Devon Women in Public and Professional Life 1900-1950: Votes, Voices, Vocations

A new book (published September 2021) by DHS members Julia Neville, Mitzi Auchterlonie, Paul Auchterlonie, Ann Roberts and Helen Turnbull offers a ground-breaking local study of eight women working individually and in collaboration to create new opportunities for women and girls.


This book is one of the first to study the role of women in public and professional life from a regional point of view. It breaks new ground in considerations of gender in the early twentieth century and the history of Devon in the modern period. The eight women are:

  • Eleanor Acland, Liberal politician, advocate of votes for women and their participation in civic life; and promoter of improvement to women’s welfare services.
  • Clara Daymond, Devonport Guardian of the Poor, Plymouth councillor, champion for the need to improve services on new housing estates.
  • Mabel Ramsay, one of the first women to obtain the Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons (Edinburgh), in practice in Plymouth as GP and obstetrician, and office-holder and champion of the Medical Women’s Federation.
  • Jessie Headridge, headmistress of the Episcopal Modern School for Girls in Exeter and champion of secondary education for girls.
  • Florence Cecil, Diocesan President of the Mothers’ Union in Exeter Diocese and advocate of services for ‘Friendless Girls’ within the Diocese’s welfare system.
  • Georgiana Buller, administrator of the military hospitals in Exeter during the First World War, founder of the Princess Elizabeth Orthopaedic Hospital and of St Loyes’ College for the training of disabled students.
  • Jane Clinton, the first Devon Girl Guide Commissioner, President of the Devon Federation of Women’s Institutes and the Devon District Nursing Association.
  • Sylvia Calmady-Hamlyn, co-ordinator of women’s agricultural services in the First World War, first county organiser for the Women’s Institute movement, pony breeder and founder of the Dartmoor Pony Society.


The book is now available through University of Exeter Press, The University of Exeter Press – Devon Women in Public and Professional Life, 1900–1950.

An Early Bird discount price is available till 1 Dec 2021.

Email Julia Neville, for details of the discount code.