Grace Eleanor Hadow

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Grace Eleanor Hadow OBE (9 December 1875 in Cirencester, England – 19 January 1940, Marylebone, London) was an author, principal of St Anne's College, Oxford University and vice-chairman of the Women's Institute (WI).[1][2][3]

Grace Hadow was born at South Cerney vicarage, near Cirencester. In 1888, Grace Hadow won a scholarship to study at Brownshill Court School, Stroud, England. In 1894, she went to Germany for two years to study language and music. From 1899 to 1900, she taught at Cheltenham Ladies' College. In 1900, she began studies in English at Somerville College, Oxford University. As a woman she was not allowed to sit exams or to receive a degree. She became president of the Women's Debating Society.

In 1903, Hadow went to teach at Bryn Mawr in the United States and returned to Somerville College in 1904 to work as a don. During the First World War, she was a member of the War Agricultural Committee and founded the Gloucestershire Women's Institute (WI). In 1918, she was closely involved in the formation of the constitution of the WI in participation with Lady Denman.

In 1921, Hadow wrote the first edition of the National Federation of Women's Institutes (NFWI) handbook. From 1929–40, she was principal of the Society of Oxford Home Students (later St Anne's College.[4] In 1938, she was the only British woman delegate at the British Commonwealth relations conference in Australia. In 1939, she was president of the Oxfordshire Federation.

During her life, Grace Hadow climbed both the Matterhorn and a side of the Fletschorn that no other women had ever climbed on before.[citation needed]

She died in 1940 at 11 Beaumont Street, Marylebone, London. The hymn Jerusalem was sung at her funeral.[citation needed]

An award has been founded in her honour, known as the Grace Hadow Award.[citation needed]



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