Sister Maureen Duckworth (Mrs M Hepburn) Tribute

Posted on 11/01/2021

Sister Maureen Duckworth

Mrs M Hepburn


Sister Duckworth trained at St Georges’ Hospital in London and came to Wymondham College in the 1970s. She took over as sister in charge of the Sick Bay there when Sister Godfrey retired. They ran the Sick Bay in the former Operating Wing of the 1943 American Army Hospital which was meant to last 10 years! It was not the easiest of buildings to work in but there was always plenty of laughter there. Sister Godfrey was full of stories and an excellent mimic and there was always a slice of Maureen’s delicious cake on offer for the doctor who took the weekly surgery there!  Speaking of cakes, she always made us a special cake every Christmas.

Sick Bay was there for all College staff and their families as well as pupils. College staff who became ill were cared for very well.  It also handled several epidemics during the 1970s-1990s. Pupils were happy to go so Sick Bay when they knew Maureen was on duty there.

When the College was cut off by snow for several days Sick Bay provided overnight accommodation for the kitchen staff.  

Maureen surprised us all when she announced her engagement to Peter Hepburn, the next door neighbour of Sister Godfrey. Maureen loved living in Gressenhall and helped Peter with the Volunteer Car scheme. She joined in the life of the village church where Rev Vivian Singh, a former College Chaplain, was a priest. Maureen had a very good memory and organised quizzes to raise money for the church. She was a wonderful cook, needlewoman and gardener - she loved birds and was very knowledgeable about them.

After retiring she never forgot her Wymondham College pupils. She loved meeting them when the occasion arose and could remember them if we happened to mention someone. She never missed items of news in the EDP which featured them.

Maureen kept in touch with many friends and ex colleagues all her life and never forgot their birthdays and anniversaries. The first many knew that all was not well was when they did not receive their birthday cards. Maureen wanted to stay at home and died there on 5 January 2021. She loved life and made it better for many people.


                                                                                                Anne & Adrian Hoare

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