Green plaque honour for missionary and teacher

alice_young-1Missionary and teacher Alice Young is to be honoured next week with a green plaque award from Leicestershire County Council.

The plaque will be unveiled outside her family’s former home in Enderby on Wednesday, October 15th.

Richard Blunt, the county council’s cabinet member for heritage, said:

“It was Alice Young’s mission to help young people here and overseas with their education, and I am delighted that the people of Leicestershire voted for her to receive the honour.”

Born in Enderby in 1867, Alice joined the London Missionary Society (LMS) and, at the age of 26, travelled to Botswana in South Africa to teach reading, writing and arithmetic to the children of the Bangwato tribe.

Her teaching skills were quickly recognised by tribe chief King Khama III, who put her in charge of a new school at Palapye and, within three months, there were nearly 300 pupils receiving an education.

In 1895 – with Alice still in Botswana – King Khama fulfilled a promise to visit her parents in Enderby, when he visited England to meet Queen Victoria and ask for support in protecting his country from exploitation by colonialists.

Four years later, Alice married local trader Peter Arnold Johnston in Palapye. She died in south Africa in 1933.

The green plaque nomination came from Enderby Parish Council and chairman Judy Hall said:

“Alice Young was a remarkable woman and we’re confident that the people of Enderby will be delighted that one of their own has been chosen through a county-wide vote to receive this award.”

Alice’s great-nephew, David North, will be attending the unveiling of the plaque and he has been to Botswana to see the work in which his relative was involved.

Arnold Young, another great-nephew of Alice, also played a significant role in the award recognition. He has connections with the heritage group in Enderby.

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