Archive for the ‘Great Women Series’ Category

Yes, in 1932 on the 20th of May to be precise, Amelia Earhart was the first women to fly solo across the Atlantic, setting off in Newfoundland. How about that. Hurray for women !



They called her Tante (Aunty) Anna          060 Anna Essinger a German Jewish Educator, fearing for the wellbeing of her pupils moved her Boarding School in 1933, from Herrlingen in Germany to Otterden in Kent in England. She undertook the journey with 66 of her students. There she established the Bunce Court School. Bunce School In November 1938, after the burning of the Synagogues in Germany Anna established a reception centre for Jewish Children leaving Germany, Austria and Hungry, at Dovercourt Bay Holiday camp near Harwich. Some 10 000 children arrived at that camp until the outbreak of World War II. Many of them just in the clothes they were wearing or carrying only a paper bag with their few belongings. The first arrivals were 194 children from a Jewish Orphanage in Berlin. This movement was later referred to as ‘The ‘Kindertransport’ For many of them Anna had to find foster homes. Some of the children she took with her to live at her school. Dovercourt bay Children at Dovercourt Camp With the outbreak of WWII Anna had to move again. Bunce School was in the defence area. She received 3 days’ notice to move on. She found Trench Hall, in Wem in Shropshire where she remained until 1946.  Anna taught children of all faiths and placed great importance on outside activities. Besides educating the normal classroom lessons her pupils were taught all aspects of life. Each child was expected to undertake tasks in the daily running of the school. Many of her children became important Scientists, Writers and Artists. The children themselves converted the stables at Trench Hall into sleeping areas. With the release of the first internees from the Isle of Man internment camps Anna needed the space in the main house for the new arrivals.        Trench Hall stables   Trench Hall stables In 1946 Anna was able to return to Bunce School in Kent. She continued teaching there and retired in 1948. Many said that Anna had finally run out of funds. Bunce School remained her home. Anna died in Bunce School in 1960 not knowing that one day she would be commemorated in Germany. Her story is told in the Museum in Herrlingen where her School was seized by the Nazis in 1934 and later given to Field Marshal Erwin Rommel. This was the same house he left, driven by car, to commit his enforced suicide. Read about Anna, ‘her children’ and friends in Elisabeth Marrion’s new Historical Novel  ‘Cuckoo Clock-New York’ which will be released in the Summer of 2015. cuckoo clock This will be the third part of the trilogy subtitled ‘unbroken bonds.’ The first book in the series is Rommel       The Night I danced with Rommel followed by  Liverpool                    ‘Liverpool Connection’. Elisabeth’s books can be read as a series or as stand-alone books.

Anna Essinger

Posted: February 7, 2015 in Great Women Series


The legacy of Anna Essinger

The last few years have seen a remarkable revival of Anna Essinger’s reputation as an educationalist and headmistress of avant-garde co-educational boarding schools for (mainly) Jewish children in Ulm and Kent. As early as 1933, she transferred her school in Herrlingen, near Ulm, to Bunce Court, a manor house on the Kent North Downs. When the Kindertransports arrived, she expanded her school, which became home to hundreds of refugee children, although there was always a minority whose parents valued her progressive educational ideas. In 1940 she was forced to leave what had become a military zone and she transferred the school to Trench Hall, in Shropshire. After the war, she returned the school to Bunce Court but was obliged to close it for financial and other reasons in 1948.

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Great Women Series

Posted: December 20, 2014 in Great Women Series

209Would love to know if there would be a vote for the 10 most important women in History, who would you be voting for and why ?

What a story

Posted: December 19, 2014 in Great Women Series

208 Her story is a true Inspiration.

She wrote one of my favourite books and if there was ever real ‘True Grit ‘ her mothers would get the top award