Pat Turmer…

Dr Patricia Pedrick Turmer was born on 24 December 1941 and died on 23 July 2017. Her funeral service was held at Breakspear Crematorium on 31 July 2017.

Here is the tribute by her husband, Dr Tony Turmer, which was included in the order of service for her funeral.

Pat was born at five to midnight on Christmas Eve 1941 to Leslie and Phyllis Brown in Plymouth, who moved after the war to Earlsfield, South London where Pat won a scholarship to Putney Girls School.

A levels led to a Bachelor of Pharmacy course and a doctorate in Pharmacology at Chelsea College where she encountered Tony. Their technician and fiance had bought a semi derelict overgrown house and on Sundays their hacking and plastering led to romance which in turn led to marriage on 19 August 1968.

Travel, athletics and the outdoors appealed to Pat, so helping with Tony’s 15 to 18 year old Scouts at the Fourth Harrow was no hardship, and soon she organized summer expeditions ranging from Lapland to Italy with only Belgium omitted.

She discovered the Southern 50 mile Challenge – teams walking across the Chilterns against the clock – giving 20 to 30 years to her team and being 1st, 2nd or 3rd most years. In one year we sent eleven Queen’s Scouts for royal review by Her Majesty at Windsor Castle.

In Pat’s final weeks, our team of Explorer Scouts successfully completed a five-day backpack through Snowdonia for their Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award, much to her delight. Besides all the activity we ran the Unit on a weekly meeting basis, and for light relief, for sixteen years, Pat produced the Facilities Committee minutes for running the District Headquarters.

Professionally, Pat did some years in drug research before switching to preparing the monstrous files of data required by the new drug assessors.

One of Pat’s pleasures was opera, from Gilbert and Sullivan to Wagner, viewed from the Balcony, or on disk.
Summer saw her on the running track, winter on cross country runs with Mitcham and Ladies and later Hillingdon Athletics Clubs. Variety was provided by 24 hour team relays and 3 x 880 yard relays (national record gained). Pat represented Great Britain in Student Games in Budapest and Tokyo and in Internationals against Russia and Italy, with 2 minutes 8 seconds being her best 800 metres time. At club level, Pat even did the high jump – only to get entry points – she was only 5 foot 4 inches tall!

Bird watching and steam railways also interested her. For a number of years, the Unit spent weekends restoring the Thames – Severn Canal and several preserved railways, ending the day with a good bonfire!

In October 2014, Pat went to the doctor with a hardness and discomfort over an ovary and belly tightness. Removal of her reproductive organs and some colon did not remove the ovarian cancer entirely and she had around seven drugs which each lost their effect after a few months. By May this year there were no new drugs to try and Pat resigned herself to her fate.

On 23 July 2017, by now very wasted and walking with difficulty, she listened to operatic duets by her favourites and retired to bed, she became unwell and passed away in the ambulance in the early hours of 24 July 2017.
St Luke’s Hospice provided care both residential and at home. Pat had walked the West Highland Way and other national paths in sponsored fundraising for the Hospice.

Pat’s Scouting Appointments

  • AVSL 4th Harrow: 19 January 1976 to 1 September 2002
  • Explorer Scout Leader Harrow and Wealdstone: 1 September 2002 to 23 July 2017
  • District Explorer Scout Leader Harrow and Wealdstone: 1 September 2002 to 1 September 2012

Pat’s Scouting Awards

For her outstanding service to Scouting in this County, Pat was awarded the Medal of Merit in 1992, the Silver Acorn in 2000 and the Silver Wolf in 2009.