Margaret Pamela Morgan AKC

(Geography, 1947; PGCE, 1948)

Teacher, mother and servant to her adopted city.

Margaret Pamela Stokes was born in 1926, two days before the late Queen Elizabeth II. As a teenager, she lived in Ewell and attended Rosebery School in Epsom. Encouraged by her father, she came to King’s in 1944 to study Geography. She would always recall attending lectures in a freezing cold hall one winter morning, the windows having been destroyed by a V2 rocket landing in the Thames the night before.

Margaret was proud of having gone to university at a time when not many women did so and felt privileged to be taught at King’s by the leading geographers of the day, most of whom had written the standard textbooks on the subject. After graduating in 1947, she stayed at King’s to complete a teaching qualification in 1948.

She taught in Derby for three years, then in Dartford, Kent. In 1953 she married David Morgan (PGCE, 1948; MA Education Studies, 1956), whom she had first met on the teaching course at King’s. In 1957 they moved to Wakefield, West Yorkshire, so that David could take up a headship in nearby Normanton. The couple had two daughters, but sadly David died in 1969 when their younger child was less than a year old. A strong and independent character, Margaret rose to the challenge of bringing up two children on her own, at the same time as having a full-time teaching career and caring for her elderly mother.

In 1972 she began teaching at Thornes House School, a large comprehensive in Wakefield. That year the school leaving age was raised to sixteen, creating a large number of disaffected teenagers who had expected to enter employment but found themselves still in school. Margaret was tasked with finding them work experience for one or two days a week, incentivising them to come to school on the remaining days. Thus, she changed from geography teacher to careers tutor. By her retirement in 1984, she had created a successful annual work experience scheme for one of the largest schools in the area. She was often recognised by former pupils, many of whom owed their career direction to her.

Margaret lived in Wakefield for 65 years and was very involved in the life of the city. A faithful Christian, she was for many years a member and elder of Zion United Reformed Church. She also took on roles in Wakefield Civic and Historical Societies, was instrumental in setting up a Millennium Green in her local area and was a volunteer steward at the National Trust property Nostell Priory for over 30 years.

Margaret always kept in touch with King’s, reading the magazine with interest and attending reunions for many years. She lived independently until the age of 95 before moving into residential care in January 2022. She died on 25 January 2023 after a short stay in hospital.

Thank you to Margaret’s daughter, Caroline Jones, for providing us with this obituary.