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News > Obituaries > Obituary - Pamela Blatchly

Obituary - Pamela Blatchly

It is with regret that we notify you of the death of Pamela Blatchly.
27 Apr 2020

Pam Blatchly, wife of former Headmaster Dr John Blatchly, sadly passed away on Friday 24th April 2020. She will be remembered for the enormous amount she contributed to the School. 

Mark Blatchly, Pam's son writes:

Pam Blatchly

25th October 1934 - 24th April 2020

Pam was the eldest of four.  Her father enlisted for service in WWII and died in Palestine.  Thereafter she assisted her mother in looking after her siblings.  Passing into grammar school, she showed much academic promise especially in French and English, but instead of university chose teacher-training in deference to family finances.

At church in Carshalton she met John Blatchly. They were married on New Year's Eve 1955.

John's national service took the couple to HMS Ganges at Shotley and to the RN School of Music at Deal (where Janet was born).  Then John's schoolmastering began with spells at King's School Bruton (where Mark was born), Eastbourne College (where Pam started a playgroup for staff children) and Charterhouse.  

In 1972 Pam and John arrived at Ipswich School.  They began by entertaining the entire staff in a series of homemade dinner parties.  Pam threw herself into the role of Headmaster's wife, taking a keen interest in all aspects of School life.  She gave tremendous support to John in all his endeavours in School and beyond, making it possible for him to achieve so much, as he gratefully acknowledged.  

Pam taught some Spanish, acted in three common room plays, expertly cultivated vegetables and soft fruit (notably her peerless asparagus and raspberries), and trained for the bench.  She was to serve for 28 years as a magistrate: clear-minded, efficient and compassionate, regularly chairing both adult and juvenile courts.

Pam and John retired to a Victorian villa in the town.  Pam lavished love and care on a beautifully kept garden, and continued to cook delicious food for a large circle of friends.  Pam and John took great delight in their grandchildren who were now living next door.  Pam continued to develop her formidable skill at bridge, enjoying membership of two clubs: Ipswich & Kesgrave, and Deben at Playford.  She also maintained close editorial supervision of John's prose style.  

Throughout her life Christianity was important to Pam; she attended St Mary-le-Tower and explored her faith in study.  Charitable in thought and deed, and always mindful of her own good fortune, she worked locally for Save the Children.

Pam and John had two decades of happy and healthy retirement, always marvelling at their luck.  They holidayed with family in Norfolk, with friends in Landmark Trust properties, in France, Italy and Egypt; they also had regular fortnights in sunny Crete.  

Pam had a serious fall in October 2014. Until he discovered that he was dying of cancer, John proudly and devotedly looked after her, acquiring many basic skills he had never needed until now.  

After he died in September 2015, Pam remained in the care home where they had briefly lived together.  She gracefully accepted the limits of her long and slow decline; meeting her great-grandaughter last July gave her much pleasure.  

Ill for only a few hours, she died peacefully at dawn on Friday 24th April.

So ended a rich and full life, lived chiefly for others. She is mourned by all her family and her many friends.


Neil Armstrong OI (1977-1982) writes:

My first encounter with Pamela Blatchly was being part of a group of third year kids (c.1980) that had been invited to the Headmaster's house for a series of weekly chats in the early afternoon. I remember her as a vivacious, fun-loving and highly intelligent person who could talk with ease about a wide variety of subjects.

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