Frances Betty Conyngham; 1910-1984; nurse; Norwich and Hingham, Norfolk

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Frances Betty Conyngham; 1910-1984; nurse; Norwich and Hingham, Norfolk

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Born 2 July 1910 in Borneo. After an early childhood in Borneo with her parents, Dr Henry Francis and Eleanor Margaret Conyngham, she appears to have accompanied her mother back to the UK in 1919. She was educated as a boarder at Penrhos College, Colwyn Bay in the early 1920s and at a seminary (the Villa Souvenir) at Ouchy-Lausanne in Switzerland in the late 1920s. She formed a life-long attachment to the Girl Guiding movement in her teenage years, later becoming a district commissioner and founder of the 2nd Norwich Guides and Brownies. As a young woman, she trained as a nurse with the Voluntary Aid Detachment (VAD) and lived with her mother in Bath, where she became a devout, anglo-catholic church-goer and met her future husband, Donald Rae. Just prior to their marriage in 1940 (she was 30, he, 48 years of age), she lived and worked in Hove, Sussex.
After their wedding, she continued to work during the first few years of the Second World War as a nurse at Hove, though their married home was at the vicarage at 3 Cow Hill, Norwich. She was also an ARP warden and fire fighter. After the War, and throughout Donald's ministry at St Giles, they continued to live in Cow Hill, until Donald's retirement resulted in a move to 32 Brian Avenue, Norwich in 1963. Betty was involved for most of her married and later life with such organisations as the Norfolk Women's Housing Council, the Clergy Wives' Fellowship (Norfolk Deanery), the W.I., the Church Union, and with the retreat centres at Ditchingham and Walsingham.
In May 1969, she moved into Hingham Manor House as a founder member of the newly-formed Rae Memorial Housing Association, later Rae Memorial Housing Ltd., established to house elderly people in memory of her late husband. (Donald having died in 1964). In 1977, she retired to Headington, near Oxford, to be near her half-sister, Peggy, and other relations, but still continued to lead an active, high-church-going and busy social life. After a short illness, she died 24 March 1984.


Borneo; Colwyn Bay, Conwy; Ouchy-Lausanne, Switzerland; Bath, Somerset; Brighton and Hove, Sussex; Norwich, Norfolk; Hingham, Norfolk; Headington, Oxfordshire

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Created on: 26/11/2007 by Droip




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