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Obituary: Ex-Brockenhurst school teacher Margaret Benson

FORMER Brockenhurst school teacher and friend of Lymington New Forest Hospital, Margaret Benson, has passed away at the age of 86.

Born in Newport, Monmouthshire, in 1937, she had a happy childhood with her parents Jack and Jess, both of whom were also teachers and nurtured her love and commitment to the profession. They eventually moved to Chippenham for her mother’s work as a headmistress.

Margaret moved to London to study at Goldsmiths, where she trained as a teacher. She met her husband Anthony while he was still studying at Oxford. The pair married in 1963 and moved to Dibden Purlieu to start their family, eventually having three boys: Richard, Peter and Andrew.

Obituary: Margaret Benson
Obituary: Margaret Benson

This was the beginning of Margaret’s endless love for her children, as well as eight eventual grandchildren Kate, Jack, Max, Thomas, Joseph, Dougie, Elsie and Arthur.

In 1970, the family moved to Founex, Switzerland, where they lived for seven years. Margaret fully embraced the Swiss way of life, and would often recount various stories from her time there. She loved skiing with her family in the Jura and Alps, and eating on Lake Geneva. She taught in the local international school and made many friends, most of whom she stayed in contact with for the rest of her life.

Obituary: Margaret Benson and her children
Obituary: Margaret Benson and her children

Eventually, in 1977, the family returned to the New Forest, where they bought a house in Brockenhurst. The home became a base for Margaret’s family, and throughout the years she welcomed children, grandchildren, wives and girlfriends with open arms, always doing her utmost to make them feel at home.

She continued teaching until her retirement, after which she had more time to socialise with her friends, play tennis, bridge, shop at Elliot’s, volunteer at Lymington Hospital, and devote to her grandchildren.

She once said in a letter to her granddaughter: “On Mothering Sunday I decided it is well worth being a mum – not that I need reminding. As you know it's the best thing in my life, also having grandchildren.”

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