Sunday, 29 September 2013

Kathleen Scott

I have just finished reading "A Great Task of Happiness  The Life of Kathleen Scott" by Louisa Young, published in 1995 by Macmillan, London.

Kathleen's life story has been brilliantly told by her granddaughter, Louisa Young, in a most fascinating and readable manner.  I could not put the book down.   Kathleen is very high on my list of Inspirational Women - she was a sculptress and artist, who had studied with Rodin in Paris in the early part of the twentieth century and was the widow of the Antarctic Explorer Captain R.F. Scott and Mother of Peter Scott who founded the organisation is now called the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust.

During the First World War, Kathleen transported cars and ambulances to France, helped in a French Army hospital in a chateau in France - which she located - recruited her friends to war work, worked in the Vickers Factory in Erith making electrical coils and worked with plastic surgeons on the re-creation of badly disfigured faces.   She was also the confidante of the British Prime Minister in the early days of the War - Herbert Asquith.   Kathleen knew most of the celebrity writers of the era - J.M. Barrie, J.B. Priestly, G.B. Shaw - as well as politicians.

After the War, Kathleen married Hilton Young, a politician who had lost an arm during the raid on Zeebrugge in WW1 and later joined the Dunsterforce.  They had a son - Wayland - Louisa's Father.

Kathleen's numerous works of sculpture include a marble statue of Captain Scott which is in Christchurch, New Zealand with a bronze of the same design in Wellington Place, London.

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