Papers of Mimi Hatton

Scope and Content

Papers of Mimi Hatton relating to her work with the British Families Education Service (BFES) in Germany between 1946 and 1952. The collection includes an account of her service in Germany, written for the BFES Archives in 2001; photographs of the various schools in which she served; and memorabilia, including badges and programmes.

Administrative / Biographical History

Mimi Hatton was born in 1915. During World War Two, she was an infant teacher at St Mary Cray Junior and Infant School in Kent, and set up home teaching groups for the children when school was suspended for fear of bombing. The school was evacuated to North Wales in 1944, and there Miss Hatton set up schools in Tabernacle vestries, a disused sawmill and a disused science laboratory.

In 1946 she wrote to the Foreign Office offering her services as a teacher to the children of families of the occupying forces in Germany, and became a teacher with the BFES in 1946. She embarked to Germany on 18th December 1946, and initially taught at the BFES School in Bad Zwischenahn from 1947-1949. She then served successively as the Head of Oldenburg School, 1949-1950, and the BFES Bad Oeynhausen Nursery, Infant and Junior School, 1950-1952.

In 1952, she became headmistress of a school for 'educationally sub-normal' (special educational needs) girls in Kent (Broomhill Bank), a position she held for two years. In 1954, she was taken on by Devon County Council to run a similar school in Devon, Maristow House in Lord Roborough’s estate on the banks of the river Tavy.

When she was first appointed, Maristow was semi-derelict, and she supervised its restoration to a usable condition. She then set about furnishing it for use as a boarding school, and hired all the staff. She ran the school until it closed in 1976, after being taken over by Plymouth City Council. At this point, she took early retirement, aged 61. Although primarily a girls school, in its later years it took in day boys up to the age of eleven.

Throughout her period at Maristow, Lord Roborough, as Chairman of the school governors, became a close friend, and she was regularly a guest at head of table at family dinners.


Divided into memorabilia, reminiscences and photographs.

Access Information


Open, subject to signature of Reader Application Form.

Acquisition Information

Given by Mimi Hatton in April 2001.

Conditions Governing Use

A reader wishing to publish any quotation of information, including pictorial, derived from any archive material must apply in writing for prior permission from the Archivist or other appropriate person(s) as indicated by the Archivist. A limited number of photocopies may be supplied at the discretion of the Archivist.

Related Material

The Institute of Education also holds the records of the BFES/SCE (Ref: BFE), Arabella Kurdi (Ref: AK) and and the papers of James Lumsden (Ref: LUM). Memories of Bad Oeynhausen School in the early 1950's sent in by a former student can be found in the depositors' file.