1921 - 1941 Early Life

Here at the beginning of our timeline, we use Mary’s words and images to tell a little of her family history, her early childhood, her school days, her athletic prowess and family holidays, at home and abroad.

A naturalist is born

26 November 1921

Mary was born on 26 November 1921 in Ealing, west London.

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Mary’s childhood years

June 1925

Growing up in the 1920s and 1930s.

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Mary the schoolgirl and athlete

1 June 1932

Schoolgirl memories and lifetime athlete ...

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Mary the Girl Guide

1 February 1936

Mary was an active member of the Girl Guide movement, as a guide in her teens and a Commissioner later in life.

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Mary starts work

1 May 1938

‘At the age of 16, after matriculating, I found myself going off to work in a London office, like most of my schoolmates.’

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Swiss family holiday

26 July 1939

A family holiday in Switzerland just a few weeks before the beginning of World War Two

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Find out what happens next during the Women’s Land Army years!

September 1939 Read more