Anne Godwin

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Dame Beatrice Annie Godwin DBE (6 July 1897 – 11 January 1992[1]), known as Anne Godwin, was a British trade unionist.

Early life[edit]

Born in July 1897 in Farncombe, Surrey, Godwin's father was a draper. She attended school in Godalming until age 15, in 1912, when she left to start working as a counting house clerk in London's West End. In 1916 she joined the Army Pay Office as a civilian clerk, earning 16 shillings a week. Other women working at the office organised to unsuccessfully request a higher salary from the Army Paymaster.[2] She joined the Association of Women Clerks and Secretaries (AWCS) after moving to an engineer's office in 1920.[3]

By 1928 she was a trade union organiser. Women civil servants belonged to two different classes of unions, back then. Temporaries joined the AWCS, and after being made permanent they joined the NAWCS (National Association of Women Civil Servants).[citation needed]

Later life[edit]

In 1940, a majority of AWCS members voted in favour of amalgamation. The two unions joined and became known as the Clerical and Administrative Workers Union. Anne Godwin was Assistant General Secretary, and edited the union's journal, entitled The Clerk.[2] From 1961-1962, she served as one of the first women to head a major British union, the TUC, following Margaret Bondfield, Anne Loughlin and Florence Hancock.[3]

Appointed a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1962, Dame Anne Godwin was the guest speaker at the 1980 Conference when the union celebrated its 90th anniversary.[2]


  1. ^ "Dame Anne Godwin". The Times. London. 13 January 1992. p. 16 – via The Times Digital Archive, 1785–2008. 
  2. ^ a b c Anne Godwin bio at WCML website
  3. ^ a b "Oxford DNB article: Godwin, Dame Beatrice Annie [Anne] (1897-1992)". Retrieved 2016-05-15. 

External links[edit]

Further reading[edit]

Trade union offices
Preceded by
Dorothy Evans
General Secretary of the Association of Women Clerks and Secretaries
1931 – 1941
Succeeded by
Position abolished
Preceded by
George Walker Thomson
President of the National Federation of Professional Workers
1948 – 1956
Succeeded by
Jim Bradley
Preceded by
Florence Hancock and Anne Loughlin
Women Workers member of the General Council of the Trades Union Congress
1949 – 1963
With: Florence Hancock (1949 – 1958)
Ellen McCullough (1958 – 1963)
Succeeded by
Winifred Baddeley and Marie Patterson
Preceded by
Fred Woods
General Secretary of the National Union of Clerks and Administrative Workers
Succeeded by
Henry Chapman
Preceded by
Ted Hill
President of the Trades Union Congress
Succeeded by
Frederick Hayday
Preceded by
Claude Bartlett and Bill Webber
Trades Union Congress representative to the AFL-CIO
With: Harry Douglass
Succeeded by
William Carron and George Lowthian