Jean Thompson was born in Ampleforth, North Yorkshire and lived there with her parents and older sister. The sisters went to the village school and then to Queen Anne Grammar school for girls in York. In 1942 Jean Thompson went to St Anne’s College, Oxford, to read French. After university she worked as a teacher, first at a small school in Caterham. She left after three years to spend some time in France where she lived with a host family in Troyes. She then spent 11 years teaching French at the Henrietta Barnett school in Hampstead Garden Suburb. Towards the end of her time there she was Second Mistress (Deputy Head), and Acting Head. Her last teaching post was as Head at Ilford County High School for girls, which became a coeducational comprehensive school during her time there. She returned after early retirement to care for her mother to Ampleforth, and continued to spend time there and in London where she enjoyed seeing her friends and ‘enjoying so much that London has to offer’.
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