Eleanor Mary PLUMER

FatherField Marshal Herbert Charles Onslow PLUMER GCB, GCMG, GCVO, GBE (1857 – 1932)
MotherAnnie Constance GOSS OBE (1858 – 1941)
OccupationPrincipal of St. Anne's College, Oxford, 1940-1953

Biography and Notes

Eleanor Plumer read English at Oxford as an external student from King's College for Women in London. She remained at King's College as a lecturer and Tutor to women students, and subsequently became Warden of the Mary Ward Settlement (1923-1927) and of St. Andrew's Hall in the University of Reading (1927-1931).

Selected in 1940 by a small panel of advisers as Principal of the Society of Oxford Home Students, she retired in 1953 as Principal of St. Anne's College. The change first of name and then status within the University was a complex and contentious business, steered with great skill and determination by Miss Plumer.

She was the daughter of Field-Marshal Plumer and was in her element organising war work: for a time the Library's Fulford Room became a highly productive munitions factory, and Miss Plumer herself spent long vacations working as a factory hand at the Morris works in Cowley. She gave the newly constituted College permission to use the Plumer family shield as its coat of arms.

Extracted from 'Biographies of St. Anne's College Principals' published by the college. The Principals are:
Bertha Johnson 1894-1921
Christine Burrows 1921-1929
Grace Hadow 1929-1940
Eleanor Plumer 1940-1953
Mary Ogilvie 1953-1966
Nancy Trenaman 1966-1984
Claire Palley 1984-1991
Ruth Deech 1991-2004
Tim Gardam 2004-2016
Helen King 2016-

Life Events

1932Death of father Field Marshal Herbert Charles Onslow PLUMER GCB, GCMG, GCVO, GBE
1941Death of mother Annie Constance GOSS OBE

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