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Jean McDonald AMOS (née McDONALD) (1883-1966)

Known As
Mrs Amos
Biographical Details

Jean McDonald Amos, née McDonald (1883-1966), was the wife of the Headmaster of Badsey Council School and is mentioned in a few of the letters written by the Sladden family.

Jean, who was baptized with the middle name of McDonald, in addition to the surname McDonald, was born on 18th March 1883 at Wrexham, Denbighshire, the fourth of five children of John Henry McDonald and his wife, Margaret Ann Scott (née Currie).  Later in the 1880s they moved to Farnborough, Warwickshire, where they lived in the School House.  The family moved to Badsey in October 1894 when Mr McDonald became Headmaster of Badsey Board School as it was then called.

Jean was educated at Farnborough and Badsey Schools.  On leaving school she became a pupil teacher.  At the time of the 1901 census, she was pupil teacher at a school in Worcester and was boarding with the Headmistress on Wylds Lane, Worcester.

Jean became a certificated teacher, holding appointments as Assistant Mistress at Singlegate Girls’ School, Merton, from 1904-1905, at St Stephen’s Girls’ School, Redditch, from 1905-1906, and had a temporary contract at Badsey Council School in the autumn term of 1906.  On resigning from Badsey to take up a certificated post elsewhere, she was replaced by Frank Amos who, seven years later was to become her husband.

Jean went on to teach at St Paul’s Boys’ School, Bow, East London, in 1907, at Mitcham Girls’ School, Surrey, from 1908-1912, and came back to Badsey Council School on 1st December 1912.  Her desire to return to Badsey may have been due to her father’s ill-health and the fact that her mother had died the previous year.

In January 1913, John Henry McDonald, who had been Headmaster of Badsey School since 1894, handed in a letter of resignation giving three months’ notice.  The new Headmaster was Frank Edmund Amos, who had taught at the school from 1907-1910, and who took up his appointment on 1st April 1913.  He sought the Managers’ agreement to sub-let the School House to the McDonald family because of Mr McDonald’s serious illness.  Jean’s father died on 8th May 1913.

On New Year’s Day 1914, Jean married Frank Amos in a ceremony at Badsey Church, and she moved back into the School House which had been her childhood home.  In a letter of 30th May 1914, Julius Sladden refers to Ethel Sladden inviting the Amoses for afternoon tea and for a game of tennis (there was a court at Pool House, just across the road).

After marriage, Jean carried on teaching at Badsey Council School.  Her husband had enlisted with the Worcestershire Regiment in February 1915 and her sister, Maggie McDonald, was now in charge of the school.  Jean is mentioned in a letter of 6th July 1916 concerning Frank’s wounds at the Battle of the Somme.  Frank was invalided out of the army in February 1917.

On 11th October 1919 Jean gave birth to a daughter, Jean Margaret.  Remarkably for the time, Jean was able to take unpaid maternity leave.  This was initially going to be for a year, but in fact extended until July 1921.  She worked for another two years, but then resigned at the end of May 1923.  Jean home-educated her daughter, Jean Margaret, until the age of ten.  In 1930, young Jean Margaret attended Badsey Council School for two years, prior to being sent to Malvern Ladies’ School.

With her daughter now at school, Jean returned to teaching at Badsey where she remained until her retirement in 1944, retiring on the same day as her husband. 

In retirement, Jean and Frank moved firstly to Pine Cottage, Laverton, then to 24 Noverton Lane, Prestbury, Cheltenham, and then to Sunlea, Blacksmith Lane, Beckford.  Jean died at Powick Hospital, Worcester, on 19th October 1966, aged 83.  She was buried at Badsey five days later.

Letters mentioning this person: