Rosemary Squires

As part of this year’s Salisbury History festival, you are being invited to vote on five women, all connected with Salisbury, to find your favourite. Five essays will be published to assist you in making your decision. To find out more about this years Salisbury History Festival, please visit their website –


Welcome to the second of five essays on women who have offered a real service to Salisbury. At the conclusion of the five, we will be giving details on how you can vote for your favourite – who will capture your imagination the most?



Rosemary Squires has spent two distinctive periods of her life in Salisbury. As a young girl, she contributed to the war effort by singing for locally-based troops. Rosemary was particularly popular with the Americans, to the extent that when the Yanks went home their Commanding Officer presented her with the ‘Stars and Stripes’ that previously flew at their social club.

Rosemary’s strong will and independent character saw her achieve a 60+ year career in recording, radio, TV and concerts. Moulded by tough teenage tours to entertain British troops abroad, she developed the confidence to move to the USA on becoming disillusioned with British pop and to turn down contracts with big names on both sides of the Atlantic. Rosemary’s Salisbury-honed voice was heard across the globe – indeed by many millions who never knew her name through her ‘jingle’ work for TV advertising… Hands That Do Dishes, anyone?

Eventually, Rosemary returned to Salisbury, where she married the late Frank Lockyer and became involved in local causes such as the Studio Theatre and still occasionally performed, for instance in the city’s annual festival of remembrance at the City Hall. In 2012 she was awarded the British Music Hall Society’s Lifetime Achievement Award. This sat alongside the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors Gold Badge of Merit, awarded in 1984, and her MBE, awarded in 2004 for services to charity and music.

Rosy might not have a particularly high political or campaigning profile. However, she has quietly, determinedly and in her eternally charming way (retaining her light West Country burr throughout the decades) gone about her professional, personal and charitable business. Rosemary Squires remains a fine ambassador for our city – the mention of whose name can still elicit sighs from those of a certain generation.

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