opportunity for those present to share their memories of Beryl, some of which have been captured below: 

‘Beryl always had a word of encouragement on her lips.’  

‘As a new Christian in my twenties, I’m so grateful that Beryl was alongside me with her wisdom, gentleness and care.’ 

Magnolia against blue sky

‘When my family and I were due to serve in South Asia with Interserve, Beryl and Elizabeth showed such great interest in us and an unwavering faithfulness in prayer. They remembered more about our lives than we could!’  

‘Beryl was always smiling and welcoming you! If she said she was going to pray for you, she was going to pray for you!’ 

‘I have known Beryl and Elizabeth for twenty years. Both of them sowed greatly into my life as a new Christian. From an Asian background, it was hard to be a Christian in my family, and both of them appreciated this. Their example has inspired me to uphold the Word of God and even though I still have struggles, I now draw strength from what they taught me.’ 

‘Beryl and Elizabeth opened their home to me for a week during an extremely tough time in my life. Their love showed me the love of Christ.’