Jeanne Ingram 1924-2005

Originally published in the December 2005 edition of the Membership Nesletter (No.48)

Jeanne Ingram 1924-2005

Jeanne Ingram died on 23 June, 2005, at the age of 81.  After graduation from the University of Edinburgh and a short period at Rothamsted Experimental Station, Jeanne spent her entire career (1949-1989) on the lecturing staff of Wye College (University of London).  Initially she assisted Professor R.L. Wain over a wide area of Agricultural Chemistry, and the.thesis for which she was awarded an M.Sc. in 1956 was in plan biochemistry.  After this she developed her main research interest, which was in the maintenance of soil organic matter and its effect on soil structure.  But it was in the knowledgeable and enthusiastic teaching of Soil Science and in the pastoral care of students. Latterly as Senior Warden, that she excelled.  She was the catalyst that turned field excursions and College social occasions into fun filled memories.  Generations of student turned to ‘Auntie Jeanne’ for wise resolution of their vicissitudes, and in times of sickness or emotional crisis she always gave sacrificially of her time and energy.  She would administer Lucozade as a certain cure for examination nerves!  While there was always plenty of elementary Soil Science teaching, Jeanne regretted the small numbers on more advanced courses.  In collaboration with the University of Kent, she initiated and organised M.Sc. course in the Conservation of Soil Fertility.  A frequent participant in B.S.S.S. meetings, she served on the Council and helped to host the Annual Conference at Wye in 1973.

The mainspring of Jeanne’s life was her robust Christian faith.  While this shone out of all her activities, it was especially visible in her coping with the periodic turbulent episodes in the weeknight Youth Club and Sunday Youth Fellowship in which she was involved.  For many years, she also organised, and largely funded out of her own pocket, Christmas and Easter Parties and a Summer Strawberry Tea for over seventies living in Wye.

Jeanne moved on retirement to Ninfield, near Bexhill, but returned periodically to give lectures.  Sadly, her retirement coincided with the gradual rundown of research and teaching in Agricultural Science on what became the Wye Campus of Imperial College, and her death comes with its ending.  Nevertheless Jeanne Ingram will be remembered with love and gratitude by a multitude of past students all over the world.

Provided by Paul Burnham