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News > Obituaries > Obituary - Patricia Yelland

Obituary - Patricia Yelland

It is with regret that we notify you of the death of Patricia Yelland.

Pat Yelland, former and very popular Ipswich Prep Teacher, and wife of late Douglas Yelland, sadly passed away on 1st September 2020. 

We are conscious that many people from this time at school may not be in contact with us and we would be very grateful if you could pass on this information to those that you know.

As is the usual practice, we would like to place an obituary for her in the next OI Journal and would be very grateful if anyone felt they could come forward to write one. Alternatively, if you know of any stories or memories, please pass them on so we could put them together for the publication. Address any contributions to me through oldipswichians@ipswich.school or in the comments below.

With best wishes

Iain Chesterman
OI Chairman

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Pat Yelland Eulogy

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Jerry Pert OI (1966-1977) writes:

As Miss Horn in the prep school I can still vividly remember her wonderful drawing of a roman galley in green and gold undertaken in chalk on the roller blackboard.

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The Venerable Dr Jonathan Smith OI (1963 -1974)

I was sorry to learn of Patricia Yelland's passing though happily she was granted a long life. I remember her as Miss Horn initially, when I joined the Prep School community in 1963. The words which come to mind upon my remembrance of her are elegance, courtesy, and talent. Patricia would arrive at School driving her Triumph Herald and emerge from the vehicle always immaculately dressed with her hair and make-up quite perfect. Such style seemed to attend her all through the day. I remember her playing the piano at Assembly, her love of art, her slightly clipped way of speaking, her kindly and pastoral nature.

As a member of the School Scout Troop I attended the Marriage Blessing for her and Douglas in the School Chapel in the year 1970 I believe. We sat in the Chapel Gallery and were waiting to greet the happy couple with a Ceremonial Arch of Scout Staves as they emerged into the front gardens. Patricia was delighted and expressed her thanks to us in a typically gracious and heartfelt way.

Patricia was never my Form Teacher; she taught C1 while I was in C Remove under the watchful eye of Mrs Smedley ( whose daughter in law, Judith Smedley, I admitted as Churchwarden during my Archidiaconal Visitations; us both agreeing that 'it's a very small world' ) but during the Prep School Play and other school occasions it was always good to receive the care and attention of Patricia who was invariably even-tempered, gracious and bearing a twinkle in her eye which hinted at a keen sense of fun, though quite properly revealed away from the attentions of small boys!

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John Job OI (1939-1945) writes:

Thank you very much for sending me this sad news. When Douglas Yelland first joined the Prep Staff, he lived as a paying guest with us in Holly Road. I had left Ipswich when he married Pat but knew it had happened.

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Richard Cooper OI (1962-1972) writes:

Miss Horn was my first form-mistress when I entered Prep C in September 1962. She gave me a wonderful start at Ipswich School, was kind and caring to me as a new entrant.

I was looking around the 6th Form Centre before lock-down and realised that one of the study areas was Miss Horn’s classroom – good to see it has been re-purposed and is well used!

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Nicholas Allen, former Headmaster of Ipswich Prep writes:

As Douglas Yelland’s successor as Headmaster of the Preparatory School, my acquaintance with his much loved wife, Patricia, was only slight, but one particular memory still burns bright after thirty-five years. 

Douglas and Patricia had for many years contributed significantly to the success of the Prep School Play presented annually in Great School.  Douglas was wont to dedicate many hours over a number of weekends to the construction of the set.  Some busy headmasters might have contented themselves with painting a window on a stage flat, but if the set called for a sash window, that is exactly what Douglas provided: a practicable, wooden sash window, fully glazed, capable of being raised and lowered.

When it came to costumes, Patricia’s department, she took the same approach.  I remember examining a costume she had made which was in store in an attic in the Prep.  It was a soldier’s tunic of the Napoleonic era, bright blue with red facings, cuffs, and epaulettes.  It was exquisitely made, but the most telling detail was that the tunic was fully lined like a proper coat, a detail that could never have been appreciated by the audience nor, I suspect, by the young prep school boy privileged to wear it.

Douglas and Patricia Yelland embodied the very best of what is meant by ‘old school’: an unsung, modest determination to maintain the highest standards in all things, great and small.

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Father James Mather OI (1972-1982) writes:

Having only recently caught up with Duggie's death, I am sorry to learn that Mrs Yelland has now died too.

Mrs Yelland never taught me (I arrived in Prep C, rather than D), but my experience was of kindness.

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Bruce Finch OI (1977-1988) writes:

Patricia Yelland : always “Mrs Yelland” - taught me in Prep D1 in 1977-1978. She was a formidable woman, always immaculately attired and firm but fair with her pupils. She and Douggie ran the Prep in a very traditional but effective way with a dedicated team of “Masters”. I remember her rigour across all subjects - I ascribe my numeracy to her traditional approach to mental arithmetic and her warmth when she read to the Form - last period on Saturday morning often Roald Dahl. She played the piano in prep assembly daily with the same Hymnal use each term - term always started with 333 Part 1 and finished with 333 Part 2. If Prep D1 was ever late for Assembly - in those days the Prep was in Ivry Street in a huge Victorian house and Prep 1 stood on the vast staircase above the rest of the school - there would be a firm apology from her to “Mr Yelland” echoing above the boys standing in neat rows in the hall. Understandably it rarely occurred as culprits felt suitably shamed!. She was also a very talented calligrapher and artist and maker of many costumes for innumerable prep plays. She and Douggie dedicated their careers to Ipswich Prep School and generations of pupils benefited from their skills and complete dedication to their professions in giving us life skills. Rest in peace.

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Robert Gower OI (1960-1970) writes:

I remember well walking down the steps at the end of the first-floor corridor for Art lessons. Pupil overalls were hung neatly awaiting our arrival in the studio, which seemed large to a Prep School boy but which, I suspect, was rather smaller in actuality. Modest about her own considerable creative gifts, Miss Horn's elegance and attention to detail made a clear impression, even on a class of eight-year-olds.  Her italic writing too was similarly stylish, leaving me surely highly frustrating to teach as a clumsy left-hander who was sadly inept as an artist. Nevertheless, I received great patience at her hands.  

Pat's kindness, shared with Dougie, overflowed when, treated now as a friend, I was able to play the organ for their wedding in Chapel just after I had left the Senior School in 1970 (I guess that the ceremony was in 1971 or 1972).  I remember feelings of surprise and delight when I received the invitation to share in their special day, helping them to choose the music and then to perform it on the day itself. Their mutual happiness shone through that day and lives on in my memory. May she and Dougie rest in peace.

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David Coates OI (1966-1975) writes:

So sad to hear of Ms Horn’s passing. To some in the Junior Boarding House when Dougie Yelland and Ms Horn married, the shock of discovering Mr Yelland had a life other than reading horror stories on a Friday night and helping us craft perfect letters to our parents on a Sunday, was one of those formative events that stayed with us. May they both rest in peace.

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