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In Memoriam

On the various St Elphin's Groups on Facebook, it's amazing how many times there are postings which state "I wonder if so and so is still alive", particularly with regard to teachers. I have managed to trace a few teachers who are, unfortunately, no longer with us and we will continue to find details of others, as well as pupils, and publish information on this page.

ADAMS Frances (Married name - Trower-Foyan) – Head Girl - left 1939
Frances, born 6th July, 1920, passed away on 14th July, 2008 aged 88 years. The funeral was held on Monday, 28th July, 2008 – the sermon was preached by The Reverend Prebendary, Denys C. Goodman (Mary Goodman's brother). At the age of 80 Frances was nominated as a Mercury Golden Oldie as she still did her own DIY, played badminton, table tennis and croquet!

BAINBRIDGE Wendy (Married name - Lambert) – Pupil 1940/1 - 1948
Died on 19th March, 2012, aged 81. Wendy was a pupil at St Elphin's from 1940 or 1941 to 1948 under the headship of Miss Stopford. Wendy was in Powys House along with her sister (Alison Bainbridge) who was there from 1947 to 1954.

CULLEN Norma (Married name - Cullen) – Pupil 1961 - 1965, Fletcher & Pigot Houses
Rosemary & Richard Levick-Marson, Lizzy Atwell-Dickie and Mike & Liz Bailey-Donlan went to Magda Cullen-Norman's funeral in Hull on 21st February, 2014. During the service it became very apparent that St Elphin's was a major part of Magda's life and, indeed, the family had made a point of ensuring it was mentioned - including putting her school boater in the coffin. It was very much a family affair and it was the first time I (Liz) had seen a dog at a funeral. However, Mutley was adored by Magda and sat as good as gold in the crematorium. We spoke to Magda's daughter, Vicky, after the funeral and she is going to let us have any photos etc which they come across of Magda's time at St E's.

Magda passed away on 8th February, 2014, aged 65, having been diagnosed with breast and bone cancer towards the end of 2013.

Miss Hudson - Head Mistress St Elphin's School - photoHUDSON Mildred Edith – Head Mistress 1933 – 1941
Died in office, as Principal of Hockerill Training College on 23 June, 1961. Ex umbris in veritatem – Miss Hudson chose these words for her book-plate, which was designed by her friend Miss Gill. One of her favourite expressions was "absolutely convinced". Read more.....


FREEMAN Joan – Staff, Maths – 1930s - photo right.
Joan was born in 1909 and passed away in 2000. A service of Thanksgiving was held at The Parish Church of St Michael, Shute on 7th April, 2011.

IRVING Betty Catherine
Betty was born in 1981 and passed away in 1995. A Thanksgiving Service was held at Matson Baptist Church, Gloucester on 17th August, 1995.


KERSHAW Rosemary (Rosey) – Pupil, Junior School to 1959, Kennedy House
Died 30th April, 2013 of cancer. She attended the final AGM of Old Elphinians (formerly St Elphin's Old Girls' Guild) on 13th October, 2012 with Jill Dixon-Thomas (Pupil 1954-1959, Selwyn House).

KITCHEN Vera Castle – Mathematics teacher and Deputy Head Mistress 1958 - 1977
Died peacefully on 17 February, 2011 at Priory Grange Nursing Home, Rhos-on-Sea, aged 94 years. Beloved wife of the late Richard Kitchen. A much loved mother of Marilyn Minto and a dear grandmother and great-grandmother. The Funeral Service and Committal was held at Colwyn Bay Crematorium on Monday, 7th March at 2.00pm. Donations if desired to Alzheimers Society, c/o Donald Roberts Funeral Directors, 46 Maes-y-Llan, Penmaenmawr. Tel: 01492 623280 or 01248 68107. Read more.....

MOLD Peter – Music Teacher – 1980s
Died 23rd November, 2013 aged 89. Peter retired from full-time teaching in 1983 but then took up teaching music to individual girls or small groups at St Elphin's. Shalini Nair was able to spend some time with Peter after her year's reunion in April 2013. Peter's son, Simon, has very kindly sent in the piece which he read at his father's funeral and, although only part of it relates to St Elphin's, I thought the whole euology to be of great interest. Read more.....

ONAC Muriel – English Teacher – 1962-1982
Died 7th April, 2015 aged 90. The celebration of her life took place in her home village at St Helen's Church Grindleford on 24th April, 2015 follwed by refreshments at Grindleford Pavilion. Donations were given to the N.S.P.C.C. Several old girls and staff went to the funeral where we were also able to have a chat with Mrs Onac's son, Aydin, whom some of us remembered giving piano recitals at school. We were fortunate that Mrs Onac was able to attend the 2012 reunion, albeit in a wheelchair and I remember showing her my school report where she had written "Eizabeth is still lacking in confidence.......". She replied "I think we can say you have achieved that now!". I think that comment will stay with me forever! Read here.....

Philippa Robinson - Head Mistress St Elphin's School - photoROBINSON Phyllis Maud – Head Mistress 1958 – 1975
Died 17 August, 2003 aged 94 years. The Funeral Service was held at the Church of St Aldheim, Branksome and was taken by Rev. Canon Stephen Lake, Canon of St Alban's Abbey. Rosemary Chambers (nee Thornton) who attended the Funeral said, "Her service had been arranged to the last detail by Miss Robinson herself and was conducted with feeling, humour and great affection by Canon Stephen". Read here.....


SUTTON Catherine (Married name Lewis) – Pupil 1967 - 1974, Pigot House
Catherine passed away on 28th March, 2013, having suffered with lung cancer for 15 months. Some of the old girls had a collection and £150 was given to Catherine's husband, Peter, to give to the MacMillan Nurses who had been wonderful with Catherine. Liz & Mike Donlan went to the funeral in Woking, Surrey on 10th April, 2013. Liz was in the same year as Catherine. I was delighted that, in October 2012, Catherine was able to make the major reunion at St Elphin's and that she was able to meet up with Caroline Wareham (Kennedy, 1971-1974) in Dubai. The photo shows Catherine (left) with Carrie when they met up in Dubai in October 2012.

TUCKWELL Judith (Married name Carter) – Head Girl 1957/58
Judith Farnham Carter (nee Tuckwell) 1940-2018
Judith was Head Girl in Lady S’s (Head Mistress: Miss Evelyn Emily Stopford) final year, 1957/1958 – an obvious choice as she was clever, musical and sporting, as well as popular and well respected by us all and by the staff. She was head chorister and she and I learned to play the organ with Miss Helen Thompson. She had two younger sisters at school – Patience (Patty) and Mary. Helen Jay (nee Wright)

WATTS Dorothy – Elocution and Music teacher 1958 – 1983
Died 2002 aged 94 years. Miss Watts was born 23rd August, 1908 and spent 24 years of her life at St Elphin's teaching both elocution and music. Her funeral service took place at St Mary’s Church, Buxton, on Friday conducted by Archdeacon Desmond Carnelly, with Mr Andrew Jackson (Director of Music at St Elphin's) playing the organ and Mrs Kathryn Hatton giving a moving address. Interment followed in the family grave at Buxton Cemetery. Please click here for further details on Miss Watts which were published in the Derbyshire Times.

WELLS Olivia Sybil (Married name Osmond) – Pupil – left July 1934
Lady Osmond (nee Olivia Sybil Wells), born 25 December, 1913 passed away on 25th July, 2004. Her funeral was held at The Parish Church of St Nicholas, Chislehurst on Friday, 30th July, 2004.

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