Copy of Funeral Service for Elizabeth Banham held at St Mary's Church held on 28th October 2021
Lis Banham, well known to so many Bamptonians, died April 17th after a courageous fight with cancer. She was a wonderfully active member of the Bampton community. She was one of the founder members of The Bush Club; she helped in the Community Shop; she 'sat' for the Archive in the Vesey room; she played bridge in the Bridge Club for many years and one thing she enjoyed doing was providing the table decorations for the club’s two parties each year. She was a member of the Flower Guild and loved her garden which she opened for Bampton’s Hidden Gardens and many people will remember her for starting and organising the Theatre Club, counting its member on to the return bus to ensure nobody got left behind; she was an active member for fundraising for ZANE, the Zimbabwe project. She always turned up for meetings of the various village groups and was always encouraging and helpful. She flew with the WAAF and you will be able to read much more about her in the next issue of The Lowdown but in the meantime, there is a delightful piece about Lis in the April issue. Her father was an Air Vice Marshall, the only member of the R.A.F. to shoot down an enemy aircraft in both WW1 and WW2. She will be greatly missed by many of us.
Jo Lewington & Frank Hudson
From issue 19 of The Lowdown 2021
Lis Banham, who died on 17th April after a brave fight against cancer, made a truly invaluable contribution to life in Bampton, and has left a wonderful legacy from the forty five years that she lived in the village. To name a few? Lis started the Bampton Theatre Club where she will be remembered for her boundless energy and organisation, especially when making sure no-one got left behind on the buses; she was a stalwart of the Bridge Club for many years; she was a very accomplished gardener and her garden in Church Street regularly featured in Bampton’s Hidden Gardens; and she was a long-time and much valued member of the Bampton Flower Guild making arrangements for church and community events. Lis was actively involved in the Community Shop, the Bampton Community Archive where she sat in the Vesey Room, and BZP, the fund-raising society for different projects in Zimbabwe. She was a leading force behind the building of the Bampton Youth Club on Church View. In addition, Lis was at various times a Parish Councillor, a volunteer hospital driver and a Witney Citizens Advice Bureau member, truly a lady for all seasons and of many talents. Lis was born on 21st February 1931; her father was an Air Vice Marshall and was the only man to shoot down enemy aircraft in both World Wars. She joined the Women's Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF) in 1949 as a Pilot Officer and served with RAF Intelligence during the Malayan Conflict all over South East Asia - Singapore, Malaya, Borneo, Vietnam, Ceylon, Hong Kong, and the Philippines. She returned to RAF Coltishall in East Anglia where she met her husband, Dickie Banham, an RAF fighter pilot. As a Flying Officer, she left the WAAF upon marrying in 1957 (a necessity in those days). Lis and Dickie moved around with the Air Force and lived in Washington DC for two years while Kennedy was President, and they also had spells in Ghana, and Cyprus during the Turkish invasion of 1974-76. They were posted back to the UK and to RAF Brize Norton in December 1976, where Lis fell in love with the local area and decided she wanted to settle there, having spent a life of moving houses around the world. They moved into Tudor Cottage, Bampton in the Spring of 1978 and she remained there for the rest of her life. Lis will be much missed by so many in Bampton and beyond. ~ A Life Remembered ~