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Mary Lily Walker


1863 - 1913

Social reformer. Born in Dundee, the daughter of a solicitor, she was educated at the High School of Dundee and went on to become one of the first students to attend University College, Dundee, where she was taught by Prof. Sir D'Arcy Thompson (1860 - 1948) who became a life-long friend. She was a prime mover behind the formation of the Dundee Social Union in 1888, which aimed to tackle housing and health issues amongst the city's poor. She opened a medical clinic and dispensary for women, a hospital and restaurant to feed nursing mothers. She worked in London in 1893-99 and learned from initiatives there which she was to apply in Dundee. She worked tirelessly to improve conditions for women and children living in Dundee's slums, with other initiatives including a milk depot for children and holiday camps.

She died in Dundee and was interred in Balgay Cemetery after a funeral in St. Paul's Episcopal Cathedral, watched by a large and appreciative crowd.


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