Popular vet Mary remembered
PUBLISHED: 09:46 12 April 2013 | UPDATED: 09:46 12 April 2013
Tree planted in memory of Honiton vet Mary Alexander.
The life of a popular veterinary surgeon who lived and worked in Honiton for many years has been celebrated.
Mary Alexander, who died in 2004 at the age of 85, was honoured at a memorial tree planting at the Millennium Green last month, which was attended by members of her family.
The English holly tree will act as a permanent memorial to her life and works.
Mary’s daughter Lizza Lamb said: “It seems fitting that it be in a place where she spent so much of her life.”
Lizza’s daughter Sarah Godwin was instrumental in making the memorial possible.
Mary was the eldest of three daughters and grew up in Guildford, Surrey, and loved the outdoors.
She studied at the Royal Veterinary College in London, followed by Sonning and Streatley in Berkshire, where she met her husband Frederick Alexander. They both qualified as veterinary surgeons and later married in 1943.
Mary worked in various veterinary positions during the war and Fred served in the Royal Army Veterinary Corps in India.
After the war, Fred and Mary bought a practice in Cannock, Staffordshire, but in 1950 they moved to the Honiton area and joined the practice of Dickie Allan of the White House, Colyton.
Fred and Mary took over the practice and based it in Honiton. Frensham House, formerly called Hollywood, in New Street became their family home.
Their first surgery was in Dowell Street, then in New Street near where the Honiton Dental Practice is now located, and finally at 62 New Street, where New Street Vets now are.
Fred and Mary had three children – Robert, Sue and Lizza.
Despite balancing family and work life, Mary still found time to be involved with the Honiton & District Disabled Fellowship Club.
She served on the committee from 1964 and was chairman for more than 20 years.
On her retirement she was able to pursue her many interests. Having a great love of history, she became a member of the local family history club. She was also a member of the National Trust, both nationally and locally, and of English Heritage, and was a strong supporter of the RSPB.