Trew, Ethel Mary

The headmistress of Queenswood School 1897-1943 (and 'Principal' for one year after that), she was born on 24 April 1869 at Oystermouth, Glam., though the family came from South Petherton. The school was 'the consuming passion of her life', despite periods of ill health. She became headmistress in 1897, three years after it opened, and supervised its move from Clapham to Hatfield in 1925 and its growth from fewer than 20 to 330 pupils. Her imposing personality was combined with warm affection, though she became increasingly distant and authoritarian, being described by old girls as 'a benevolent despot' and 'like an ancient monument'. Increasingly out of touch with the changes of the inter-war years, she nevertheless retained control of many aspects of the school's life even after the appointment of Enid Essame as academic head in 1943. She eventually resigned in 1948 and died at Hatfield on 7 December of that year.

  • Methodist Recorder, 1 Nov. 1945; 16 Dec. 1948
  • Nigel Watson, In Hortis Reginae (1994)
  • H.M. Stafford, Queenswood: the first sixty years 1894-1954 (1954)


Entry written by: JAV
Category: Person
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