1925 – 2020

The British Menopause Society and its patient arm Women’s Health Concern is greatly indebted to the late Mrs Marie Ayres-Regan, whose generous bequest has helped the charity through the difficult time of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020.

Marie was born in County Carlow in the Republic of Ireland on 30 October 1925. She was educated and matriculated at the Presentation Convent, Tullow and brought up in a country house a mile from the town with gardens, orchards and a smallholding. Her mother was a botanist and her father an interior designer. Early in the Second World War Marie emigrated to England and became a bank clerk in Manchester before joining the British Army, serving as a payroll clerk in York, Glasgow and Belfast. After the war she moved to London and trained at Barts’ Hospital, qualifying as a State Registered Nurse before moving to Buckinghamshire, where she became a Sister at Wycombe Hospital. Later she qualified as a special needs teacher and worked for 35 years at Chilton Gate  School in High Wycombe before retiring in 1995. She married her first husband Wilfred in 1951 and they had a son Adrian who was born in 1953. Her husband died in 1973 and Marie married David Ayres-Regan, whom she met after moving to Marlow on retirement. Her special interests were gardening, cooking and looking after her dogs, which included an Irish wolfhound!

Marie died on 18th March 2020. She chose the BMS as a beneficiary because of her knowledge of women’s health, acquired throughout her nursing career, and a special interest in homeopathy.

Patrick Shervington, trustee of the BMS and WHC writes:

I first met David in 2015 when he spied me trimming the hedge outside the BMS office in Dukes Place (a proper task for a non-medical trustee!). He thought I was the gardener and asked if I could prune the trees in his garden at Rookery Court. I was only too pleased to help, and so met Marie who was wonderfully hospitable and gently directed my amateur efforts. She had far greener fingers than mine! She and David also introduced me to St Peter’s Church. We became firm friends and I loved sitting with her and listening to fascinating accounts of her early life in Ireland and her subsequent nursing career. She and David gave me a tiny yew tree in a pot and it is re-planted and flourishing in the graveyard behind our garden at home in Wiltshire.