Phyllis Irene Finch was born 23 November 1901 at Coombehead Farm (her mother went back to grandmother’s house as was common. with first babies). She died on 17 March 1976. This is taken from a newspaper clipping, perhaps from the Methodist recorder?:
Miss Phyllis Finch
Like so many of her generation, Miss Finch went into missionary work through the fellowship of the Girls’ League. A graduate in geography of London University, with some teaching experience, she joined the. staff of the Wa Ying Girls’ High School in South China in 1930.
After the Japanese invasion and the eventual fall of Hong Kong, she spent four-and-a-half years in a concentration camp. She returned after 1945 and remained at the school until 1951.
When the doors into China were closed she went to Africa and spent nine years at Wesley High School, Cape Coast, Ghana.
In 1961 she retired, but in fact became re-deployed: a Teacher Training College in Liverpool needed a warden within days of the beginning of the academic year and sent out an urgent message to Women’s Work asking for temporary help. Miss Finch’s “temporary” help lasted three years.
During the next ten years retirement in her quiet Devonshire village was often interrupted by periods of ‘helping out’ at London MIH. (Methodist International House)
Her local church and community were also part of her caring service. Those who now thank God for her life and witness are a large and cosmopolitan company. – MS
She was actually in Internment at Stanley Camp, Hong Kong, not Concentration Camp. See blog post about this.