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A brief biography of Margot Jefferys

by Graham Stevenson

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Born as Margaret Davies in Madras, India on 1st November 1916, she started out as an economic historian, graduating in 1938 from the London School of Economics, where she had joined the Communist Party a couple of years before.

Along with James Jefferys, a research student at LSE whom she married at Battersea in early 1941, became an ordinary worker in munitions factories in Coventry. She managed the Party's bookshop in the city from 1940 to 1944.

They then returned to London and James Jefferys wrote a history book, `The Story of the Engineers 1800-1945’, for the Amalgamated Engineering Union on its 25th anniversary of 1945.

The basis of Margot's future career one of the founders of medical sociology as an academic discipline arose after she went to the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in 1953 to teach.

Her leaving of the Party followed a well trodden path in 1956, and this did her academic career no harm. Her marriage to Jefferys was also dissolved in the late 1950s.

In 1965 she was appointed Director of Social Research and Senior Lecturer in Sociology at Bedford College, London University, where she remained until retirement in 1982. She died in March 1999.

Sources:

The Independent 2nd March 1999; Guardian 17th March 1999; http://www.findmypast.co.uk/