Kathleen Dayus (1903 – January 2003) was an English author from the West Midlands.
Dayus was born in Hockley, Birmingham, 1–2 miles NW of the city centre. The living conditions she experienced were back to back slum dwellings with hand to mouth existence, but in a close knit and supportive community.
She described her growing up, married life, parenthood including her decision to hand her children to Doctor Barnardo's for a period, and later life, in a series of books:
- Her People: Memories of an Edwardian Childhood (1982), winner of the J. R. Ackerley Prize for Autobiography
- Where There's Life (1985),
- All my Days (1988),
- The Best of Times (1991),
- The Ghosts of Yesteryear (2000)
These were brought together under the title: The Girl from Hockley: Growing Up in Working-Class Birmingham, published by Virago in 2006.
She was awarded an honorary Master of Arts degree by University of Birmingham in 1992 in recognition of her contribution to the written record of Birmingham's history. In August 2006 her work was featured daily, read by Diana Bishop and abridged by Julian Wilkinson, as Book of the Week on BBC Radio 4.
Kathleen Dayus died in January 2003, a few days short of her 100th birthday.
In 2012 Dayus Square in Hockley was dedicated to the author. She was also commemorated by a bronze artwork in it.