Grace Kimmins

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Dame Grace Mary Thyrza Kimmins, DBE (née Hannam; 1871 – 3 March 1954)[1] was a writer who created charities that worked with children who had disabilities.


Juliana Horatia Ewing' 1885 novel The Story of a Short Life inspired Kimmins]] to start the Guild of the Poor Brave Things to help children with disabilities in London. Grace (and later Ada Vachell took their motto ‘Laetus sorte mea’ (‘Happy in my lot’) from Ewing's book.[2]

She was described in Punch (volume 156, 9 April 1919) as ... in her quiet practical way is probably as good a friend as London ever had, a description for the driving force behind the Guild of Play and the Guild of the Poor Brave Things.

She became a Wesleyan deaconess and worked in both the Methodist West London Mission and the Bermondsey Settlement, where she moved in 1895. In 1897, she married Charles William Kimmins.[1] She was active in the foundation and continuance of charitable foundations, particularly those concerned with children's play and the welfare of poor and disabled children. She founded, caused to be founded or was involved in the Methodist West London Mission, Bermondsey Settlement, Chailey Heritage, Guild of Play, and Guild of the Poor Brave Things. She also was a writer.[3]

She was made CBE in 1927 and promoted DBE in 1950.[1]


Grace and Charles Kimmins had two sons:


She died in Haywards Heath Hospital on 3 March 1954, aged 83.


  • Kimmins, Grace; Pearse, F. Mabelle (Illustrator) (1899). Polly of Parker's Rents. Kessinger Publishing. ISBN 1437225772. 
  • Kimmins, Grace (1928). Songs from the Plays of William Shakespeare with Dances. Novello and Co. ASIN B0000CY6X3. 
  • Kimmins, Grace (1948). Heritage Craft Schools and Hospitals, Chailey, 1903–1948. Baynard. ASIN B001ORGKQQ. 
  • Kimmins, Grace (6 January 2010). The Guild of Play Book of Festival and Dance (PT.1). Unknown. ISBN 1152560425. [note 1]
  • Kimmins, Grace (6 January 2010). The Guild of Play Book of Festival and Dance (PT.2). Unknown. ISBN 1152683063. [note 1]
  • Kimmins, Grace (1 August 2012). Peasant Dances of Many Lands. Lightning Source UK Ltd. ISBN 1290484570. [note 1]



  1. ^ a b c "Dame Grace Kimmins, A Remarkable Woman". Sussex Express & County Herald. Lewes, Sussex. 5 March 1954. p. 9. Retrieved 10 August 2014 – via The British Newspaper Archive. 
  2. ^ Seth Koven, ‘Kimmins , Dame Grace Thyrza (1870–1954)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, May 2006 accessed 8 Oct 2016
  3. ^ "grace thyrza hannam kimmins Related Products at". Tower Books. Retrieved 3 February 2013. 
  4. ^ "Survey of the Papers of Senior UK Defence Personnel, 1900–1975 – KIMMINS, Sir Brian Charles Hannam (1899–1979), Lieutenant General". King's College London Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives. Retrieved 29 December 2009. 
  5. ^ Anthony Kimmins profile at IMDb


  1. ^ a b c Posthumous publication

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