Housemistress, Fawcett, 1925-42

Miss Manning was a Housemistress at Godolphin from 1925-42, during which time she was untiring in her efforts, winning deep respect and much love from pupils and staff, many of whom continued to correspond with her, giving her great joy. Her interest in the school continued throughout her life and she was, until the end, an active member of the Old Godolphin Association. After her retirement she became a member of the English Speaking Union. She was widely known and loved in the City of Salisbury. First and foremost, however, she devoted her life to St. Martin’s Church. She was elected a member of the P.C.C. in 1944, then to the Board of Governors of the two Church schools in the parish. When fire destroyed the girls’ school in Milford Street it became her great ambition to see another school built to replace it, and she put all her tireless energy and drive into the necessary fund-raising. The target was £3,000, to be raised in five years, but this was accomplished in three-and-a-half years, and permission to build a school on the Shady Bower field was granted. Eva cut the first turf of the new school on 21st March, 1950, and the building was officially opened on January 9th, 1952. This achievement was largely due to Eva’s efforts and organising ability.

Martin’s Church at a cost of £1,000. An Appeal was launched and once again in her seventy-second year Eva gave a lead in the fund-raising and, with her encouragement and enthusiasm, the target was again reached.

Among her other duties she served on the Missionary Committee, as Clerk to the Board of Governors, Flower Organiser, Church Cleaner, Secretary to the P.C.C. and Churchwarden. In November 1966 when Canon McKenzie died suddenly her grief was intense, they had worked together so happily for many years, but her loyalty to the Church and two successive Rectors remained steadfast. Many who have known her over the years will remember with love and gratitude her many sterling qualities. At St. Martin’s she will be remembered also as the frail little lady, with a dynamic voice, who, from her wheelchair, read the Old Testament lesson in January, just after her nine-sixth birthday. She died on February 20th.

(Abridged from a Memoir in St. Martin’s Parish Magazine).

Eva Manning came to Godolphin and Fawcett House in 1925 as Housemistress. She was Australian by birth and had previously been on the staff of “Glennie”, a girls’ school in Queensland, Australia. Looking back fifty-seven years, I remember she seemed like a breath of fresh air to us in Fawcett. She was deeply religious, a strong character, friendly, helpful and interested in all our activities, we became firm friends and remained so. She drove around in a bull-nosed Morris in those days and continued driving a car until comparatively recently. She dearly loved travel and spent many holidays abroad until her infirmities put a stop to them. She sang, wrote poetry, played bridge even in her latter years. She enjoyed many things. Other people know more about her life in Salisbury after retirement in 1942. I feel sure she will be missed by many and they will feel they have lost a very special friend.

Phyllis Fraser (Farncombe).