“ The personal service I received was superior.
No query or problem was left unanswered or unattended.”

Nicholas King

Madeleine Symons

Martin Ferguson Smith

Social and Penal Reformer

Madeleine Symons

New title

£9.99

ISBN 9781781327197

Published Oct 2017

Paperback
203 x 133mm (114 pages)

Her career as a trade union officer was ended in 1926 by happenings that were kept secret from all but her closest friends – pregnancy and motherhood outside marriage. When she returned to public life in 1932, it was as a juvenile magistrate in London. For the next twenty-five years she gave outstanding service not only to the juvenile courts, but also to the Howard League for Penal Reform and other welfare organisations and to the work of departmental committees.

Madeleine Symons (1895–1957) was a brilliantly effective women’s trade union officer during and after the First World War. In years when she was still not qualified to vote, she served on the executive committee of the Labour Party, as a Justice of the Peace, and on a Royal Commission.

Her union career was abruptly ended in 1926 by pregnancy and unmarried motherhood. Later she worked tirelessly as a juvenile magistrate in London and for social justice and penal reform everywhere. Her story, told for the first time on the sixtieth anniversary of her death, is of historical and human interest and has lessons for society today.

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