Sheila Elliott Obituary

Sheila Elliott, wife of Alan Elliott (CR 1954-74) and Dame of Cotton House 1965-1974, died in her sleep in Wales, aged 93, on 29th April 2024. Her memory had been declining with Alzheimer’s but previously her recollections of her years living in Marlborough were of one of the happiest times of her life. She arrived newly married and taught at Marlborough Secondary Modern and local primary schools, playing hockey for Marlborough town, and becoming County Commissioner for Girl Guides while her husband, Alan, taught Classics at the College. They produced three daughters, Caroline (PR 1975-1977), Buffy and Kathy.


Before girls arrived at Marlborough, Sheila was called upon several times to take female roles in House and School plays, which she loved. When girls did arrive at Cotton House, she was instrumental in welcoming them, creating cosy accommodation for them from what had been the maids’ rooms in the attics by making curtains and bedspreads herself. Indeed, when Caroline attended the memorial for John Dancy, she was touched to hear from one of those first girls, Ingrid Hopwood, how her Mum had become a second mother to Ingrid to help her get over her homesickness when she first started at the College.


Equally moving was a sheaf of letters found by Caroline at Sheila’s house in Brecon which had been kept by her parents for fifty years. These letters were written by boys, and a few girls, who had been at Cotton during the Elliott tenure, often thanking both her father and mother for how well they had been looked after at Cotton.  Recently Caroline was delighted to be in touch with a couple of those “boys” to whom her Mum had written Christmas cards for many years.  If any of you reading this think you may have written one of those letters and would be curious to revisit your younger self, Sheila’s family would love to hear from you via Caroline.