Saturday, 7 October 2017

Elizabeth Lucas (1873 - ?) - British writer

Elizabeth was born Florence Elizabeth Gertrude Griffin in 1873 in Hampstead, London.  Her father, James Theodore Griffin was an agricultural engineer who had held a commission in the American Army.  Elizabeth’s mother, Elizabeth E. Griffin, was born in Scotland.  Elizabeth had a brother, William Hall, born in 1857 and a sister Ethel M., born in 1873 and the family lived in Hampstead in London, UK.  Elizabeth became a writer.

In 1897 Elizabeth married the Quaker poet, writer, journalist and publisher Edward Verrall Lucas in Hampstead.  Their daughter Audrey was born in 1898.

In 1915, with financial backing from British writer J.M. Barrie (best remembered for “Peter Pan”) and help from the Society of Friends, Elizabeth set up and ran a home for orphaned and wounded children in the Chateau Bettancourt, near Rheims, close to the Belgian border in France. Audrey Lucas helped out at the refuge during the school holidays.  

After the war, Elizabeth and Edward went their separate ways.

Photograph:  Photographer unknown.  Chateau de Bettancourt c. 1916. Assembled staff at the orphanage refuge. In the middle of the middle row are Audrey Lucas, the Refuge Matron and Elizabeth Lucas.  The photograph was previously published in the book “Dear Turley” in 1942.

Sources:
Kevin Telfer "Peter Pan's XI" (Sceptre, 2010)
Andrew Birkin "J.M. Barrie and the Lost Boys" (Constable, London, 1979) and Find my Past

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