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Dame (Anne) May Curwen

(1889-1973), President, British Council for Aid to Refugees

Sitter in 6 portraits

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Dame (Anne) May Curwen, by Walter Bird - NPG x166948

Dame (Anne) May Curwen

by Walter Bird
bromide print, June 1958
NPG x166948

Dame (Anne) May Curwen, by Bassano Ltd - NPG x170439

Dame (Anne) May Curwen

by Bassano Ltd
half-plate film negative, 3 August 1960
NPG x170439

Dame (Anne) May Curwen, by Bassano Ltd - NPG x170440

Dame (Anne) May Curwen

by Bassano Ltd
half-plate film negative, 3 August 1960
NPG x170440

Web image not currently available

Dame (Anne) May Curwen

by Bassano Ltd
half-plate film negative, 3 August 1960
NPG x170438

Web image not currently available

Dame (Anne) May Curwen

by Bassano Ltd
half-plate film negative, 3 August 1960
NPG x170441

Web image not currently available

Dame (Anne) May Curwen

by Bassano Ltd
half-plate film negative, 3 August 1960
NPG x170442

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Sue Castle-Henry

27 September 2016, 18:40

ANNIE MAY CURWEN (known as ‘May’)

She was born in Birkenhead Cheshire on 7 May 1889, daughter of William Curwen, Merchant Ship Owner, and Emma (probably née Cook).
1896 her father William Curwen died.
11 December 1901 her mother Emma Curwen died.
She was educated at Birkenhead High School, Harrogate College and Newnham College Cambridge. She gained a First in History.
1911 age 21 May was a student living with her married eldest sister, Eleanor Williams, in Birkenhead.
1912? -1916 she was a teacher.
1916 she was Secretary of the Scottish Women’s Hospitals.
1919 May joined the YWCA (Young Women’s Christian Association) as Education Secretary.
1930-1949 National General Secretary of the YWCA of Great Britain.
1937 Coronation Honours: awarded OBE.
1939 Vice-Chairman of the Standing Conference of National Juvenile Organisations.
1939 living on the YWCA premises in Great Russell Street, London WC1.
Sometime after this she changed her name from Annie to Anne but was still known as May.
1943 New Year Honours: awarded CBE.
1949 New Year Honours: awarded DBE.
1949 Chairman of the Women’s Group on Public Welfare.
1951 Founding Chairman of British Council for Aid to Refugees.
1954-1958 British Delegate to the United Nations Refugee Fund.
1959-1960 Vice-Chairman of UK Committee in World Refugee Year.
1962-1973 President of the British Council for Aid to Refugees.
May died in Kensington, London SW5 on 13 September 1973 at the age of 84.

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