Photograph album entitled 'Meru memories'

Scope and Content

Album compiled by - with some images also probably taken by - Bertha Jones and Grace Ovenden from images dating from 1949 and 1950 in and around Ribe, Maua, etc, [Kenya]. Photographs are captioned and include images of: synods, mission staff, Meru Girls' Guildry, sunday school children, Mwithumwiru Primary Girls' School, local Christians, lanscapes, Worthington Memorial Church, Mulathankari social centre, Hopkins' leaving party.

Administrative / Biographical History

Bertha Jones was born in Liverpool on 6 August 1905 to a Primitive Methodist family. After teaching training in Liverpool and some teaching in schools there she was accepted by the Women's Work Department of the Methodist Missionary Society and begun training at Kingsmead, Birmingham, in 1937. Upon leaving Kingsmead after a year she went to work at the Kaga Girls' School in Meru, Kenya. During the following 23 years she supervised Methodist village schools in Meru between 1947 and 1948, was involved in the creation of a teacher training college for women and the establishment of the Girls' Intermediate School at Mwithumwiru. In 1960 she returned to England and taught in schools in Devon until her retirement in 1967. In 1970 she returned to Kenya for 5 years when she was asked to be the warden for the Methodist Guest House in Nairobi. Jones died in Exmouth, Devon, on 2 January 2001.

Grace Elizabeth Marguerite Ovenden was born in Brighton, Sussex, on 19 April 1915. After teaching in local schools in Brighton and Kent she was accepted by the Women's Auxiliary of the Wesleyan Methodist Missionary Society and spent a year at Kingsmead, Birmingham. Arriving in Kenya in 1940 she begun work at the Meru Girls' School but later was also involved with village schools in Ribe and visiting communities along the Tana River. From 1950 she concentrated on developing teacher training in Meru. Active in the Revival Movement and a witness to attacks by the Mau Mau on Kikuyu Christians she was tragically killed in a road traffic accident on 23 January 1955.

Conditions Governing Access


Acquisition Information

Gift, accepted on behalf of the Methodist Church, from Ms R Alison Lewis, September 2009

Archivist's Note


Conditions Governing Use

For permission to publish, please contact Archives & Special Collections, SOAS Library in the first instance

Copyright holder unknown

Custodial History

Ms R Alison Lewis acquired this item upon the death of A J Hopkins in 1965