Remembering Marjorie Warneford (Smallma)

We remember Marjorie Warneford by helping the Banni Lower Basic School children in the Gambia with all donations being used for school projects.

We all thought this was appropriate on a number of different levels.

  • Marjorie and Gerald spent many years teaching in Nigeria
  • Sue, at the time, represented Fawkham School, Kent, as the link to the Banni Lower School
  • Marjorie took a keen interest in what Sue did in Africa with approval

For more information, or if you wish to make a donation, contact Sue Thompson

Marjorie was born in North Yorkshire on the 10th of June 1922 to Cecil and Mary Tidman.. She was affectionately known to her family and in particular to her grand children as "Smallma."

Marjorie had one younger brother called John; and her father, Cecil, was the manager of the Skinningrove Iron and Steel Works.

Marjorie went to Saltburn High School for Girls, and then on to Teacher Training College in Leeds, leaving home at the age of 18.

When asked "what did you do in the war, Grandma?" about the Second World War, Smallma would answer that she sat on the roof of the school in Leeds with a bucket of water and a stirrup pump; "In case the Germans fire-bombed the school,!" Of course, Cecil was the regional Home Guard co-ordinator, and Marj remembered driving around Yorkshire at night during the blackout on the most important mission burying Home Guard guns and munitions in preparation for the enemy invasion!

After the war, Marj moved to London to teach with her Aunt Tots in Bexleyheath, where she met her future husband Gerald. They were married at Loftus Church in August 1952. They both joined the Colonial Service in 1953, and spent seven years teaching in sub Sahara Nigeria.

The family in Folkstone 1949

Marjorie's wedding to Gerald

Their marriage was blessed with the birth of Sue in 1955 in Nigeria, and with Chris in 1960, in York. Both Marj and Gerald went on to teach in York, Marj as a primary school teacher, then head teacher, and Gerald as a secondary school teacher.

Sue's wedding to Roy

Chris' wedding to Richard

Her husband, Gerald, sadly died in February 1976, and Arthur Hill, the best man at their wedding, became her companion for 26 years.

Throughout her life, Marj remained a very active lady, and when she came to Hereford became involved in amateur dramatics, The Wednesday Group, and NWR. She even found time to travel extensively; visiting the Far East, the Middle East and the Americas! Her excursions included cruising the River Nile, walking the Great Wall of China, flying through the Himalayas and standing on the North and South Korean border.

"She didnít keep still very long," said Chris. Her astonishing energy remained with her until she was well over the age of 80. She drove to London regularly to stay with the family, visiting the theatres, London Eye and shopping.

Birthday with the grandchildren June 2010

The age of 80 was an undeniable milestone, and smallma began to slow down as her energy began to wane. By Easter 2010, her chronic arthritis had affected her walking. Smallma had become uncharacteristically frail and nervous, and the family are certain that Marj began to give up her will to live when she was informed that she needed to have 24 hour care.

Marjorie lived in Hereford for 25 years, and received tremendous support from her neighbours and friends. The family remain enormously thankful to all those who have been there for her.

Smallma leaves her daughters Sue and Chris, sons-in-law Roy and Richard, and her beloved grand children Joanna, Matthew, Sarah, and Charlotte. Marjorie passed away peacefully at the County Hospital on the 6th of July.

The service took place on July 19th, 2010, at Hereford Crematorium. Smallma's ashes will return to Yorkshire (See the order of service). More about the service...

Marjorie will be forever be in the hearts of her family.