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News > Announcements > Obituaries > JUDITH MARRIOTT (1934-2021)


19 Apr 2021

JUDITH MARRIOTT (1934-2021), a member of the Board of Governors at Pangbourne College from 1994 to 2011, died peacefully on 19th March 2021, aged 86 following a two-year battle with cancer. Her funeral took place in St. Thomas’s church in Salisbury on 15th April. Her husband, Martin Marriott, the former headmaster of Canford School, three children, six grandchildren and a great grandchild survive her.

At her funeral the Tributes read by her children highlighted the impact she had had on others’ lives, her faith in God, her great ability to listen to others and to make everyone welcome in her home, and her quick wit. She was, said one of her daughters, “a natural-born giver.” During her life, she sang in many choirs and was a volunteer at a number of organisations including the Citizens Advice Bureau. “Nothing was ever too much trouble for her.”

Judith followed a conventional career for a woman of her era by supporting her husband’s ascent up the independent sector educational ladder. At Haileybury College from 1966-76, where Martin was a Housemaster and eventually Acting Master, she is remembered by many for her kindness and hospitality. Later, at Canford from 1976-92 – “very happy years for us” according to Martin – she became the “mother of the community” in the process re-inventing the role of headmaster’s wife, playing an active part in the school’s musical life and also spending Tuesday afternoons teaching teenagers “rudimentary” cooking skills.

It was at Canford that she got to know one of the governors there at the time, OP Vice Admiral Sir John Webster. When Webster became Chairman of the Board of Governors at Pangbourne in 1993, he decided to widen the Board’s membership ahead of introducing co-education and began by inviting Judith Marriott and, later, Gina Verey, to join.

Judith went on to serve 17 years in this role, in the process becoming a huge supporter of the College and serving as the governor with responsibility for Child Protection. On Founders’ Day 2012 she was presented with a retiring bouquet of flowers by grateful colleagues. In response, she said that it had been a “huge pleasure for me to be connected with the school …it was lovely for me to have MY school – belonging in my own right…During my time, I have watched Pangbourne become a truly caring school without losing any of its disciplined framework…It has been a real privilege to have served the school for so many years.”

Michael Allsop, who succeeded Webster as Chairman in 2000 and remained in the role to 2013, adds: “I very much appreciated Judith’s wise counsel, leadership and, above all, unstinting support towards getting the College back on to its feet and laying the foundations for what the College is today. I always felt that I could take advice from Judith. One of my strongest memories is persuading the Board and the Headmaster of the benefits of establishing an Education Committee. I had the support of the two educationalists on the board – Judith and Clifford Gould – and with their leadership and guidance, what a success this move has been. I firmly believe that it was at the very heart of the College’s recovery from the difficult times of the 1990s.”


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