Scope and Contents
The papers listed here include a miscellany of personal and biographical materials, including certificates, wartime memoirs and some photographs, together with a significant collection of letters, mostly those written by Ena Burton to her parents from 1937 to 1948.
The papers also include two items which are personal papers of Ena Burton’s mother, Eva Mary Burton (née Underwood, 1888-1991, Eva was, like her daughter, a teacher): one is Eva’s Teacher’s Copy of Service Book, which has been listed alongside Ena’s own in GCPP Burton 3; the other is a notebook in which Eva kept a record not only of some miscellaneous personal information and receipts but also of letters and parcels sent to Ena while she was teaching in Jamaica, which is listed at GCPP Burton 1/3.
Each section of the catalogue is arranged broadly chronologically.
Conditions Governing Use
Carol Underwood transferred to Girton College the copyright in papers written by Ena Burton, November 2015, and the copyright in papers written by Eva Burton, January 2016.
Biographical / Historical
Ena Burton was born at Banbury on 28 August 1918, the daughter of Harold Burton, schoolmaster, and Eva Mary Underwood, schoolmistress (1888-1991). Both Harold and Eva were later headteachers. At the time of Ena's birth, her father was serving with the Machine Gun Corps, stationed at Belton Camp, Grantham, Lincolnshire. Ena and her parents moved to Kettering, Northamptonshire, before 1920 and she received her elementary education there. They then settled in Ludlow, Shropshire, where Ena attended Ludlow High School. She then studied French in Paris for about six months in 1937. She studied English at Girton College from 1937 to 1940 and went on to attend the Oxford Training College for a year, qualifying as a teacher in 1941.
Ena taught English at Dame Allan’s Girls’ School, Newcastle upon Tyne, 1941-45, during the period when the school was evacuated to Ambleside. Her next teaching post was at Wolmer’s Girls’ School, Jamaica, 1945-48. She was then a temporary English Lecturer at Bingley Training College, Yorkshire from 1948 to 1949, and the remainder of her working life was spent teaching at Warwick High School for Girls.
Ena travelled widely and kept in touch with many people she had met in her younger days. In the early 1960s she bought a plot on a small housing development in Bishop’s Tachbrook, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire: this was to be her home until her death. In retirement she continued her travels and busy social activities. She was a regular at the Shakespeare theatre in Stratford upon Avon and was a member of many societies. She was also a keen gardener. She died on 20 February 2013, leaving 10% of her estate to Girton College.
[This brief biography is drawn from Girton College Register Volume 1 and from notes provided by Carol Underwood.]