SOS for NCHS to Rally Round One of Our Very Best, Miss Jill Mortiboys

Sorry to be the bearer of what I know will be very sad news for a lot of people who remember Jill so fondly as a colleague and teacher. Last Friday Jill asked her niece, Imogen, to  ring me to let me know she had been admitted to a hospice in Ipswich after a brief spell in hospital where she was diagnosed with advanced pancreatic cancer.

I have been in contact with Jill by letters and the odd telephone call since she moved down to East Anglia on retiring as Head of English at Church High, which has allowed me to continue to bathe in the sunshine, positivity and joyous fun being in Jill’s company endowed.  But she needs us to return some of this her way now, please.  Big time.  When someone is so far away – and so poorly – one is able to do so very little to help.  But, like me, I’m sure many of you will find it in your hearts to swiftly share with Jill how much she meant to us all.

I will let Imogen know that I’ve written this post and I’m sure she will try to share with Jill, when she visits, any comments left on this blog.  But Imogen is travelling from Birmingham each time, the Mortiboys’ home patch, and will already have a lot on her own plate right now.  By their very nature, hospices are set up to ensure the days before someone’s passing are the happiest they can be for them and their family/friends, so I’m including the address below for card sending.

Let’s make sure Jill knows just how much she gave to so many of us.

Jill can be contacted with your love and good wishes via the staff at:

St Elizabeth Hospice,

565, Foxhall Road,



6 thoughts on “SOS for NCHS to Rally Round One of Our Very Best, Miss Jill Mortiboys”

  1. Dear Miss Mortiboys ( Jill seems far too familiar!),
    I was so sorry to hear your news and hope that you are being well looked after.
    I have very fond memories of my English lessons with you, as do all of us who were fortunate enough to be one of your pupils! You always managed to make everything such fun, which is no mean feat in any classroom ! You were also kind enough to take time out and help me with a very important speech that I was to make at my brother’s bar mitzvah, when I wasn’t even sure that you knew what that was!! Needless to say, it was a great success and I will be forever grateful. I wonder if you also remember?!
    It’s lovely to reminisce about such a happy period in our lives.
    So here is a bit about me! After leaving Church High, I went to university in Leicester and qualified as a Pharmacist, working in hospital pharmacy , both NHS and private , during my career. I married and had 3 children ( Oliver 27, Adam 24 and Zoe 21 ) and divorced, but then happily remarried to Steve. We live in Chorleywood in Hertfordshire with our 7 year old Beagle called Romey. A very brief overview of the last 38 years, but the most important bits!
    Thank you for being a part of my education, which I will always cherish.
    Fondest regards
    Carolyn Selig ( now Cartwright)

  2. Thank you for sharing the news, Christine.

    Dear Imogen, please know that your aunt inspired me, like so many others, to develop a life-long love of literature and the English language. I’m incredibly grateful as I am enjoying a wonderful career in PR and communications as a result.

    I shall certainly be sending a card to offer my good wishes.

    Julie Green (formerly Ayers)

  3. Dear Imogen
    Although I have already said this to her, I want to pass on my love to your aunt. She believed in me, supported me, challenged me. Of course I became an English teacher myself. I hope I passed something of her passion for literature to others.
    Oh, and I’ll never forget the day she got ‘lost’ in Newcastle when she was giving Derek Jacobi a lift to visit the sixth form.
    May she know God’s presence with her in these days.
    Allison Fenton

  4. Like so many, Miss Mortiboys, Jill, inspired me to a life long love of books. She also helped me at a difficult time of my life (due to health problems) . I will never forget the look on her face when Tahera and I knocked on her room door during a visit to Stratford and announced that we had ‘bumped into’ Derek Jacobi and had invited him to come and speak to us at school! I have many happy memories of school and in particular Jill, and I hope all the messages she receives will tell her just how important she was in all our lives and how much she is loved.

  5. Dear Miss Mortiboys

    I came to Church High as a ‘foreigner’, a ‘colonial’. Your warmth and love of teaching kept me going through some unhappy times. You (one of very few) believed I could be a doctor and your championing of my dream was one of the main reasons I kept trying.

    I succeeded. I have had a journey of a career as an expert in highly sophisticated and extremely challenging medicine as well as leading clinical services, a hospital directorate and now as an Executive Medical Director of a hospital. I am also a fellow of a Cambridge college.

    I am married, have two sons and a rather old dog. I too ended up in East Anglia.

    Thank you for everything.

    Fay Gilder x

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