Beloved teacher to get posthumous fellowship at Gladstone library

Sorely missed: Ros Aitken

Sorely missed: Ros Aitken

First published in News Richmond and Twickenham Times: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

An active and involved teacher who once rode up Mount Sinai on a camel has been remembered by her family after her recent death.

Ros Aitken, who died on March 3 after a battle with cancer, directed plays Tiffin Girls School during her post there as head of English and head of sixth form.

Originally from Staffordshire, she sang in the chorus of several productions of Gilbert and Sullivan operettas.

When she moved to Richmond she sang in the John Bate Choir and the Barnes Choral Society under Peter Gelhorn.

Following her retirement from teaching she enrolled at Birkbeck College and completed a masters degree in renaissance theatre and art and wrote a dissertation on indoor performances of Othello after the disastrous fire at the Globe Theatre.

Her husband of 40 years Tom Aitken said: “One of the great things about being married to her is that we were married but we were also just good friends.

“There was a great level of friendship there.

“She was the type of person who when one door closed she kicked another one down.”

She became a member of the Richmond Concert Society and, after her retirement devoted much time to travelling, with one of her more unexpected achievements coming when she and her husband rode some way up Mount Sinai on camels.

She also joined her husband as a lecturer on aspects of the life of the 19th century prime minister William Gladstone, at Gladstone’s library in Hawarden, Flintshire.

Her book on his second son Stephen Gladstone was published in 2012 and she was working on a second book, on Catherine Gladstone and her daughters, at the time of her death.

Later this year, she will be posthumously made a fellow of Gladstone’s library.

The warden at the library Reverend Peter Francis said: “I can’t tell you how sad and sorry all of the Gladstone Library community are about Ros’s death.

“We will miss her enormously.

“I am also a great fan of Ros’s Stephen Gladstone book.

"I do believe it throws new light – not very flattering light – on Gladstone and will, I am sure, serve as a corrective in future Gladstone studies.”

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