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Leonore Louise AlexanderMember of the Women’s Police Service
Information supplied through Research Project led by Nigel Crompton.
Full name of worker at H.M. Factory Gretna (and any other names they are known by): Leonore Louise Alexander
Date and Place of Birth: 7th March 1888, Ryde, Isle of Wight
Date and Place of Death: 6th May 1975, Vincent Pallotti Hospital, Pinelands, Cape Province, South Africa
Nationality: Born on the Isle of Wight.
Childhood: 3 siblings.
Parents: Herbert Rowan & Annie (nee Beardmore)
Parent’s occupations: Herbert was in the British Army
Schools / universities attended and years of attendance: N/K
Occupation: Police Constable.
Place of residence at Gretna: N/K
Job title at Gretna: Police Constable.
Marital status: Never Married
Children: None known.
Trivia / any other information:
Leonore was born into the family of Herbert & Annie Alexander on 7th March 1888. Annie or Ann was related to the famous Beardmore family who ran engineering works around Glasgow. The Beadmore’s were also involved with Vickers and the motor company Arrol Johnston who in 1913 purchased land and built a factory near Dumfries. Leonore’s family however were in South Gosforth, on Tyneside at the time of the 1891 census, and Herbert was working for Beadmore’s having had a career in the British Army.
In 1901 they were living on the Isle of Wight, but Herbert was away from home. The English census shows that the children and Annie had three servants. Herbert’s name appears on the Scottish census as having returned to the army, being stationed at Fort George, near Inverness. In 1901 he had been promoted to Local Major and then substantive Major in 1904.
By the 1911 census, Major Herbert and Annie Alexander with Leonore, their youngest son and their eldest daughter had moved to Hove in Sussex. During 1917 Herbert died in London.
Their eldest son was serving in the Army Service Corps overseas in Egypt during 1915, while their youngest started in the Royal Navy before in April 1918 moving to the Royal Air Force.
Leonore appears to have joined the WPS in 1917, serving 1½ years at Gretna prior to a successful application to Brighton Borough Police in 1919. The 1921 census indicates she was employed by Brighton Corporation as a police officer however a vacancy arose in Oxford City Police and Leonore commenced duties in the city on 1st July 1921, but resigned 12th November 1923.
That year saw both her older sister and her mother pass away. In December 1923, Leonore and her eldest brother left for a new life in New Zealand. In March 1931, Leonore was joined by both her brothers returning to Southampton. Originally living in Steyning, Sussex she and her eldest brother moved to North Devon in 1939.
Following the Second World War, the two-set sail again but this time for South Africa.
It was on 6th May 1975 she died in Vincent Pallotti Hospital, Pinelands, Cape Town, South Africa.
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