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  EMPIRE Wednesday 23 July 2003  
Traditionally the story of the British Empire is a boys own tale told by and about men. The role of women in our imperial past is less well documented.

A collection of interviews compiled by the new British Empire and Commonwealth Museum in Bristol is set to change that. The museum has recorded the memories of nearly a thousand people who lived and worked across the Empire, including hundreds of British women. Many had no idea what to expect, like Elizabeth Christie, who arrived in Bengal as a young bride in 1934. Others like Phyllis Tanner and her daughter Jill found themselves separated when their children were sent home to be educated.
Isobel Eaton talked to museum historian Dr Katherine Prior and listened to the stories in the archive. We begin with Susan de Hevingham Baekland, who in the nineteen forties became the first female political officer in Aden where she earned the name by which she would be known throughout her remarkable career.

British Empire and Commonwealth Museum


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