Mrs Rosalie Crawford

Mrs Rosalie Crawford (nee Duckitt) 1930 - 2020

Guild Member (In College 1946 – 1949, Cambray and Fauconberg)

Rosalie was born in Hong Kong.  Her father, a merchant in the woollen trade, was originally from Yorkshire and moved the family from Hong Kong to Shanghai where Rosalie grew up in the rather British world of Shanghai Girls’ School.  With the outbreak of war and the Japanese invasion, the whole family was taken prisoner and removed to a prisoner of war camp north of Shanghai.

They were housed in a former missionary encampment along with other British families.  The camp was well organised for children.  Rosalie, aged 10 in 1940, was able to attend ‘school’ as many in the group were doctors or teachers.  As a result, the children’s education did not fall behind too much during the four years they were imprisoned.

When the camp was liberated, Rosalie came to the UK.  Another girl, who was close in age was coming to CLC and Rosalie joined her.  They arrived in the middle of term time and initially the girls boarded in the San until a boarding place could be found in Cambray. 

Intelligent and academic, Rosalie thrived at CLC after which she gained a place at Girton College, Cambridge to read Economics, eventually switching to Law.  Only a handful of women were studying at Cambridge at this time and she made good friends whilst there.  She settled in Yorkshire and started her Articles there later moving to Carlisle where she qualified as a solicitor.  She worked for the same firm for her whole career, specialising in Wills, Trusts, and Probate and had a meticulous eye for detail and was renowned for her ability to unravel complex points of Law.

Gardening and travel were her loves.  Every year Rosalie would go on a long haul trip to the Far East – Shanghai, Hong Kong, China and also places such as South America and the Galapagos Islands.  She enjoyed education cruises with lectures from botanical professors and gained a huge knowledge of plants, customarily knowing their Latin names. 

Rosalie appreciated her education both at CLC and Girton and was keen that others should experience the sort of education she so enjoyed and benefitted from.  She would be delighted to know that future generations of deserving CLC girls will benefit from her legacy.

Notes from a conversation with Mrs Diana Armstrong, friend and colleague.  August 2020.