Web site logo c. 123-mcc.com

 Angus and Rosemary's Miscellany

  of Malvern - Local History

History menu >

Biography of Alice Kate Farmer, schoolmistress and town councillor

Alice Kate FarmerContents


Principal of school

Founder of Malvern WI

Sponsor of National Kitchens

Business partner Eva Leather

Public service




Photo right: Alice Kate Farmer courtesy of Malvern Museum


While browsing through a Trade Directory of Worcestershire we came across the name of Alice Farmer (1865 - 1944) who ran a school for young ladies at Langland House in Graham Road, Great Malvern, between about 1901 and 1912.

The curator of Malvern Museum told us that reports in the Malvern Gazette suggested that Alice Farmer had been very active in town affairs and had been one of the founders of Malvern Women's Institute, as was her friend and teaching colleague, Miss Eva Hazlehurst Leather, who lived with her.

Both ladies seem to have trained in Oxford and had family connections to academics and clergymen.

Principal of school

The 1911 census recorded that Alice Kate Farmer was proprietress of a girls' boarding school at Langland House, Malvern. Also in the household were Eva Hazlehurst Leather, assistant school-mistress; Gladys Farmer, sister; 18 pupils aged between 14 and 18 years and 5 servants.

The 1911 census recorded that Langland House had 23 rooms and was probably located between the Montrose Hotel and Buckingham House on the west side of Graham Road. We wondered whether the building might now be called Clanmere, which is the twin of Buckingham House next door which is now a dental surgery. Stevens directories, copies of which are held by Malvern library, confirmed this and showed that by 1917 Langland had become Fairholme nursing home, later renamed Clanmere (ref 13).


Langland House, now named Clanmere, 2016

In 1941 Julie Maria Clancy, born Bombay India, was living at Clanmere. She was the Aunt of colonial officer Gerald Gallagher (1912 - 1941) who wondered in 1940 if bones found on Nikumaroro were those of aviator Amelia Earhart who had gone missing in 1937.

Possibly, prior to 1900, Langland had been named Lambert House.

Langland School was first recorded in Kelly's trade directory of 1904, and last recorded in 1912. As there appears to be no mention of her school after 1912, we wonder if either her father gave her an allowance or she inherited sufficient funds that she no longer needed to take pupils.

There was a school sanatorium at 'The Hostel' across the road between 'The Oaks' and 'Longfleet', and we think , after the school closed, Alice Kate Farmer moved to the slightly smaller Hostel renaming it Langland.

Langland, 70 Graham Road, Great Malvern

Langland, the later home of Alice Farmer

Local artist Catherine Moody (1920 - 2009) recalled visiting Alice Farmer and Eva Leather at Langland about 1937, commenting on a garden room and staircase added to the house  to a design by local architect Troyte Griffith.

Alice continued to live at Langland (previously The Hostel) until her death in 1944.

The book 'Growing up in England' (ref 1) contains an interesting account by Francesca Chenevix Trench of attending Langland school between 1906 and 1908. Francesca was by all accounts a rebellious teenager who disliked the discipline imposed by Miss Farmer, but enjoyed history lessons given by Eva Leather.

Artist and illustrator Francesca Georgiana Chenevix Trench (1891 - 1918), known as Cesca, was the grand-daughter of Richard Chenevix Trench, Dean of Westminster and Archbishop of Dublin. She became an ardent supporter of home rule for Ireland, but very sadly died of Spanish Flu in 1918, shortly after her marriage.

Cesca's brother, Major Charles Reginald Chenevix Trench (1888 - 1918), Sherwood Foresters, educated at Charterhouse and Merton College Oxford, was killed in the Great War. It was somewhat ironic that earlier the Sherwood Foresters had been dispatched to Ireland in 1916 to quell the Easter Rising!

Founder of Malvern WI

At one time, Malvern WI met at a property in Bank Street opposite the Nag's Head pub, see photo below.

Malvern WI building

The Women's Institute movement began in Canada about 1897 as a means of bringing women in isolated communities together and passing on skills. Perhaps influenced by the outbreak of war, the first WI in the UK was founded in 1915, at Llanfair PG on the island of Anglesey.

Madresfield Womens' Institute was one of the first to be formed in Worcestershire (ref 8). It formally came into being on 16th April 1917 when Countess Lettice Beauchamp signed the rules at the village school. The first meeting had taken place more than a year previously on 7th April 1916 in the Boardroom of the Beauchamp Almshouses at Newland. In those early days women from the three parishes of Madresfield, Guarlford and Newland became members. The first secretary was Annie Madin, a teacher at Madresfield school, whose sister Mary was the headmistress (ref 9).

Madresfield WI closed in 1993 due to falling numbers; Guarlford became an independant Institute in 1941 and still exists today.

Malvern WI PlaqueThe short history of Madresfield WI (1917 - 1977) by Dorothy E Williams, who had been an archivist at Madresfield Court, relates that Malvern WI was formed at the Girls' Club in Newtown Road in 1918 and that it too had Lady Beauchamp as President, when in May she presented 50 membership cards. Later Miss Butler was described as the first 'Chairman' and President. The plaque on the wall of the meeting room suggests Malvern WI met there from 1924, by which time there were nearly 300 members.

The photo below shows the simple art deco gate of the Malvern WI meeting rooms at 38 Bank Street, with the letters W I incorporated into the top of the metal-work.

Malvern WI gate

We are told that both Alice Farmer and her friend Eva Leather were amongst the founders of Malvern WI in 1918. Alice was the secretary for the first 19 years and President for 2 years (ref 12); today there are several WIs in Malvern.

Sponsor of National Kitchens

National Kitchens were a British Goverment initiative of 1917 intended to provide food to the poorer classes at a reasonable price. At that time, with men away and food in short supply, many mothers were having difficulty feeding their families. We gather these kitchens were not intended to be a charity and the State expected National Kitchens to be run as businesses and cover their costs.

The Curator of Malvern Museum told us that Miss Alice Farmer was a very active organiser in the Great War, interestingly representing the Women's Agriculture Committee locally. To quote:

She appeared regularly in the local newspapers, urging the community to get behind the war effort. She was also a founder member of the WI in Malvern, became their secretary and it is believed committee meetings were held at her house, Langland, where she lived with another WI founder, Miss Leather.

Below is a transcription of a report from the Malvern Gazette, May 17th 1918, which tells of Alice's involvement in the Communal Kitchens in the area, a feature that had become essential with dwindling food supplies and malnourished children:

Miss Farmer presented a report on the Communal Kitchens. She stated that the North Malvern and Cowleigh kitchen was opened on November 28th and had been running for 18 weeks. It was started in the first instance for the large two neighbouring schools and had to work under discouraging conditions, as one or other school had been closed for ten out of the eighteen weeks.

A certain number of portions were sold to the adults in the district, but it was disappointing that the kitchen had not yet developed on these lines as fast as they expected. About 4,800 meals were served. The working expenses amounted to 12 12s 8d, and the profits on the food were 6 7s 3d. The kitchen therefore failed to pay its way by 6 1s 5d, bearing out the universal experience that it was almost impossible for a kitchen to cover its expenses if the daily average fell far short of 100.

The Barnards Green kitchen was opened on January 10th and had been running for sixteen weeks. It was started primarily for children and was closed during the school holidays, but it was now developing as a National Kitchen, and an increasing number of portions was sold every day. The meals served numbered 5,309. Working expenses amounted to 9 6s 2d, and the profits on food were 10 19s 7d. The kitchen therefore paid its way with a balance of 1 15s 5d. This was extremely creditable ...

About West Malvern .... The meals served numbered 3,424. The working expenses were 4 17s 6d and the profits on food were 9 10s 2d. There was therefore a balance to the good of 4 12s 8d towards paying off the equipment a most satisfactory result in so short a time. (In the above figures it should be noted that the cost of gas was not included).

The cost of the equipment of the kitchens was as follows:- North Malvern and Cowleigh 7 14s 1d; Barnards Green 13; West Malvern 16 6s 9d (of which 5 3s 6d had been most generously subscribed by the inhabitants of the village). The very small cost for North Malvern and Cowleigh was owing to the fact that a few utensils were in hand, bought out of a grant made by the Food Economy Committee in 1917.

The report went on to state that 25 was considered to be the smallest sum on which it was possible to equip a kitchen, but there had been some loans and many gifts, and the Urban District Council had very kindly allowed the Committee the use of any gas stoves and boilers that were in stock. The rooms had in each case been lent, rent free, so that the grant of 20 made in the autumn had so far been sufficient to meet all requirements. Miss Farmer concluded her report thus:-

It is impossible to speak adequately of the work of the house-keepers for the three kitchens. They have given whole-heartedly of their time, their brains, and their strength, and while thanking them one can only congratulate them on being able to render such a splendid bit of national service. Each kitchen also has a band of voluntary helpers, who come in for a time to assist with the childrens' dinners, and regular help of this kind is of great assistance.

Miss Farmer said she had received a letter from Miss Smith, the head teacher of Great Malvern Church of England Schools, who wrote that the children attending the schools were now doing without any lunch, with the exception of twelve delicate ones who were given hot milk daily. All had derived much benefit from the hot dinners provided specially for them, and they, with their parents, fully appreciated and valued them. She wished to thank Miss Farmer and her helpers most heartily on behalf of the school-children who told her how much they enjoyed the food. The health of the children had had certainly improved with the regular hot meals. The elder boys had been very keen on the dinners and were regular customers.

The Chairman said that Miss Farmer had given the Committee a most interesting report, showing that very useful work was being carried on. The Committee were very grateful to all who had helped. There was some discussion with reference to establishing a National Kitchen at Malvern Link, and the Sub-Committee was authorised to prepare a scheme to be submitted to the Ministry of Food.

Business partner Eva Leather

Eva LeatherThe 1911 census records that Eva Hazlehurst Leather (1871 - 1962), see photo right, courtesy of Malvern Museum, who was born Waterloo, Lancashire, was an assistant school-mistress at Langland House, and it seems that she and Alice Farmer developed a friendship which would last for the rest of their lives.

Eva was the fourth daughter of wine merchant Isaac Leather, who died in 1876 when Eva was only four. Her sisters were Maud Mary, Ethel Elizabeth, Mabel Eliza Howard, and Mary Steward. Their mother remarried, to Thomas Arnold Goodwin, a wealthy solicitor by whom she had two further children, Una Mary, and Dorothea, Eva's half sisters.

In 1905 Dorothea married clergyman John William Coke Norris. Crockford's Clerical Directory of 1932 records that John was educated at St John's College Oxford BA 1897; curate of St Marks, Waterloo, Liverpool 1900 - 1903; Assistant Master Harrow School 1902 - 1930.

In 1891 Eva and two of her sisters were staying with their stepfather's sister Una Margaretta Goodwin in Oxford. The census records that the children were supported by their mother and Eva had a scholarship.

At that time Alice Kate Farmer was an assistant school-mistress in Oxford, and possibly that's where they first met.

Eva's elder sister Mabel Eliza Howard Leather married John Underhill Powell in 1904, a classical lecturer and tutor educated at St John's College Oxford. Their daughter Mary Howard Powell married academic Rev Ralph Edward Cunliffe Houghton (1896 - 1990) who is recorded in Crockford's Clerical Directory of 1932:

Houghton, Ralph Edward Cunliffe, late school of Christ Church Oxford, 1st Cl Mods, 1917, BA (2nd Cl Lit Hum) 1921, MA and Matthew Arnold Essay Prize 1923. Westcott House Cambridge 1924. Priest 1926 Canterbury. Assistant Master of St Peter's College Westminster 1921 - 1925 and 1926 - 1928. Vice Principal of St Peter's Hall Oxford from 1928.

This seems rapid advancement for an academic young man who became an author and editor of several books. On 1st January 1945 he would conduct Alice Farmer's funeral service at Great Malvern Priory.

The 1911 census records that Eva's sister Ethel Elizabeth Leather (1867 - 1941) became a social worker, living in Lambeth, and we wondered what role she took in helping the poor of the district.

When the school closed, and was sold, Eva moved across the road to a smaller property named 'The Hostel' which Alice Farmer renamed 'Langland' after her old school.

Eva Leather continued to live at Langland in Graham Road, Great Malvern, until her death in 1962. Her married niece, Mary Howard Houghton, was one of her executors.

Eva's death was reported in the deaths' column of the Malvern Gazette on Friday 29th June 1962:

LEATHER on June 25th 1962 Eva Hazlehurst Leather of Langland Malvern aged 90.

The same issue contained the following tribute:

Miss E H Leather

Malvern has lost this week one of its outstanding women, who, in the past and until advancing age slowed her up, did much social and public work.

Miss Eva Hazlehurst Leather died aged 90 years, on Monday. She had lived for many years at 'Langland', Graham Road, which she generously made available for evening meetings of the Anglo French Society. She and her partner, the late Miss A K Farmer, ran a most successful girls' boarding school. She was also a former president of Malvern WI.

The funeral service was at Holy Trinity yesterday (Thursday), followed by cremation.

In a personal tribute AWMB writes:

As one who has known Miss Eva Hazlehurst Leather since my childhood, I should like to pay a tribute to a great and charming personality.

Whilst I was still a pupil at Lawnside, she and her partner Miss Farmer, retired from their splendid girls' boarding school, Langland House, on the west side of Graham Road, where their influence upon their pupils was apparent, but they continued to live in Malvern. Until recently Miss Leather kept up with all her old girls, and took a quiet interest in the activities of Malvern, particularly in those of a musical nature, such as the Malvern Concert Club.

Her love of beauty, combined with a very wise and kindly outlook, was an inspiration to all those who came into contact with her, and I for one, shall sorely miss her graciousness, sincerity, and brilliant brain, which were so apparent until a week or two before her death.

Malvern can boast of many wonderful people who, like Miss Leather, have lived to be over 90 years of age 'underneath the Malvern Hill', but none, surely, have served their generation better than she, who leaves behind her the cherished memory and lasting influence of a great-hearted personality, for which we shall ever be grateful.

Public service

We believe Alice Kate Farmer retired as headmistress of Langland House School in 1912 and thereafter devoted herself to town affairs, serving on many local committees. Mention has already been made of her support of National Kitchens during WWI. Alice was also appointed Hon Sec of the Malvern branch of the Charity Organisation Society, and she served as secretary of the Malvern Branch of the National Council of Women.

The National Council of Women had its origins in social work among women and girls in industrial towns by associations of women mainly coming from the upper middle classes. This work led to the formation in 1895 of a national organisation known as the National Union of Women Workers, which in 1918 was renamed the National Council of Women (ref 11). In those days women did not have equal rights, and in 1918 voting was only extended to women over 30 who were either married or property owners.

In 1920, Alice became Councillor for the Trinity ward of the Urban District Council (UDC), remaining in post for the rest of her life, eventually becoming vice-chairman of the UDC (ref 12).

Cover of prospectusAlice was one of a group of prominent women, led by Catherine Severn Burrow, who, in the aftermath of the Great War, founded a Public Utility Society known as 'Workers Ltd'. This took advantage of a government scheme and its aim was to build compact and well equipped homes where single women, such as matrons, nurses, teachers, civil servants, companions and social workers, would have the comfort and satisfaction of independence. See cover of prospectus opposite; click image to enlarge.

The first development in Malvern, known as Pickersleigh Close, was in Malvern Link.

A later scheme, circa 1927, provided bungalow flats for retired women at Barnards Close off Geraldine Road in Barnards Green, opposite the Chase School (ref 11); see image below.

Both developments are now managed by the Barnleigh Housing Association.


Alice Farmer was Chairman of the Public Health committee from June 1937, Vice-Chairman of the Public Library Committee, Chairman of the Managers of the Malvern Council School, and was a Governor of Hanley Castle Grammar School, and of the Lyttleton School. We wonder how she found the time!

(Malvern Council School was probably the school we know now as Great Malvern Primary on the corner of Pickersleigh Road and Lydes Road, Barnards Green, which had opened in 1916. The only other Council school in Malvern at that time was in Somers Park Avenue.)

So how was it Alice came to afford to live in Malvern?


The origins of Alice Kate Farmer and her family are somewhat obscure. The census records that Alice was born on the island of Mauritius, in the Indian Ocean, about 1866. Mauritius was then a strategic base for trade between Europe and the Far East. The 1939 Register lists her as a retired teacher born on 31st October 1865.

In 1866 there had been a sudden and severe epidemic of Malaria, killing tens of thousands of people, and it's possible that Alice's mother either perished from Malaria there, or died in childbirth.

In 1871 Alice, aged 5, was living in Cradley in the household of schoolmistress Sarah Stainton aged 29, and her assistant Janet Bell who was born at Arthuret near Carlisle.

Ten years later the 1881 census records Alice aged 15 as a boarder at the home of widow Emily Smith in St Leonards Hastings. Also in the household were two teenage daughters Emily, and Edith Kate, two visitors, two other young girls, a cook and a housemaid. Emily Smith was the daughter of sugar broker William Haslehurst, and the widow of clergyman John Pound Smith who had died at Broomfield vicarage, Ongar, Essex on 10th October 1878.

The 1891 census records Alice aged 25 years as an assistant school-mistress lodging in Oxford with Rose Katherine Jones, the daughter of Rev Hugh Jones Residentiary Canon of St Asaph and Rector of LLanrwst.

Later that year Rose Katherine Jones married Frederick Arthur Wells at Llanrwst. The 1911 census recorded that he was a Maths Tutor and she was then a Music Teacher.


Mention of Alice's sister Gladys in the 1911 census provided a clue to the identity of their father. Further investigation led us to conclude that Alice was the daughter of clergyman Rev James Farmer (1840 - 1923), by his first wife, who possibly died not long after Alice's birth.

James had been born just south of the Malvern Hills at Redmarley. He married, second, Kate Ellie Gray at Hartlepool in 1882, by whom he had five further children. Kate's father was wealthy Sir William Gray JP DL, the son of a draper who made his fortune by investing in ship building ventures and became Mayor of Hartlepool.

James was educated at Magdalen Hall and New College Oxford. The record of Alumni lists:

Farmer, James, 5th son of William of Redmarley, Worcestershire, gent. Magdalen Hall, matriculated 20th March 1860 aged 27; New College BA 1871, MA 1875, Vicar of Nottingham St Paul 1880.

Possibly there was a transcription error and he was 21 when he was accepted into the university in 1860. Strangely it was not until 11 years later that he gained a degree; midway through his studies Alice is born in Mauritius about 1866 which makes us wonder whether he travelled abroad on missionary work, such as with the Universities' Mission to Central Africa (UMCA), as part of his training.

James is described as the 5th son of William Farmer, gentleman. We think James might possibly have been the 5th son of agricultural labourer William and Anne Farmer who, without sponsorship, could not have afforded to send James to university.

In middle age, William and Anne Farmer became servants to Rev Thomas Palling Little, Curate of Oxenhall and Pauntley, near Newent, in Gloucestershire. Thomas Palling Little had been educated at Trinity College, Oxford, BA 1841, priest 1842. We wondered if perhaps Rev Little found a way for James to be educated at Oxford.

Rev Little had married Ann Esther Maria daughter of Lt General, Sir Joseph Thackwell, GCB, KH, Col, 16 Lancers; Anne died at Edge Vicarage on 12 June 1902 aged 69. Rev Thomas Palling Little, who for 55 years was pastor of Oxenhall with Pauntley, later of Edge diocese, died on Christmas Day 1903 aged 87 years.

James' entry in Crockfords Clerical Directory reads:

New College Oxford BA 1871, MA 1874, Deacon 1871 Priest 1872, Curate of Holy Trinity Nottingham 1871 - 1879. Vicar of St Paul's Nottingham 1880.

The 1871 census records James, aged 30 years, as a widower and student of theology, and a visitor at the home of banker and farmer John P Dicker of West Molesey, whose son Arthur was also an undergraduate at Oxford. The 1881 census recorded James as a widower and vicar of St Paul's Nottingham.

Rev James Farmer must have taken a step up in the world by marrying Kate Ellie Gray and perhaps it was through this alliance that he was able to help his eldest daughter Alice Kate Farmer set up her school at Langland House in Great Malvern.

In 1911 James aged 71 years embarked as an unaccompanied passenger on SS Baltio at Liverpool, bound for New York; we don't know why.

The Rev James Farmer, latterly of Lucan House, Sharow, near Ripon, died on 1st March 1923 leaving effects of 3,977. His executor was his eldest child Alice Kate Farmer of Great Malvern.

Half Siblings

Alice Kate Farmer had three half brothers and two half sisters who were significantly younger than she was, coming from the second marriage of her father. Possibly to them she was more like an aunt than a sister.

Alice's oldest half-brother William Gray Farmer was born at Nottingham in 1883. The 1911 census records him as a pupil aged 27 years at Paunton Court, Bishops Frome, lodging with Francis  W J Firkins, a hop grower. Presumably he was learning the trade of hop farming. We don't know what he did during WWI, but he survived the war and Trade directories record him living at Withington Court, Hereford until 1934. A passenger list records him arriving at Plymouth from Port Said in 1929.

The next, John Hall Farmer (1885 - 1950), married Marianne Firbank King in 1913. In 1921 he became a Free Mason joining Harte Lodge West Hartlepool; the register describes him as a marine engineer. Later a passenger list describes him as an engineer of West Hartlepool, arriving at Plymouth from Marseille in 1924.

Gladys Margaret Farmer (1887 - 1972) was staying with her half sister Alice Kate Farmer at Langland School in Great Malvern at the time of the 1911 census and she was an executor of Alice's will. One imagines they were close friends. In 1914 Gladys married surgeon Lawrence Thompson Dean MRCS, who had been educated at Cambridge University. During WWI he served as a Captain with the Royal Army Medical Corps in Malta and in East Africa.

Alice's younger half sister, Agatha Mary Farmer (1890 - 1953), married company director Charles Sabine Baring-Gould at Ripon in 1913. He was born in Natal South Africa and educated at Sherborne and Trinity Cambridge. His father was a director of De Beers Consolidated Mines and a cousin of clergyman Rev Sabine Baring-Gould who is noted for writing the hymn 'Onward Christian Soldiers'.

Sadly, Alice's youngest half brother, 2nd Lt James Ingleby Farmer, was killed in action near Festubert on 9th May 1915, serving with the Kings Royal Rifle Corps. This youngest son of Rev James and Mrs Kate Farmer, then living at Lucan House, Ripon, Yorkshire, was born 1895 in Nottingham, educated at St. Aureleus (Bakewell), Loretto School (Edinburgh) and Clare College, Cambridge (1913 1914). His name appears on the roll-of-honour in Ripon town hall. He was remembered again twenty four years later on 9th May 1939 when a touching notice appeared in The Times:

In memoriam - on active service

Farmer - In loving memory of James Ingleby Farmer (Bob) 2nd Lt KRRC who gave his life for his country near Festubert on 9th May 1915 aged 20 years.

Sadly the publication 'Malvern in the Great War 1915' (ref 10) records that Private 1172 Ernest Wilmot Scallon, educated at Malvern College, 2nd King Edwards Horse was killed a fortnight later at Festubert. He was born in Malvern the son of Edward Brand Scallon, secretary and school-master, Malvern College. Ernest had been farming in Argentina and had returned to England at the outbreak of war. His brother Francis was injured but survived the war and became a school-master. His brother Harold Edward Scallon, educated at Queens College Cambridge, became a clergyman and was a missionary in Canada. They were nephews of Sir Robert Irvin Scallon GCB KCIE DSO who had served in the Indian Army.


The death of Alice Kate Farmer was announced briefly in The Times:

Farmer - on Dec 29th 1944, suddenly at Langland Malvern

Alice Kate Farmer in her 80th year

Alice's executors were her friend Eva Hazlehurst Leather, her half sister Gladys Margaret Dean, and solicitor John Bernard Watson Lambert. She left effects of 36,974 which in those days was a considerable sum for the daughter of a once poor widowed clergyman.

A tribute to Alice was published on the front page of the Malvern Gazette on Saturday 6th January 1945, which continued on to page 4. It was entitled:

Death of Miss A K Farmer

'Public Service for Malvern'

The obituary records that she was indeed the daughter of Rev James Farmer, latterly of Lucan House, Ripon, and that Alice had been educated at Clifton House School, Newnham College Cambridge, and Oxford High Schools. It mentions:

After retiring as headmistress of Langland House School, she gave all her time to the welfare of the town, particularly with regard to the 'smaller' and children.

Click to read Alice K Farmer's obituary in full

The Malvern Gazette of February 10th 1945 recorded Councillors were considering fixing a plaque in memory of Alice to the bird bath in the Rose Garden of Priory Park, which she had helped create. Others felt that a summer-house might be a more fitting memorial.

Bird tableSadly the Rose Garden no longer exists in name as circa 2012 the southern edge of Priory Park was redeveloped by the Town Council.

The area remains a 'secret' walled garden though now it importantly lacks rose beds, the bird bath and seating. The bird bath, and any memorial to Alice, have disappeared but the attached photo shows what it looked like.

Nan and grandchildren standing by the bird bath in the Rose Garden, May 1982

Alice would have witnessed several developments in her lifetime which we take for granted, including for example the introduction of a public electricity supply to Malvern in 1904; telephones for businesses, professional people and the wealthy; powered flight; the appearance of motor vehicles and the first garages; and public broadcasting of radio programmes by the BBC.

She would also have read reports of the Boer wars and felt the impact of WWI on life at home. Sadly she would also have seen war come again in 1939; witnessed military units coming to Malvern for a second time; experienced food rationing; and though she died before the end of WWII, read about the D-Day landings giving hope that Britain would ultimately prevail.



  1. Fletcher, Anthony, Growing up in England, The experiences of childhood 1600 - 1914, published 2010
  2. Crockford's Clerical Directory
  3. Oxford Alumni
  4. Census of England and Wales
  5. Index of Births, Marriages and Deaths
  6. National Probate Calendar
  7. Wikipedia
  8. Madresfield Women's Institute (1917 - 1977), a short history compiled by Dorothy E Williams, dated 11th November 1976
  9. Madresfield School log book, Worcester Record office
  10. Malvern in the Great War 1915, published by Malvern Museum 2015, ISBN 978-0-9541-520-7-9
  11. Turnbull, Shelagh, The Malvern Branch of the National Council of Women 1918 - 1930; refers to the prospectus of Workers Ltd; source Malvern Museum
  12. Obituary of Miss A K Farmer, Malvern Gazette, Saturday 6th January 1945
  13. Stevens Annual Directories of Malvern, 1911 and 1917

The Malvern Hills logo

Back to top

If you would like to either suggest changes or offer additonal material for this page please email the webmaster