Betty Kemp: Inspiring teacher dies at 90

Historians in the News

Betty Kemp, historian: born Bowdon, Cheshire 5 November 1916; Lecturer in Modern History, Manchester University 1945-46; Tutor in Modern History, St Hugh's College, Oxford 1946-78, Fellow 1947-78 (Emeritus); died Oxford 28 May 2007.

For many generations of history graduates of St Hugh's College, Oxford, Betty Kemp was an inspiring teacher from whom they learned how to think for themselves and to develop and maintain opinions through rigorous analysis and vigorous debate. She was a kind and caring tutor, equally skilful in giving confidence to shy teenagers and in guiding more sophisticated young women as they emerged into the wider world of the university.

Born in Bowdon, Cheshire in 1916, Betty Kemp was the oldest child and only daughter of William Kemp and his wife Gertrude (née Hampson). Both her parents were schoolteachers and she attended the County High School for Girls at Altrincham from 1923 to 1933, passing the Higher School Certificate Examination when only 16. As a schoolgirl, Betty already demonstrated the high standard of duty to the community, the frank and friendly manner, the intellectual enthusiasm and originality of mind that characterised her throughout her long life.

comments powered by Disqus