A FORMER teacher, writer and historian from a York village has died, aged 84.

Prudence Bebb lived for almost half a century in Upper Poppleton, where her father Douglas was the village's Methodist minister prior to his retirement.

Prue's father had served as a Padre in the army, and she was born at St Oswalds house, Catterick Camp, and moved 22 times before settling in Poppleton in 1970, said her niece Lauren.

She said Prue taught at Snaith from 1961 to1963 and then at Howden school for 27 years until her retirement in 1990.

"She was the only child of her loving and devoted parents," she said. "Her mother documented her early life in intricate detail with love and care.

"She attended the Montessori School “Shirley” in Psalter Lane Sheffield and in 1947 she started at Sheffield High school for girls.

"She graduated from Sheffield University in 1960 and got her teaching certificate in 1961."


She said Prue had wanted to be an author since she was seven, and her first book “The Eleventh Emerald” was published in 1980, while her final book “A Wartime Child” was published to coincide with the 75th anniversary of VE Day in 2020.

York Press: Prudence Bebb as a young woman, left, and in later life, rightPrudence Bebb as a young woman, left, and in later life, right

"She was heavily involved in the history society in Poppleton and volunteered at the Mansion house in York, sharing her love and passion for history," she said.

"Prue and her parents were great animal lovers and had many pet dogs over the years. Her last dog was Jester, who became a bit of a celebrity at the nursing homes she spent her last years."

She said that after suffering a stroke in 2018, Prue had moved to St Catherine’s care home in Shipton by Beningbrough, where she was cared for by the 'lovely' staff until she moved to Fulford Nursing Home in 2021.

"Prue passed away peacefully on June 6 at Fulford nursing home, where she had received incredible care since moving there," she said. "Present were Donna, the home manager, two carers Gemma and James, myself and of course her life long companion 'Big Teddy.'"

  • Prue's funeral takes place at 12.40pm on Wednesday, June 28 at York Crematorium for close family and friends followed by a memorial service at Poppleton Methodist Church, Upper Poppleton, at 1.30pm. Family flowers only are requested, with donations to the RSPCA York Branch.