Memorial to be held for former editor David Henshall and his wife Gloria

Star feature..words james marston
Proud parents David and Gloria Henshall surrounded by pictures

A memorial service for David and Gloria Henshall , pictured here in 2006, will be held in October - Credit: Owen Hines

A memorial is set to be held next month to celebrate the lives of a former editor and his wife. 

David Henshall died in April 2020 at the age of 90, his wife Gloria, a former Ipswich drama teacher, died in May 2021, aged 88. 

Mr Henshall was a columnist and former news editor of the East Anglian Daily Times, and was also an editor of the Ipswich Star in the mid-1990s while Mrs Henshall taught drama at Northgate High School in Ipswich.

As a result of coronavirus restrictions the couple's family were not able to hold proper funerals for them and so have decided to hold a joint memorial service to celebrate their lives and achievements now instead. 

Gloria Henshall and Ruthie

Ruthie Henshall and her mum Gloria before lockdown forced them apart as care home visits were suspended. - Credit: Ruthie Henshall

The Henshalls' daughter, West End actress Ruthie Henshall, had been helping her mother in her final few weeks and had raised concerns about the strictness of Government regulations which kept family members and care givers away from their loved ones.

“I was Gloria’s essential care giver for her last weeks," she said at the time of her mother's death. 

"I read to her, sang to her, cuddled her, fed her, massaged her hands and feet and told her I loved her at least 20 times a visit.”

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Ms Henshall said her mother had "passed away very peacefully".

“I managed to care for her for a few short weeks. It was my honour and my privilege," she added. 

David and Gloria Henshall celebrating their golden wedding anniversary in 2002

David and Gloria Henshall celebrating their golden wedding anniversary in 2002 - Credit: James Fletcher

Speaking at the time of Mr Henshall's death, former Ipswich Star and EADT editor Terry Hunt described David as a “wonderfully supportive, kind and understanding boss - but, most of all, a lovely man.

“David was News Editor when I joined the Newsdesk in Ipswich in 1984. He was great to work with and helped me and others enormously. He was always professional, but also great fun. A laugh was never far away."

Arts Editor Andrew Clarke said: “David was a father figure to me in many ways. He was certainly a mentor. He taught me a lot about the art of reviewing, teaching me skills that I not only continue to use but I now share with other young journalists. He gave me two very valuable pieces of advice: ‘Always be honest. If you are honest you can defend any position.’"

The memorial service for The Henshalls will be held at St. Peter’s Church, Stutton, at 11am on Saturday, October 9.