Remembering Caroline Ganley

Serve because you want to serve

and not because of what you are

going to get out of it’

– Caroline Ganley

Ganley Cover

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.’


About seancreighton1947

Since moving to Norbury in July 2011 I have been active on local economy, housing and environment issues with Croydon TUC and Croydon Assembly. I am a member of the Love Norbury Residents Associations Planning & Transport Committees, and Chair of Nobury Community Land Trust. I write for Croydon Citizen at I co-ordinate the Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and Croydon Radical History Networks and edit the North East Popular Politics database. History Project.. I give history talks and lead history walks. I retired in 2012 having worked in the community/voluntary sector and on heritage projects. My history interests include labour movement, mutuality, Black British, slavery & abolition, Edwardian roller skating and the social and political use of music and song. I have a particular interest in the histories of Battersea and Wandsworth, Croydon and Lambeth. I have a publishing imprint History & Social Action Publications.
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3 Responses to Remembering Caroline Ganley

  1. Margaret Chapman says:

    Good morning Sean, in case any family members read your post about Caroline Selina Ganley and the Blue Plaque recently installed on her house in Thirsk Road, may I mention the following. Susan Ganley Levy, Andrew Ganley – grandchildren. Richard Ganley, David and Stephen Chapman, great grandchildren. Tom Ganley, Rob Ironmonger and Lana Chapman all great great grandchildren. I was delighted my son Stephen and my brother John’s son Richard, read out words on our behalf, even more delighted that all the above descendants managed to attend this special day. Thank you for all your work making sure our history is not only recorded, but constantly put ‘out there’ least people forget. My regards Margaret Chapman, (granddaughter)

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