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Enduring Legacies: Three Pioneering Women

Enduring Legacies: Three Pioneering Women 11 September 2020

Recognised expert on early 20th century women’s history, Dr Viv Newman, brings to life in a humorous and informative way the stories of three women whose knowledge and expertise saved and changed lives during and after World War One. Part of Chelmsford Heritage Open Days.

Be inspired and entertained as you hear about their enduring legacies.


In 1901 Dr Elizabeth Ross headed to Iran to work amongst the warlike Bakhtiara tribe, who, impressed by her skills, made her a chieftainess. Next, responding to a newspaper advert, she became the first ever female ship’s surgeon. In 1915, typhus-riddled Serbia put out a plea for medics, Elizabeth responded. She is still honoured in Serbia, the youth branch of their Red Cross bears her name.


In 1915 Edith Stoney was “no longer young, a mere wraith of a woman, she could carry heavy loads of equipment, repair electric wires sitting astride ridge tents in a howling gale and work tirelessly on an almost starvation diet”. Her pioneering use of radiology saved countless soldiers’ lives even if her ‘people skills’ left much to be desired. Determined to ease the path for a new generation of female scientists, her financial bequests enabled poorer women to train as doctors.


When Marie Stopes gained her doctorate, few could have anticipated her interest in plants’ reproductive cycles leading to her becoming a household name, loved and loathed in equal measure. Her actions lay behind the issuing of the first papal encyclical on Christian marriage for fifty years. Stopes’ first birth control clinic opened in 1921 followed by her travelling ‘Birth Control Caravans’, forerunners of the ‘walk-in’ health clinics now considered integral to the delivery of health care in many countries.


Booking Details

Pre-booking: Required
Via Eventbrite and Chelmsford Civic Society website
Go to:
Booking opens: 24 August 2020 00:00
Booking closes: 11 September 2020 17:00


Additional Information

Max 100 people per tour/session. The talk will last for under one hour and there will be time for questions afterwards. Booking will be via Eventbrite, from which you will receive a link to the talk. Contact for the day: Alan Pamphilon 07779 931401


Organised by

Writtle University College and Dr Viv Newman


September 11
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Event Category:




Chelmsford Civic Society