A reader of this blog kindly found the obituary for Mary Dorothea Rose Leys from The Times of London, published on September 8, 1967:
Miss Mary Leys, fellow and lecturer in
history, and a former vice- principal of St. Anne's College, Oxford, died on
Wednesday at Exmouth. She was educated at home because "the family was too
poor to afford school fees"'. She was awarded a scholarship to Somerville
in 1911, where she read history and took her degree in modern history in 1915.
After that she gained valuable experience in a variety of jobs, as county secretary
for the Women's Land Army and in the Women's Royal Air Force. In 1919 she began
what was to be her life work, teaching history for the Society of Oxford
Home-Students, as St Anne’s College then was. In 1938 in addition to her work
as history tutor she was appointed vice-principal.
She was twice acting principal, once while
Miss Hadow was abroad, and again, after Miss Hadow's death, in 1940. She
resigned her history tutorship in 1952 but continued her connexion with the
college as Fellow and lecturer in history until 1955. She was deeply interested
in all Catholic religious and educational work and much of her spare time was
spent in voluntary service for the causes in which she believed. She published
a book, Men, Money and Markets in 1936,
and with her sister- in-law Rosamond Mitchell, A History of the English People in 1950. After her retirement she first
published Between Two Empires, a Study of
France: 1814-48. In 1957 she was awarded a Leverhulme Research Fellowship,
to assist work on a book on Catholics inEngland, 1559-1829, which was published in 1961. In 1958 appeared A History of London Life written by R. J.
Mitchell and M. D. R. Leys.
One alumna of St. Anne's College is Sister Wendy Beckett, the hermit, consecrated virgin, and art critic for the BBC. Somerville College boasts many other great alumni: Vera Brittain, Dorothy L. Sayers, Indira Gandhi, and Margaret Thatcher among them!