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News > In Memoriam > Remembering Rosemary Sorrell (née Rowley)

Remembering Rosemary Sorrell (née Rowley)

1934 - 2023.
25 Mar 2024
Written by Úna Magee
In Memoriam
Rosemary pictured (in the blue jacket) with fellow JAGS alumnae, amongst them Sonia Rodway
Rosemary pictured (in the blue jacket) with fellow JAGS alumnae, amongst them Sonia Rodway

It is with great sadness that we inform the JAGS community of the passing of alumna Rosemary Sorrell (née Rowley) ('52) aged 89. Rosemary was born on 5 April 1934 and died on 9 November 2023.

Please see the below tribute by Sonia Rodway, a fellow JAGS alumna and friend of Rosemary. 

Rosemary and I met at JAGS, where I had become a pupil in 1944, when we were aged 12 or 13, and together with her younger sister Annette, we soon became firm friends. Rosemary always spoke of JAGS with great affection and pride. As her mother was unwell, Rosemary lovingly took charge of Annette, and their younger brother Edward, supervising their homework while of course, as a dutiful JAGS pupil, not neglecting her own! 

She was always musically talented, singing in the school choir and was given great encouragement by the music teacher Hazel Skinner (née Heathcote). Rosemary became very fond of Hazel, who later supported Rosemary through Teacher Training college, and into her professional career as a music teacher herself. I know that Rosemary would want her affection for and gratitude to Hazel be put on record. 

Rosemary developed a deep Evangelical Faith, which led her to meet many others who shared what she believed to be her calling. Several of the pastors whom she met were from Nigeria and Rosemary was drawn, more than once, to journey to the country, where she was warmly welcomed to play piano and preach at numerous venues in the country which she came to love. 

During the last three or four years, Rosemary’s memory began to fade but we still enjoyed long talks over the phone. Although, often she was unable to recall what she had for lunch, she had clear memories of the names of the Alleyn’s boys, who we JAGS girls met in Dulwich Park. So have I! 

I am greatly saddened by Rosemary’s death. It brings to an end a long and loving friendship which, 75 years ago, began so happily at JAGS.


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