Rosalind Moss

Rosalind Moss

06 October 1929
Derby, United Kingdom
04 June 2023
Barnet, United Kingdom
Words by
Leslie Moss Son

Mum was born Rosalind Lux on 6 October 1929 to Sol and Marie Lux. Her younger brother Brian died several years ago in Llandudno but she is outlived by her younger sister Natalie. The two sisters were the closest of friends for life despite, or perhaps because of, the fifteen year age difference between them. To Shirley and I, Natalie is more like an elder sister than an aunt and we want you to know, Tante that we love you very much and are forever grateful for the support you gave to Mum and the happy visits you had with her at her care home.

Rosalind grew up in Chellaston, near Derby in a household full of love and animals, and a love of animals defined her life. Family pets included a cheeky budgie, a softie boxer, various cats, a tortoise and even a rabbit.

she went to boarding school (Clifton College, Bristol) for her Sixth Form

Mum did well at school and in 1945 she went to boarding school (Clifton College, Bristol) for her Sixth Form, one of the only Jewish girls to have done so. After matriculating in 1947, she worked for Boots Laboratories in Nottingham and as an entymologist on an experimental farm. Today no doubt she would have gone to university to study Biology, but in the Midlands of the 1940s, such things were frowned upon for girls.

Post-war Derby was an austere place but Mum missed no opportunity to attend parties in Nottingham and later in London, where she would stay with her grandmother Sonya in the East End. On one visit, her grandmother introduced her to a debonaire young man who worked with his father in a drapers shop opposite her flat. Their mutual attraction was instant and in 1951 Rosalind Lux and Sidney Moss were married, a love match that lasted fifty seven years until Dad died in 2009. I was a honeymoon baby, and my late brother Jeff and my sister Shirley followed over the next decade.

many happy years teaching at Bell Lane Primary School

Mum was a stay-at-home mother until my O-Levels were over, after which she started teacher training and spent many happy years teaching at Bell Lane Primary School and temping at an autistic school. She was throughout her life an avid reader, even if in her dotage she would read the last page first to make sure the story had a happy ending before starting

Shirley will share her thoughts and some anecdotes with you about Mum’s wicked sense of humour and huge capacity for love. I just want to give you some idea of her accomplishments:

In order to become a teacher, she needed a degree. She started studying with the Open University in 1971 and became one of their first graduates.

A superlative pianist

She loved music. A superlative pianist, she was made a Licentiate of the Royal Academy of Music, which requires not less than two years additional study beyond Grade 8. Our childhoods are full of memories of Beethoven sonatas and Chopin etudes. And she had a wonderful soprano voice, also award-winning, enjoying especially Gilbert and Sullivan operettas. Even in her final days she was humming along to Iolanthe played to her from our phones.

She was a great volunteer with The League of Jewish Women and Kosher Meals on Wheels, and for many years she led the 4th Hendon Brownie pack as their Brown Owl. When my sister wanted to join the Guides but the local troop were in danger of closing, Mum stepped up to become a much admired Guide Captain.

she protested to the International Olympic Committee against China being awarded the 2008 Olympics

She was also someone who wore her heart on her sleeve. When she railed against the ill-treatment of dogs and cats in China, she wrote to the Chinese Premier care of the Chinese ambassador to protest. She did not receive a reply, so she protested to the International Olympic Committee against China being awarded the 2008 Olympics. She gave similar support to donkey sanctuaries and foxes (of which more later).

But the achievement she will be most remembered for is the love, admiration and affection she inspired in everyone who knew her. Her family, especially perhaps her grandchildren, will never forget the love, the help, the support, the interest she took in them, the smiles of appreciation and her laughter.

Rosalind Moss can truly be said to have had a life well-lived, and a life well-loved. We are going to miss you Mum, more than you will ever know.

Words by
Shirley Bloom Daughter

Some people say that their Mum is their best friend. Mum was not my best friend, but I will explain. I am blessed with many friends, many of you are here today, but you only get one Mum in life and mine was just so special and unique. We had a close relationship always and right to the end, I liked nothing better than to spend time with her. She never ceased to make me roar with laughter with a usually inappropriate unfiltered remark!

A few years ago Mum had both of her hips replaced and spent about four months living with Grahame and I as she recovered. She insisted on watching every Murder Mystery programme on television, telling us gleefully that she was taking notes, which I have to say slightly unnerved us.

a zest for life

Mum had a zest for life like no one else I know. Any social event where Mum was in attendance was made all the better by her presence. How can any of our family forget Seder Nights, watching Mum get ever so slightly tipsy with every additional glass of wine ending with her in complete hysterics over the line in The Haggadah which read, ‘all men are liars’. She heard this every year and yet every year laughed her head off like she was hearing it for the first time.

Or watching her fingertips turn slowly red and the giggles come as she indulged in a glass, or two, of champagne, her favourite tipple.

Saturday nights in the summer to Kenwood to listen to the outdoor musical concerts

As a Mum to Les, our late brother Jeff and myself, we hit the jackpot. Loving but firm, kind but strict, we grew up in a happy home knowing our boundaries. Mum’s love of music meant that for several years in my early teens, we would go most Saturday nights in the summer to Kenwood to listen to the outdoor musical concerts and enjoy a picnic. Great family memories.

And on the subject of music many of you may not know that Mum had a trained soprano voice. We would often hear her singing around the house but I only heard her sing once in public, at an event at Raleigh Close shul. Her beautiful voice silenced the room and I was so very proud of her.

Everything was made fun. I remember that Mum was keen for me to have a good posture and coined the expression ‘Hateful Horrible Shirley Shoulders back’ to remind me to stand up straight. If we were in public and she felt I was slouching, rather than embarrass me, she would shorten that expression to just its initials and to the bewilderment of others around, just say HHSSB.

she mainly wrote about animal rights and the then Camilla Parker Bowles

Mum was a prolific letter writer, often writing to the Daily Mail. Several of her letters were published although some were edited to remove any libellous statements which left very little to print. She had a few key topics but she mainly wrote about animal rights and the then Camilla Parker Bowles. I think it is fair to say that Mum was not Camilla’s number one fan. In fact we never quite dared tell Mum that Camilla is now Queen.

Mum loved animals greatly, all animals but especially cats, although all the dogs in the family always gravitated to her too. But it wasn’t just about domestic animals for her. Please don’t tell the Manager of the retirement block that she used to live in , but it was actually Mum who was feeding the foxes late at night, causing them to line up in the communal garden to wait for their dinner. When a note went around the block asking for whoever it was to stop feeding them, Mum took instead, to throwing the food out of the window late at night so as not to be seen. Goodness knows what the poor resident in the flat below would have thought when they looked out of the window and saw flying sausage rolls.

amazing unique funny intelligent and slightly naughty woman

Mum was always in good spirts, happy and cheerful, greeting everyone with her beautiful beaming smile but always with a twinkle in her eye. We spoke daily and she was always so happy to hear our news and what antics her five great grandchildren, Isla, Cameron, Leora, Iris and Sage were up to.

Also all of her seven grandchildren adored her: Louise, Giora, Daniella, Lawrence, Robin, Pip and Davina, all have such fond memories of days out and sleepovers with Grandma Roro. She is affectionately called Roro which I believe was first started by her nephew Mark when he was little and couldn’t say Aunty Rosalind. When Mum found out she was going to be a Great Grandma she told me in no uncertain terms that she did not want to be called Bubba as it made her sound so old and so Roro stuck and well, just seemed to suit her so well.

There are many stories and anecdotes I could tell here and I hope these few have given you all a taste of the amazing unique funny intelligent and slightly naughty woman my Mum was. A strong woman who has passed this trait on to all the women of the family, including the littlest, seven month old Iris who has already learnt how to boss her twin brother Sage around. 

A few days ago in the hospital, where because time was running out, I had some of the most special conversations with Mum. I thanked her for being the absolute best, For showing me what it takes to be a good Mum and a loving Grandma. Everything I am, I owe to her.

Finally, a nurse at the hospital told me that four days ago my Mum had told her that she had had a very happy contented life. What more could any of us want to hear.

Mum, sleep well, say ‘hi’ to Dad and Jeff from us all. I love you and will miss you always.

Words by
Natalie Cutler Sister

First, I would like to thank the Rabbi and the Board for permitting me to speak today about my sister. Rosalind was born in 1929 in a small village called Chaddeston north of Derby. A community of fifty Jewish families with our own rabbi, shul and shul hall, our mother and father were Chair of the Ladies Society and Chair of the Board respectively.

Every weekday she walked her brother Brian to his school, on the way to hers, telling him a story on a subject of his choice. Academically able, she attended Parkfield Cedars grammar school, followed by boarding at Clifton College where she made lifelong friends and passed matrick. She excelled at science and worked in Boots Laboratories as an entomologist She often came home at weekends with caterpillers, beetles and grass snakes.

exquisite soprano voice

I arrived, unexpectedly, years after Rosalind and Brian, when we had moved to a large house in Chellaston on the south side. Her exquisite soprano voice was trained at the Lawrence Lee Opera Company. My mother’s friend, Ena Hyams, also trained by Lawrence Lee, tried to compete by singing Queen of the Night at one of the many get togethers run by the shul. Nowhere near the top C and a lover of latkes, she nearly popped out of her costume. Rosalind and I were so hysterical our father thought I was going to pass out. She also completed Grade 8 piano followed by LRAM from the Royal Academy which would have qualified her to teach, had she so wished. I loved hearing her play Chopin.

The Second World War obviously impacted the family, and she had vivid memories of playing board games in the bomb shelter our father had built in the garden. Our mother taught us both to cook and we had a garden full of beautiful flowers, fruit and vegetables. Daddy, a true autodidact, took the three of us through his extensive library. Our brother sailed, ran marathons, rowed, boxed and cycled over the Alps. Rosalind sat in the garden reading and working out how to get out of games.

I never heard them argue

Our maternal grandmother introduced her to her husband on one of Rosalind’s visits to London. Thirteen years older and no animal lover, his first visit to my parents began as he arrived at Derby station and was greeted by my father’s large dog which covered his immaculate suit in hair. Worse was to come when he got to the house to be greeted by the cat, Ruby the house trained rabbit, Timmy the tortoise and my family of white mice. The shidduch nearly went off as Jackie, the free flying budgie landed on the side of his soup plate demanding lockshen. He must have been very keen as he managed the weekend. When my father asked what it was that drew her to him (there was a queue) she said simply, “He is kind”. She was astute. It was a love match which lasted over fifty years. I was a bridesmaid. They honeymooned in Cannes. I never heard them argue.

Two sons and a daughter followed. Sidney was not new man but he was certainly a pillar of Raleigh Close synagogue. When you live two doors down from the shul you are always being asked to make up a minyan. Six weeks after Leslie, their first son’s birth he had still not held him, let alone changed a nappy. She solved the problem by handing him the baby when the phone rang, leaving the room to answer it. He never did change a nappy.

Rosalind studied for a degree in Humanities and taught for many years at a local school. This work, coupled with running the local brownie and guide packs and assisting at a school for autistic children, kept her busy. She was also on the League of Jewish Women with our mother. Plus a lot of entertaining. She and Sidney had a great many friends.

Sidney never goes in there!

As I said, our childhood was surrounded by animals, but not Sidney’s. When the time came to have the school canary for the weekend as part of a rota, I asked her what she would do. “No problem,” she answered, putting the cage in the kitchen. “Sidney never goes in there!”. The whole weekend he commented on the singing of the garden birds. Charlie the canary went back to school undetected.

Rosalind and I were opera lovers and spent many happy times at the English National Opera rehearsals with our sandwiches for the interval. When together we talked books and music. My sister was always my protector. When I moved to London it was to her home that I came. When I ran away from my first husband it was she who collected me in her car with all my belongings and brought me to her house as I sobbed in the back seat. We went to the lawyer together. When I met Michael, Sidney took it upon himself to check him out in case I made another mistake. Michael passed the test.

Michael and I had some wonderful times with them, particularly at Les Ambassadeurs where Rosalind consumed pink champagne and always got the giggles. She was a serial giggler. The two men loved, admired and respected one another.

My sister and I spent many holidays in Llandudno, visiting our brother who had retired there at the end of his distinguished dental career. The three of us always had fun together and never had a cross word. Rosalind could be found at the end of the pier, reading a book and protecting her ice cream from the swooping seagulls.

honourable, blessed and fulfilled

My sister had a strong character. Downsizing, as one does, she lived for some years in an assisted living block. The charming manager eventually left to be replaced by Ayo, a woman on a mission to change everything. She swiftly met Rosalind, the immovable object who went round all residents with a petition . At the AGM the enemy went down in flames. The chintz cushions in the lounge were changed by Ayo, without consultation, for garish animal prints. Somehow they were “lost”. Rosalind had been downstairs at 6 a.m. The dustmen collected them that morning.

Rosalind was blessed with Seven grandchldren and five great grandchildren. Twin great grandchildren are in the pipeline.

With only nine years between her eldest and myself, I have come to know and love her children. They inherit all the best traits of both parents and are set fair to continue living lives as honourable, blessed and fulfilled as hers.