Serve because you want to serve
and not because of what you are
going to get out of it’
– Caroline Ganley
A plaque to Caroline Ganley, Battersea’s Labour and co-operative activist was unveiled by Battersea Society on the house where she lived 5 Thirsk Rd off Lavender Hill.
Mrs Ganley (1879-1966) started off in the Social Democratic Federation, and the Battersea Socialist Women’s Circle. She joined the Women’s Co-operative Guild, becoming a Board member of the West London and the London Co-operative Societies. She was an expert on women and children’s health and welfare issues. She was elected to Battersea Council in November 1919 and chaired the Maternity & Health Committee. In the 1920s and 1930s she served on the London Council Council. She was elected as Battersea South MP in 1945. Not long after her defeat in 1851 she went back on Battersea Council.
Short speeches were made at the unveiling by Marsha de Cordova, the current Battersea MP, Leonie Cooper, the area’s GLA Assembly member, two grandchildren, long-standing Wandsworth Councillor Tony Belton, and on behalf of Battersea Society and Battersea Labour Party. A well attended unveiling included former Battersea MP,
The previous Thursday Sue Demont of Battersea Society gave an excellent talk about Ganley’s life. I published a biography by Terence Chapman to coincide with these events, and a pamphlet on Battersea women’s activism.
Caroline Ganley. by Terence Chapman (ISBN: 978-09927299-3-6). £8 plus £3 p&p.
Battersea Women’s Activism 1890s-1914. Sean Creighton. £2 + £1.50p&p.
History & Social Action Publications
If ordered together the p&p is £3.
Terence Chapman knew Mrs Ganley as a member of Battersea Labour Party. Audrey King also knew her and writes:
‘In 1959 I moved to Stormont Road, Battersea, two roads from Thirsk Road where Mrs Caroline Ganley lived. Mrs Ganley CBE JP had been very active in politics serving on Battersea Council, a Labour Co-operative Politician, School Governor and Manager, Justice of the Peace, serving on the London County Council from 1925 to 1929, and 1934 to 1937, Magistrate, President of the London Co-operative Society, first woman president from 1942 to 1946, and the Labour MP for Battersea South from 1945 to 1951.
Mrs Ganley and her daughter and I often met in Lavender Hill when out shopping and stopped for a chat.
I well remember running a committee room opposite the polling station in Stormont Road in about 1962, with my young son in a playpen, when there was a knock on the door and it was Mrs Ganley offering to help, a very welcome offer, she stayed for several hours.’