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Bromley's first female councillor was trailblazing doctor

PUBLISHED: 12:01 24 September 2013 | UPDATED: 12:01 24 September 2013

Ehtel's home, in London Road, as it looks today.

Ehtel's home, in London Road, as it looks today.

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By Bromley Local Studies and Archives

Ethel Amy Mordaunt is a name generally unknown to the residents of Bromley but this very remarkable woman challenged the conventions of her age.

The daughter of a wine shipper, Ethel Amy was born in London in 1874. She attended a private school in Sidcup before going to the London School of Medicine in 1903 where she qualified in 1908.

In 1910 she obtained her degree after travelling to Brussels as the London Colleges did not admit female students at this time.

After working in several London hospitals, she opened a GP practice in London Road, Bromley, quickly building up an extensive practice, visiting her patients in her little blue motor car.

At a time when women’s political activists were making themselves heard, the Bromley branch of the National Union of Women were promoting the election of a woman to the town council.

In November 1912, Ethel won the seat for the Martin’s Hill Ward beating the sitting candidate by twenty votes.

She took a keen interest in child welfare, being on the committee at the Bromley and Chislehurst maternity hospital and on the Education Committee.

Her untimely death in 1920 from blood poisoning after an accident was a great loss to Bromley.

Ethel didn’t tie herself to railings or protest loudly but was a true advocate of women’s rights, advancing the cause by determinedly following her dream to become a doctor and achieving the position of Bromley’s first female town councillor.

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