The RNLI saves lives at sea.

Pamela Denny

Picture of Pamela Denny.

Pamela Denny was born in 1924 and grew up in Putney with her elder brother Peter. The family often took holidays in Worthing, and in the 1930s her parents sent her to school there. However, when World War II started they were concerned that the south coast
might be invaded and moved Pam back to what they thought was the 'safety' of London! Soon after leaving Putney High School she joined the ATS and later became a radio operator for the Royal Corps of Signals at Beaumanor in Leicestershire, intercepting enemy communications to pass on to the codebreakers at Bletchley Park.

After the war, Pam trained as a teacher at Hampton College in Middlesex. She later taught at several schools in south London and Surrey, moving to Reigate about 1960. She soon became Headmistress of Edith Edwards House School in Banstead. This was a special school for children with learning and behavioural difficulties, established by the Invalid Children's Aid Association. Among those who visited the school and met Pam were Princess Margaret and Danny Kaye. Pam's devotion to the school was very much appreciated by children, parents and staff, but sadly it closed down in 1982 and she then retired from full-time work.

However she certainly didn't become idle as a result. Although Pam never married or had children, she had always led a very full life. In early adulthood she often went on rambling and Youth Hostelling holidays, and after retiring she enjoyed visiting a number of countries including Canada, where she had many cousins. She was a dedicated churchgoer and fundraiser, and frequently made donations both to her local Church and to a wide range of charities.

Even before her retirement Pam took up learning again, and was successful in obtaining a BA from the Open University in 1981. This achievement gave her a great deal of personal satisfaction, as the War had ruled out any chance of applying for University. She also worked as a voluntary adult literacy tutor for many years, learning sign language in order to help deaf students. She attended many classes and study tours covering subjects such as languages, wildlife, , stained glass,music and computers, and started exploring her family history, as well as being a frequent theatre and concert goer.

Pam remained active almost until she died on 12 November 2008, and only the previous year she had started helping in a local charity shop. She was still in frequent touch with many of her former colleagues, both from the war years and from teaching, and with her relatives in Canada. Her cheerful personality - always curious but never intrusive - will be greatly missed.

Added by: Graham Bird on 21 December 2009.

Send to a Friend

Additional images

Click the thumbnails below to view as the main image.

Picture of Pamela Denny.
Picture of Pamela Denny.

Charity information


The RNLI is a charity that provides a 24-hour lifesaving service around the UK and Republic of Ireland.

As a charity, the RNLI relies on your support to carry on saving lives at sea.

Appreciations and tributes

Add your tributes

If you would like to add a tribute to Pamela Denny, please use the link below and follow the instructions provided.

Additional links

Make a donation

Make a donation in memory of your loved one or friend.