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WOMEN MPs ELECTED 1940s

1) Beatrice Wright

8) Caroline Ganley

15) Mabel Ridealgh

2) Lady Apsley

9) Barbara Gould

16) Clarice Shaw

3) Alice Bacon

10) Margaret Herbison

17) Edith Wills

4) Bessie Braddock

11) Jean Mann

18) Lady Tweedsmuir

5) Barbara Castle

12) Lucy Middleton

19) Alice Cullen

6) Grace Colman

13) Muriel Nichol

 

7) Freda Corbet

14) Florence Paton

 


Beatrice Wright (Beatrice Rathbone)

Date of Birth

17 June 1910 (née Clough)

Family

Married John Rathbone, future MP, two children; widowed and remarried (one child)

Education

Radcliffe College, Oxford

Early political experience

None

Years in parliament

1941-45 (ret.)

Party

Conservative

Constituency

Bodmin

Other public offices

Vice President, Royal National Institute for the Deaf (1978-date); founder, Hearing Dogs for the Deaf (President 1983-88)

Honours or titles

MBE (1996)

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Lady Apsley (Violet Bathurst)

Date of Birth

1895 (née Meeking)

Family

Married to Lord Apsley, future MP (1924), two children

Early career

Landowner, author, VAD at Marsh Court Military Hospital (WWI)

Early political experience

Chair of Bristol Conservative Women’s Association (1932-52); Sodbury Rural District Council (1941-43)

Years in parliament

1943-45 (def.)

Party

Conservative

Constituency

Bristol Central

Other campaigns

Contested Bristol North East (1950)

Other public offices

Numerous offices in Conservative Party; National Chairman Women's Section of British Legion

Honours or titles

Lady Apsley (1924-), OBE (1952)

Death

19 January 1966

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Alice Bacon (Baroness Bacon)

Date of Birth

1911

Family

Unmarried

Education

Normanton Elementary and High School; Stockwell Training College; External London University

Early career

Teacher

Early political experience

Member of Labour NEC (1941-70)

Years in parliament

Commons: 1945-70 (ret.), Lords: 1970-93

Party

Labour

Constituency

Leeds North East

Offices held

Minister of State, Home Office (1964-67), Minister of State, Department of Education & Science (1967-70)

Opposition portfolios

Home Affairs (1959-64)

Other public offices

Labour Party NEC (1941-70), Chairman of Labour Party (1950-51), Deputy Lieutenant of West Yorkshire (1974)

Honours or titles

CBE (1953), Baroness Bacon (1970-)

Death

24 March 1993

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Bessie Braddock

Date of Birth

24 September 1899 (née Bamber)

Family

Married John Braddock, later leader of Liverpool City Council, no children

Education

Liverpool Elementary

Early career

President Liverpool Trades and Labour Council

Early political experience

Liverpool City Council (1930-61, alderman from 1955)

Years in parliament

1945-70 (ret.)

Party

Labour

Constituency

Liverpool Exchange

Other public offices

JP (1946), Labour Party NEC (1947-48, 1958-69), Vice Chairman of NEC (1968-69)

Honours or titles

None

Publications

Bessie Braddock, The Braddocks (1963)

Death

13 November 1970

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Barbara Castle (Baroness Castle of Blackburn)

Date of Birth

6 October 1911(née Betts)

Family

Married, no children

Education

St Hugh’s College, Oxford

Early career

Journalist, temporary civil servant

Early political experience

St Pancras Borough Council (1937-45), Metropolitan Water Board (1940-45)

Years in parliament

Commons: 1945-79 (ret.), European Parliament: 1979-89 (ret), Lords: 1990-date

Party

Labour

Constituency

Commons: Blackburn, Blackburn East (1950-55); European Parliament: Greater Manchester North, Greater Manchester West (1984-)

Offices held

PPS to President of the Board of Trade (1945-51), Minister of Overseas Development (1964-65), Minister of Transport (1965-68), Secretary of State for Employment & Productivity (1968-70), Secretary of State for Social Services (1974-76)

Opposition portfolios

Works (1959-60), Employment (1970-71), Social Security (1971-74)

Other public offices

Chairman of Labour Party (1957-58), Co-chairman Women's National Commission (1975-76)

Honours or titles

life peerage (1990-), Cross of Order of Merit of Germany (1990)

Publications

W. D'Eath, Barbara Castle (1970); Castle, The Castle Diaries 1964-1976 (1990); Fighting All the Way (1993).

Death

3 May 2002

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  Grace Colman

Date of Birth

30 April 1892

Family

Unmarried

Education

Newnham College, Cambridge

Early career

Economics lecturer, tutor, civil servant, editor of party publications

Early political experience

Contested Hythe (1929, 1931), Sheffield Hallam (1935)

Years in parliament

1945-50 (def.)

Other campaigns

Contested Tynemouth (1951)

Party

Labour

Constituency

Tyneside

Publications

John Sleight, Women on the March (1986); Dictionary of Labour Biography, volume III (1976).

Death

7 July 1971

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Freda Corbet

Date of Birth

1900 (née Mansell)

Family

Married; widowed and remarried

Education

University College London

Early career

Barrister

Early political experience

London County Council (1934-65); contested Lewisham East (1935)

Years in parliament

1945-Feb. 1974 (ret.)

Party

Labour

Constituency

Northwest Camberwell, Peckham (1950-)

Other public offices

JP (1940)

Death

1 November 1993


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Caroline Ganley

Date of Birth

16 September 1879 (née Blumfield)

Family

Married

Education

Elementary only

Early career

School manager and governor

Early political experience

Battersea Council (1919-25, 1953-65), London County Council (1925-29 and 1934-37), contested Paddington North (1935)

Years in parliament

1945-51(def.)

Party

Labour

Constituency

Battersea South

Other public offices

JP (1920); President of London Co-operative Society (1942-46)

Honours or titles

OBE (1953)

Further reading

Dictionary of Labour Biography, volume I (1972)

Death

3 August 1966

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Barbara Ayrton Gould

Date of Birth

1888 (née Ayrton)

Family

Married, one son

Education

University College London

Early political experience

suffragette; Contested Lambeth North (1922), Northwich (1924, 1929, 1931), Manchester Hulme (1935) and Lambeth Northwood (1935)

Years in parliament

1945-50 (def.)

Party

Labour

Constituency

Hendon North

Other public offices

Royal Commission on the Civil Service (1929-31), acting Chief Women’s Officer of the Labour Party (1932), Vice Chairman of British Council, Labour NEC

Further reading

Dictionary of Labour Biography, volume VII (1984)

Death

15 October 1950

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Margaret Herbison

Date of Birth

12 March 1907

Family

unmarried

Education

Glasgow University

Early career

Teacher

Years in parliament

1945-1970 (ret.)

Party

Labour

Constituency

Lanark North

Offices held

Joint Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Scottish Office (1950-51); Minister of Pensions and National Insurance (1964-66), Minister of Social Security (1966-67)

Opposition portfolios

Scotland (1951-56, 1959-62), Education (1956-59), Pensions (1958-59, 1962-64)

Other public offices

Member of Labour NEC , Labour Party Chairman (1957), Chairman of Select Committee on Overseas Aid (1969-70), Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland (1970-71)

Death

1997

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Jean Mann

Date of Birth

29 July 1889 (née Stewart)

Family

Married, five children

Education

Bellahouston Academy

Early career

accountant

Early political experience

Glasgow Corporation (1931-38), contested West Renfrewshire (1931, 1935)

Years in parliament

1945-59 (ret.)

Party

Labour

Constituency

Lanark, Coatbridge and Airdrie (1950-)

Other public offices

Housing convenor of Glasgow Corporation, Vice President of Scottish Housing and Town Planning Association, senior magistrate of Glasgow; Labour Party NEC (1953-58)

Further reading

Mann, Woman in Parliament (1962); Dictionary of Labour Biography, volume VI (1982)

Death

21 March 1964

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Lucy Middleton

Date of Birth

9 May 1894 (née Cox)

Family

Married J.S. Middleton, later General Secretary of Labour Party

Education

Bristol University

Early career

Teacher, organising secretary in peace movement

Early political experience

Contested Paddington South (1931), Pudsey (1935); joined staff of Labour Party 1934

Years in parliament

1945-51 (def.)

Other campaigns

(1955)

Party

Labour

Constituency

Plymouth Sutton

Other public offices

Director and Foundation Chairman of War on Want (1958-68)

Death

1983

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Muriel Nichol

Date of Birth

2 February 1893 in Wilmslow, Cheshire (née Wallhead)

Family

Daughter of R.C. Wallhead MP; married with one son

Early career

Personnel at Robertsons in Hull; Teacher

Early political experience

Chairman of Welwyn UDC (1937-45), contested Bradford North (1935). As well as being a committed Socialist and reformer, she was also committed to the Suffragette movement.

Years in parliament

1945-50 (def.)

Other campaigns

Contested Bradford North (1955)

Party

Labour

Constituency

Bradford North

Other public offices

JP

Death

28 May 1983 in Hertfordshire

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Florence Paton

Date of Birth

1891 (née Widdowson)

Family

married John Paton, future MP (1930)

Education

secondary, private education

Early career

JP

Early political experience and other campaigns

contested Cheltenham (1928), Rushcliffe (1929, 1931), Carlton (1950, 1951, 1955)

Years in parliament

1945-50 (def. in new constituency)

Party

Labour

Constituency

Rushcliffe

Offices held

Chairman of standing committees (first woman to preside over whole House in committee)

Other public offices

UN delegate (1947)

Death

12 October 1976


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Mabel Ridealgh

Date of Birth

11 August 1898 (née Jewitt)

Family

Married, two children

Early career

cooperative movement

Other campaigns

Contested Ilford North (1951)

Years in parliament

1945-50 (def.)

Party

Labour

Constituency

Ilford North

Other public offices

President, Women's Cooperative Guild (1941-42), General Secretary (1953-63)

Death

20 June 1989

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Clarice Shaw

Date of Birth

c.1882 (née McNab)

Family

married

Early political experience

Ayr County Council (1932-46); contested Ayr (1929, 1931)

Years in parliament

1945-46 (ret.)

Party

Labour

Constituency

Ayrshire and Bute

Other public offices

Chairman, Scottish Labour Party

Death

27 October 1946


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Edith Wills

Date of Birth

21 November 1892 (née Wood)

Family

Twice married, one son with second husband

Early career

Tailor, trade union official

Early political experience

Birmingham City Council (1930-45, 1956-63)

Years in parliament

1945-50 (ret.)

Party

Labour

Constituency

Birmingham Duddeston

Other public offices

JP (1934-70)

Honours or titles

OBE (1966)

Death

7 April 1970

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Lady Tweedsmuir (Baroness Tweedsmuir of Belhevie)

Date of Birth

1915 (née Thomson)

Family

Sir Arthur Grant, two children; remarried Lord Tweedsmuir (1948), one daughter

Education

England, Germany, France

Early political experience

Contested Aberdeen North (1945)

Years in parliament

Commons: 1946-66 (def.); Lords: 1970-78

Party

Conservative

Constituency

Aberdeen South

Offices held

Under-Secretary of State, Scottish Office (1962-64); Minister of State, Scottish Office (1970-72); Minister of State, FCO (1972-74); Deputy Speaker of House of Lords (1974-77)

Other public offices

Governor of British Film Institute

Honours or titles

life peerage (1970)

Death

11 March 1978

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Alice Cullen

Date of Birth

18 March 1891 (née McLaughlin)

Family

twice widowed (three children), remarried third time

Education

Lochwinnoch Elementary School

Early career

Housewife

Early political experience

Glasgow Corporation (1935-45)

Years in parliament

1949-69 (obit.)

Party

Labour

Constituency

Glasgow Gorbals

Other public offices

JP (1941)

Special achievement

First Catholic woman MP

Publications

Dictionary of Labour Biography, volume VII (1984)

Death

31 May 1969

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