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Grace Bennet - TLM Hero

A black and white photo of a woman holding a medal in a presentation box

Raised in Hampshire, England, ‘modest, thoughtful and sharp’ Grace Bennett (1920-2006) worked with the Civil Service at Harrogate during World War II – a training that would help her become an excellent hospital administrator. When the war ended, Grace qualified as a nurse and midwife at Battersea, London. She was accepted into The Mission in 1955, and sailed to Korea to recommence the Mission’s work, which had stopped during WWII and the Korean War.

Grace’s work centred around treatment and stigma-reduction in the city of Taegu, where a 20-bed referral hospital was built in the grounds of the University Hospital. She and the team would take mobile clinics into the surrounding areas, offering treatment, rehabilitation, health education, resettlement assistance and care.

In 1971, Grace was appointed TLM’s Representative in Korea, overseeing a time of challenge and change for the team, including the creation of a new hospital on its own site in the city centre.

Grace was awarded the Order of Civil Merit Dongbaek Medal by the President of Korea and the OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours. She accepted it on behalf of the whole team, who continued the work in Korea when Grace returned to London and served as warden of the Mission’s house at Kew, before retiring on 1st August 1988.