Thelma Milner-Barry, who died on June 2, was born Thelma Tennant Wells in 1921.

Her father was a civil engineer working for a railway company and she was brought up in Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire, which was then semi-rural - she remembered skating on the flooded water-meadows. The nearest school being rather far to walk, little Thelma had lessons with a neighbour, a retired school inspector who made her memorise reams of poetry; subsequently she got a place at grammar school.

After leaving school she joined the Treasury and loved working in London. Like many of her generation, she had many good memories, as well as bad, of the war. Her work helping wind up the Polish government in exile brought her into contact with fellow civil servant Stuart Milner-Barry, a British chess master and wartime Bletchley Park code-breaker. He was later made a KCVO. The couple married in 1947 and the rules of the day meant that she had to resign from the Treasury immediately.

Mr and Mrs Milner-Barry spent most of their married life in Blackheath, South London, and had three children.

Mrs Milner-Barry took a very active part in the community and, as well as being a young people's adviser in local schools, she was a juvenile magistrate, a member of the Board of Visitors of Holloway Prison, and an honorary steward at Westminster Abbey.

She also served as the first UK Director of Women's Chess and made many lasting friendships in the chess world.

She was much loved by her grandchildren and after Stuart's death in 1995 she moved to Highworth where her daughter lived.

She threw herself into local life with characteristic enthusiasm and in her 80s she was successfully taking university-level courses in English at New College Swindon, despite hating written examinations.

She joined many local organisations - Swindon Film Society, Fairford Literary Society, Cricklade Theatre Group, South Marston Gardening Club, Highworth Historical Society, the National Trust, NADFAS and the Ridgeway Society.

Her funeral was held at St John the Baptist Church at Hannington on June 18 in a service led by the Rev Simon Tyndall An energetic, talented, much admired and caring lady, Mrs Milner-Barry was buried with husband Stuart at Great Shelford Cemetery, Cambridge.