Our Document of the Month for March is a record of the first Women’s Institute meeting to take place in Essex, which was in Broomfield, near Chelmsford, on 12 May 1917.
Spying the piece we wrote about this record, one of our regular searchers, Pat Bruce, contacted us to say that her great-grandmother, Emily Crozier, had been one of the original members of the Broomfield WI in 1917, and that she had Emily’s original membership card, which she has kindly lent to us to add to our display.
The logo at the top of the card is that of the Agricultural Organisation Society (AOS), which promoted the formation of Women’s Institutes during the First World War as part of its work to increase food production and save waste. The card is signed by Emily Crozier, and Dora M. Christy, the Secretary. Dora Mary Christie was described in her obituary in the Chelmsford Chronicle in 1947 as ‘a pioneer of the Women’s Institutes in Essex’. She was actively involved in the Essex WI from its earliest days, and was remembered as ‘a vital personality’, whose name ‘will be woven into the history of Women’s Institutes in Essex’.
Along with Emily’s membership card, Pat has also lent us a photograph of the Broomfield WI. Emily is sitting in the front row second from left.
Emily Crozier’s daughter Ethel was also a member joining in 1931 and her membership card, together with a programme for 1945, have also been lent to us.
We thank Pat Bruce for loaning us this charming collection of records. They will be on display in our Searchroom alongside the Broomfield WI minute book for the rest of March 2017.