Challenge and Loss

  • Adrian Thomas
  • Francis Duck
Part of the Springer Biographies book series (SPRINGERBIOGS)


As their father grew older, visitors arrived, including the physicist Fornier d’Albe and the astronomer Robert Ball. Johnstone Stoney died in July 1911, and they took his ashes to Dublin to be interred at their mother’s grave. Soon afterwards, Florence and Edith moved from Notting Hill to a new four-bedroom house in Hampstead Garden Suburb. They bought a car and started gardening. Edith gained a position on the LSMW School Committee in 1909, allowing her to argue her case for improved physics facilities and staffing. As the student numbers increased, she felt increasing pressure and took a year’s sick leave. Staff retention was difficult, blamed by Edith on inadequate rates of pay for the demonstrators. Eventually it came to a head in March 1915 when Edith was asked by the principal, Louisa Aldrich-Blake, to tender her resignation. She was replaced by Mary Waller, a previous physics demonstrator. Stress arose from events outside the LSMW also. The Irish Home Rule Bill threatened to cause civil war in Ireland. The declaration of war against Germany in August 1918 led to Florence’s departure to Antwerp and then to Cherbourg, leaving Edith anxious for her safety.


Hampstead Garden Suburb Louisa Aldrich-Blake Mary Waller Motoring Wartime medical staffing Resignation 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Adrian Thomas
    • 1
  • Francis Duck
    • 2
  1. 1.Faculty of Health and Wellbeing, School of Allied and Public Health ProfessionsCanterbury Christ Church UniversityCanterburyUK
  2. 2.Formerly University of BathBathUK

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