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Mrs May Howard

25 September 1926 - 20 December 2013

May was born in Faringdon, Berkshire (now Oxfordshire following a boundary change), the second of three daughters of Bob and Alice Hughes. She was educated at the local grammar school for girls where she was head girl during her final year. Throughout her schooling May excelled in mathematics and went on to study it at Bedford College for women, which was then part of London University and situated in Regents Park. This was followed by a year at Pittman’s Secretarial College where she obtained 1st class certificates in all her final tests. In July 1949 May started work at Baker, Sutton and Co, a small firm of Chartered Accountants in the City of London. She studied for her accountancy exams and in 1959 she was one of the first women in the country to qualify as a Chartered Accountant. She married Alan Howard, a fellow Chartered Accountant, on her 45th birthday and continued to work, after the firm was taken over by Ernst and Whinney, until she retired at the age of 60.

May’s main leisure interest was always sport – particularly cricket. She was associated with the Women’s Cricket Association for many years and was their treasurer for over 25 years as well as helping to organise tours by visiting International Women’s teams. She took a course in umpiring and after passing the exam she stood as umpire in several women’s 4-day Test Matches. These included one against Australia at the Oval which resulted in her name appearing in the cricketer’s `Bible – the Wisden Cricketers’ Almanac – much to the pride of all the family.

May was a generous supporter of charity and contributed regularly over many years to The Royal Star and Garter Homes. I am delighted, therefore, that her name can be included on this Memorial Wall. I feel so proud of her and miss her very much.


~ Wendy, her younger sister .