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Photo of Elizabeth Grace Gertrude Saunders

Elizabeth Grace Gertrude Saunders

Sub-Inspector in the Women’s Police Service
Birthplace Essex Walton on the Naze Date of Birth: June 20, 1878


Information supplied through Research Project led by Nigel Crompton.

Name: Elizabeth Grace Gertrude Saunders
DoB: 20 June 1878
Place of birth: Walton on the Naze, Essex
Parents: Thomas & Mary Emily Anne (nee Lee)
Parental Home: Kirby Broad, Walton le Soken (better known as Walton on the Naze), Essex
Siblings: Lucy Sophia Mary (1874-1942) Thomas George (1875-1944), Philip Nathaniel (1877-1944) Charles William (1880-1950) Sophia Thomasine Ellen (1882-1958), Deborah Sarah Lloyd (1883-1974), Henry Arthur (1886-1944), Walter James (1887-1956), Caroline Anna (1890-1956) John Ebenezer (1896-1970)
Spouse: Never married
Date of Wedding: Not applicable
Children : Not applicable
Marital home(s): Not applicable
Employment: Sewing room matron
1911 Census: Magdalene Home, Edgbaston, Birmingham
Date of death: October 1955
Location: Crawley, Sussex

Gretna details
Name: Elizabeth Grace Gertrude Saunders
Clock No:
Date joining: January 1917 but might have been with older sister Lucy (see notes)
Date leaving: December 1917
Addresses: Not known
Rank on start: Could have been a Sergeant when first at Gretna
Promotion: Yes, reached rank of Sub Inspector
Career after: Oxford City Police (see notes)
1921 Census : 31 Iffley Road, Oxford (see copy)
Addresses after Gretna
1939 – The Willows, Springfield Road, Horsham, Sussex

Additional information
Elizabeth was born into the family of Thomas and Mary, having 10 siblings. They lived in the Walton on the Naze area of Essex until on the 1891 she is attending school but is staying with her Uncle and Auntie in Dedham, also in Essex. Ten years later, the 1901 census shows that Mary has passed away and the family are now in Torquay, Devon where Thomas is a green grocer. With her sister Caroline, Elizabeth moves to Edgbaston, a suburb of Birmingham. Both are employed as matrons in the Magdalen Home on Clarendon Road. The 1911 census reveals that the home has dropped the former title of asylum. Caroline is matron in the laundry whilst Elizabeth is matron of the sewing room.It is highly likely that Elizabeth started at Gretna in early 1917. Her sister Lucy was also in the WPS at Gretna. However, the Oxford newspapers for 28 December 1917, announced Elizabeth had been employed by the watch committee after serving 10 months at HM Factory but during 1921 she resigned due to ill health, although she might have been aggrieved not have received the same pay and conditions when promoted to Sergeant as her male colleagues would. After a couple of other jobs, in 1927 Elizabeth joined the Eastbourne Borough Police serving until 1938. She then joined the police reserve, becoming the first lady member in the country. The 1939 registration shows Elizabeth living with 3 of her sisters in Horsham, Sussex. She passed away during October 1955 in Crawley, Sussex.



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