Madeleine Symons

Madeleine Symons

Social and Penal Reformer

Martin Ferguson Smith


A biography of Madeleine Symons on the sixtieth anniversary of her death.

  • ISBN 9781781327197
  • Published Oct 2017
  • Paperback
    203 x 133mm (114 pages)


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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