Salvation Army stalwart and New Greens resident dies aged 90

Thelma Lofthouse

Thelma Lofthouse - Credit: Archant

Lifelong member of the Salvation Army, Thelma Lofthouse, has died aged 90 after suffering a stroke.

One of New Greens’ best known residents, Thelma was born in 1926 and was adopted by a St Albans tailor who played tenor horn in the Salvation Army’s corps band.

She became a lifelong Salvationist and with her husband Denis, was at the centre of church life for over 60 years.

While Denis was mentioned in despatches for outstanding bravery as a Royal Marine, Thelma spent the war years as a messenger, relaying coded messages by bicycle between various ARP posts in Herts. There were reports of many spies in the area with the De Havilland aircraft factory at Hatfield a key target for the German bombers.

Later, she became a supervisor at the Tesco supermarket in St Peter’s Street and was known for her care and counselling of fellow employees.

An active member of the Salvation Army Songster Brigade, she was in demand as an alto soloist in events across the country. With her husband, she also prepared Christmas lunch for over a hundred lonely and elderly people in the city.

She leaves two daughters, four grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren.