Anna Allott obituary


My buddy and former trainer Anna Allott, who has died aged 93, was a lecturer in Burmese at Soas College of London from the early Nineteen Fifties till her retirement within the early 90s.

Except for her educational work she was an awesome promoter of friendship between the UK and Myanmar (Burma), and did a lot to attempt to increase consciousness in Britain of the nation’s literature. Appointed OBE in 1998, she was secretary of the Britain-Burma Society from 1980 to 1997, and from 2002 to 2016 was a trustee of Prospect Burma, a charity arrange with funds from her buddy Aung San Suu Kyi’s Nobel peace prize to supply scholarships for Burmese college students.

Born in London to Marie Hloušková, a Czech-born French trainer, and Thomas Sargant, who later co-founded the human rights organisation Justice, Anna attended South Hampstead highschool earlier than gaining a level in French and Russian on the London College of Slavonic Research.

Transferring to Soas as a postgraduate pupil within the phonetics and linguistics division, she initially studied Chinese language earlier than switching in 1952 to study Burmese. It was at Soas that she met Antony Allott, an instructional skilled in African regulation. They married in 1952, shortly earlier than she headed alone to Rangoon and Mandalay to review Burmese for 9 months.

Returning to Soas and married life, Anna was appointed an assistant lecturer in 1953, later shifting as much as change into a lecturer. As a part of her Soas work she was additionally required, on behalf of the Overseas and Commonwealth Workplace, to supply tuition in Burmese to a succession of British diplomats – me amongst them.

The 2 of us later collaborated with Ma Thida Sanchaung on a e-book, Inked Over, Ripped Out (1993), which collected collectively censored quick tales. At coronary heart a lexicographer, she additionally ensured that her colleague Eugenie Henderson’s dictionary of Bwe Karen, an ethnic minority language of Myanmar, noticed the sunshine of day after Henderson’s demise in 1997. In 2009 her personal Burmese Dictionary of Grammatical Types, compiled with John Okell, was printed.

After she stood down as a full-time lecturer Anna continued to show at Soas on a part-time foundation for numerous years. Following her preliminary go to to Myanmar within the early 50s she didn’t return there till 1976, partly due to the calls for of labor and household but in addition attributable to Myanmar’s isolation after a 1962 coup. Blacklisted by the army regime in 2005, she made her closing go to to the nation in 2014, when a civilian authorities emerged.

Over time Anna welcomed many Burmese guests to her home in Bodicote, Oxfordshire, the place she additionally held open days of her pretty backyard in support of native charities. Antony died of Parkinson’s illness in 2002; she was chair of the Banbury Parkinson’s Society for 16 years, earlier than and after his demise. Later she moved to Wedmore in Somerset, the place she spent her closing 12 years.

She is survived by her three youngsters, Nicholas, Stephen and Lucy, 12 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren.


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