Dr Mary Anderson Noble

As you probably know, 2018 marks 100 years since women over the age of thirty gained the right to vote. To commemorate this event the museum has put up a display showing some of the hard work and campaigning that went on in Warrington at the time. As part of this commemoration Carol, one of our volunteers, has been researching the stories around some of the women campaigners in the town and the struggles they went through in their fight for equal rights. In this set of blog entries Carol will share some of her findings with you. Today’s post, the first in the series, looks at Dr Mary Anderson Noble, and from here I pass over to Carol:

Dr Mary Anderson Noble

I thought it would be interesting to see the photograph of Dr Noble as not only we can put a name to a face but we can also consider her role in Warrington during WW1.

Looking at the picture we could make a generalisation. She comes across as a well-dressed and fashionable woman of the period but we can go beyond this.  If we read the headline and the article it is clear that Dr Noble was a key figure in Warrington’s history as she was appointed “Warrington’s First Lady Doctor” at Whitecross  Military Hospital.

Today women doctors are an accepted part of the medical profession but in 1917 Dr Mary Anderson Noble Mb Chb was an exception. Even more impressive was the fact that she was appointed House Surgeon at Whitecross. In 1917 Dr Noble was leading the way as she succeeded in  a male dominated profession and was appointed to a significant position at Whitecross Military Hospital where the “Boys worshipped Dr Noble” (Warrington Examiner – Happy Whitecross 28/04/1017 p5 col 6).

There is one question that I wish I knew the answer to. When she married William C.  Mackie in 1919 did she leave the profession to take up domesticity as women were expected to or did she continue as a doctor and surgeon?

Whatever the answer it is clear that Mary Anderson Noble changed attitudes and expectations.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the first of my posts, there are plenty more to come, Carol.

This article was originally posted on Tuesday, January 30th, 2018.