Iona Kielhorn’s first job as a P.E. Teacher in Reading

James Ramsey MacDonald in his PM's office

Iona’s Grandfather, James Ramsey MacDonald in his PM’s office

Iona chose to become a P.E. teacher as she was good at sport. Iona enjoyed her teacher training course at Dartford P.E. College. It was a three-year course. The course included Tennis, Athletics, Hockey, Netball, Rounders and Swimming. There were also courses in Physiology, Physiotherapy and Anatomy. The course counted 1 1/2 years towards a medical degree at London medical School.

Iona with one of her Great grandmother Annie Ramsay's dresses.
Iona with one of her Great grandmother Annie Ramsay’s dresses.

After Iona began working as a P.E.teacher she still participated in sporting activities herself. She was a member of the Anglo-Scots Club, which was based in London. The club was developed for Scots who lived in England. Iona competed at an Anglo-Scots Event where she became Scottish Discus Champion. Her next school post was at a mixed school, Cedar Grammar School in Leighton Buzzard. She met her husband when he was an exchange student in the UK travelling from North Germany. He was attending Wurzberg University. They married and Iona moved to Germany, where she settled for the next forty years. They had two sons.

Pathe news Joan MacDonald wedding

Pathe news reel footage of Joan MacDonald and Alistair MacKinnon’s wedding in 1932

Both of Iona’s parents were doctors. Her Father, Alistair MacKinnon was born in South Africa. Her mother was Dr. Joan MacDonald. Her grandmother was Margaret Gladstone MacDonald and her grandfather was James Ramsay MacDonald, the first Labour Prime Minister.

James Ramsay MacDonald was born in Lossiemouth, Moray. He had wanted to a teacher of Science.

Ramsay MacDonald on a Gordonstoun School boat

Ramsay MacDonald on a Gordonstoun School boat in the mid 1930s

He wrote poetry when he was as young as sixteen. Having held the post of Student Teacher at Drainie Primary School for a number of years he moved to Bristol and worked on his Science degree.  James helped his friend Kurt Hahn, former Headmaster of Salem School in Germany, to leave imprisonment in 1932. The letter James wrote is still on display at the school he founded, Gordonstoun in Moray. He also founded the Outward Bound Association, United World Colleges and Duke of Ediinburgh Award Scheme.

Memory contributed by Iona Keilhorn from Lossiemouth

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Additional information

Ramsey MacDonald Heritage trail brochureRamsay MacDonald Heritage Trail
There is a colourful brochure which accompanies an informative walk through the streets of Lossiemouth, his home town and beyond.

Picture library about Ramsey MacDonald

Picture library about Ramsey MacDonald. There are number of pages on this website which relate to the story of Ramsey MacDonald and his links to Lossiemouth.

Moray Connections- James Ramsay MacDonald

Ramsey MacDonald’s Family plot is in Spynie Churchyard

Here is some information which Iona wrote about her Grandfather and one of her Aunts.
Picture set 1
Mountain named after his daughter
Vancouver’s Tribute to Burns in which Ramsay MacDonald gave the Immortal Memory.

Spartacus International Ramsey MacDonald bookAn online article about Ramsey MacDonald including numerous orignal letters and links to the original sources.

Historic Visit to the US in 1929
As Prime Minister he made a historic visit to the United States in 1929. He was the first British Prime Minister to address the U.S. House of Representatives on October 7th 1929. He received a souvenir medal to commemorate the Historic visit.

The Straits Times, 15 October 1929, Page 12- US newspaper cutting

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Pathé News

Pathé News recently uploaded many of their films onto the internet. They include several showing Ramsay MacDonald and often his daughter Joan.

“Newsreel archive British Pathé has uploaded its entire collection  85,000 historic films, in high resolution, to its YouTube channel. This unprecedented release of vintage news reports and cinemagazines is part of a drive to make the archive more accessible to viewers all over the world.”

Ramsey MacDonald as prime minister and politician. Working in his study as PM.

Pathe news Ramsay MacDonald at work as PM

Pathe news Ramsay MacDonald at work as PM

Pathe news reel Chequers 1924

Pathe news reel showing Joan and her Father, James at Chequers 1924

Pathe news reel Ramsay Macdonald plane ride

Pathe news reel showing Ramsay Macdonald alighting from a plane ride