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Obituary: Kathleen Few

We are deeply saddened by the death of former Birkbeck student Kathleen Few, who died on 19 June 2020 aged 104 – three months short of her 105th birthday. Kathleen gained her Mathematics degree at Birkbeck in 1941 and, immediately after graduating, started out on her long career as a teacher of Mathematics.

Her first teaching post was at a school in Cardiff in 1941, during World War Two. In 1943 she took up a post at Highbury Hill High School, Highbury, London (now Highbury Fields School) where she taught in the war-time classes and where she spent the rest of her career until she retired in 1977.


Miriam Cooper, one of Kathleen’s former pupils at Highbury Hill High School, said: “Miss Few maintained her contact with Birkbeck until her death. Several years ago she travelled by train from her Brighton home to Victoria Station from where I took her to The Houses of Parliament to attend a reception for former Birkbeck students.  It was a remarkable day.  A wheelchair escort took us into the famous building by a side entrance, where she was wheeled through parts of the building not usually seen, until we arrived at the reception. She was the oldest former student there. She enjoyed the occasion very much, especially the afternoon tea.

“I saw Miss Few just before Christmas last year. She was full of stories about her teaching life and Birkbeck always got a mention. She was very proud of her University.”