Family sets up tribute website for Bowel Warrior Beth Purvis
The family of Bowel Warrior Beth Purvis has set up a website for friends and supporters to pay tribute to the Elsenham mum who continued to fight to save the lives of others as her disease progressed.
The lawyer died on Saturday, June 26, just five days after her 42nd birthday, leaving husband Richard and son Joe, 13, who attends The Bishop's Stortford High School, and daughter Abi, 11, who starts at Herts and Essex High School in September.
Her brother Henry Walton said the grieving family wanted to keep Beth's funeral details private but the bethpurvis.muchloved.com page was an opportunity for all those who knew her to share their thoughts, pictures and stories.
Flowers at the funeral will be from close family only but donations are welcome to Bowel Cancer UK's Never Too Young campaign. By Monday (July 12), more than £2,700 had already been pledged.
Beth lived with stage 4 bowel cancer for five years and became a media personality as she campaigned for better diagnosis, including a column in the Independent.
She grew up in Little Hallingbury and attended primary school at St Nicholas in Churchgate Street, near Old Harlow, and secondary school at Felsted. She moved to Stortford in her early 20s – for a spell she was a barmaid at the Rose and Crown in Station Road – and then to Elsenham 10 years ago.
Beth was initially best known to thousands of women in Bishop's Stortford as a founder admin of the Bishop's Stortford Mummies Village Facebook page.
She was also a keen horsewoman and among the stories shared on the website already is an anecdote by a friend called Abbi about an encounter with Olympic gold medallist and fellow Elsenham resident Ben Maher. He won Team GB's first equestrian showjumping medal in 60 years at London 2012 with Nick Skelton, Scott Brash and Peter Charles.
Abbi recalled a trip to the London International Horse Show at Olympia in 2019: "The next minute Beth had us backstage, hanging out and rubbing shoulders with showjumper and Elsenham local Ben Maher and we also popped in to stroke the massive drum horse from the artillery display in the stables. Special times and I will treasure all of my memories of horsing it with Beth."