Betsy Buckingham

From Our Contribution

Betsy Buckingham
Betsy Buckingham.jpg
Plaque Information
Date of Birth 25 September 1888
Age at Death 77 years
Transcription In Loving Memory of Betsy Buckingham Born 25 September 1888 Died 02/05/1966 Aged 77 Years

Birth and Early Life

Betsy was born in Kelmscott on 25 September 1888 to Thomas Buckingham and her mother Hannah Buckingham (nee Salter). She was the youngest of 10 children. Betsy was baptised on the 11 November 1888 at Guildford. She attended Kelmscott School as a child and returned to teach at the School as a Junior Monitor when she was just 17 years old. In 1907 she was promoted to Senior Monitor and Sew Mistress.


Betsy's occupation was a teacher, and taught at Kelmscott School for 43 years until 1949. A document on the lefe of Besty Buckingham (compiled by Elaine de Ruiter and Lesley Choules) stated "It was said that Miss Buckingham taught with chalk in one hand and a ruler in the other, as did many teachers in those days. It was suggested though, that this approach was probably more for a show of strength, than the desire to inflict punishment. She could however, rise to the occasion if required. At least one person can remember having their mouth washed out with soap for swearing and another remembers receiving the cane. Betsy insisted on good behaviour and was fanatical about times tables which had to be known and recited forwards and backwards. For the most part though, Betsy was firm but very kind. She spoke softly and never shouted or screamed. She often said that she wanted to hear the pin as it dropped on the floor." Miss Buckingham was fondly remembered by her students. She is especially remembered for the lending library that she started at the school. It catered for both adults and children and was open on Saturday and later, Wednesday afternoons. Today the Kelmscott School Library has been named in her honour as the Betsy Buckingham Library.

Electoral Roll information

According to the electoral rolls Betsy lived mostly on Albany Highway Kelmscott. Her last address being listed in 1963.

Community Contribution

Betsy enjoyed playing sport, especially golf and was a member of the tennis, swimming and cricket clubs. She also played croquet, participating in club contests and she loved playing bridge and other card games, sometimes organizing these as fundraisers. She also loved a good debate. Betsy was a member of the CWA and the Church Ladies Guild. She loved Kelmscott Show Day and helped to organize the displays in the Hall and at one time she was on the Show Committee. Betsy was quite artistic and made and decorated cakes for special occasions and played the organ for the St Mary in the Valley Church services.


Betsy died at the age of 77 in Adelaide South Australia on 12 May 1966.

Library Resources

See Buckingham Family History File.