Scores of tributes have been paid following the death of a celebrated author who wrote of her childhood experiences during the war.
Former Kentish Express employee Violet Apted, of Ashford, passed away aged 88 after losing her fight with cancer.
Born on July 7 1931, Violet emigrated to Australia in 1976 and resided in the Moreton Bay area of Queensland at the time of her death.
Despite being continents apart, Violet never forgot her roots and in particular penned a poignant book giving a first hand account of her childhood experiences of wartime Ashford between 1939 and 1945.
She spoke of the war years being ‘etched’ on her mind after her family home in Hardinge Road was destroyed in a bombing raid on March 24 1943.
Her family miraculously survived, including her brother Bert and sister Jean, who were saved when Beaver Road School teacher Miss Adams calmly took the school children down into the schools air-raid shelter before the school itself was all but destroyed.
Her story also identifies the effects of other bomb targets across the town where other residents were not so fortunate.
Some of these victims were from her own street.
It wasn’t until later life that Violet became an author, even though her mother said to her that she had been born with a pen in her hand.
In all, she wrote five books ranging from children’s books, books of short stories and in 2008 released a chilling novel ‘The Planting’, a book set in 1980s Australia – a story around ‘greed’ and ‘depravity’.
In 2013, Violet came back to Ashford for a visit, meeting with myself, and among others former Mayor of Ashford Cllr David Smith.
Violet forged an instant rapport with both of us.
It also struck her how much the town had changed since she left in the mid-1970s.
The same year, she released War Through the Eyes of a Child which went on to becoming a huge hit in the local book market in the town.
As a mother, heartache struck Violet in 2015 when one of her children - her only son, Steve - passed away.
Scores of friends and family have taken to Facebook to share their sorry at Violet’s death with much affection being shown, and comments of Violet being a wonderful and interesting lady.