My mother, Annemarie Maggs, who has died aged 94, was a refugee who arrived in Britain from Austria in 1939 and made her life in the UK, working for many years as a secretary at Brunel University in west London.

For some years she was personal secretary there to Lord Vaizey, the economist and educationist; it was said that he refused any decision of which she did not approve. On her retirement in 1989, she was described as “far more than a secretary – counsellor, confidante, cook, nurse, surrogate senior tutor if not head of department. She has been the fount of knowledge, the social pivot of the department.”

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