Our Beloved Founder Principal
Late Ms. Helen Dorothea Jerwood.....

Helen Dorothea Jerwood was born on the 16th September 1879 at the England Civil Parish, Little Bowden Rectory in Northamptonshire, England, to Revd. Thomas Frederick Jerwood who was the Rector of Little Bowden from 1874 to 1924 and Dorothea Elizabeth Jerwood. Ms. Helen Dorothea Jerwood had an elder brother Henry two years older and two younger brothers, Edward born in 1883 and John in 1890.

Ms. Helen Dorothea Jerwood, the British Missionary and educationist had come to India in her younger years with a zeal and determination and set up numerous educational institutions in the Country.

It was God’s supreme plan to instill the vision of setting up a School in this calm and serene Cantonment area of New Delhi in the mind of this noble educationist. It was when she attained the ripe old age of 80 years that the pioneer British missionary gave shape to her vision in 1960, with strong determination and undying spirit and established her last venture, St. Martin’s Diocesan School in the perfect settings of the calm Delhi Cantt.

As the school began within the massive St. Martin’s Church, the holy sanctuary became the symbol of blessing and the perfect vicinity to realize the dream of the undeterred leader.
Braving the frailties of old age, Ms. Helen Jerwood bicycled to the nearby areas and canvassed herself of the new school and urged the parents to send their children to her school. She faced many struggles in the initial years of setting up the school. However, she overcame each hurdle with determination and with the strong support of The Rt. Revd. F. R. Willis, the Bishop of Delhi Diocese (CIPBC) during that time.
Many were the awe- inspiring exchanges between Ms. Jerwood and Bishop F. R. Willis that soothed out initial struggles and established the institution.

Excerpts from the letters exchanged between her and the Bishop bring glimpses of the difficulties she braved due to sheer strength of mind.

7th August 1960
‘The Church was entirely surrounded by water when it was time to go home. There was no brick to make stepping stones. The drainage was under the Church; the paths were like canals. The Priest suggested that the Bishop be contacted.’
11th November 1960
‘Can’t get anyone to make us a playground. Things are really difficult.’
21st November 1960
‘I am getting more and more distressed about things here.’
There was a ray of hope at the dawn of the next year when she wrote to the Bishop on the
16th January 1961
‘We are having many new pupils. I want to find a responsible person to come and take fees in January when we reopen.’
This was however followed by disappointments and dampened spirits as the subsequent letters to the Bishop reveal.

26th September 1961
‘I have only lately realized that we must expect nearly half of our pupils to leave each year. What a disappointing school!’

1st September 1963
‘Number of pupils left, owing to postings in the Spring and their successors have not sent their children here.’
Braving the frailties and weaknesses of old age, she carried her zeal and commitment with vigor and enthusiasm till the very end.

Ms. Helen Jerwood was called to God’s Glory and laid to eternal rest when she was 85, on the 3rd April 1965, bringing an end to the passion and spirit of the determined British Educationist who chose to remain in India and raise its educational standards. Her tomb in Delhi bear witness to the true love that Ms. Jerwood had for the Capital city of India and its children.

Thus, five years after its inception, St. Martin’s Diocesan School lost its protective mother who nurtured it till her last breath.

True to the School Motto, Light begets Light, the flame that she kindled, passed on. Years rolled on and the school attained new landmarks. The success story continues, reflected in the thousands of alumni who have made their mark in various spheres all over the world and the young Martiners within the School Campus who mark the generation next.

The school pays homage to its dear Founder as it courses through its 56th year.

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