Elizabeth Thornycroft (née Crump)
Born in August 1918 at Cheltenham, Elizabeth Crump was educated at Bedale’s, as was her brother. This possibly arose since her father who, after being invalided out of World War One, was offered a teaching post there as a senior English master. His wife and their children’s mother ran the school library there. Elizabeth’s father later taught speech and drama at the Royal Academy of Music. While not party political, her father was an agnostic ‘free thinker’.
She left Bedale’s at the age of 17 and then took up secretarial training in London. She later studied in Germany, where her experiences led her to become an anti-Nazi.
Elizabeth helped form a Spanish Aid Committee at Bedales to raise money for an ambulance, and also did office work for the International Brigade in Londonto help refugees and political prisoners. Through Bedales, in 1938, she came into contact with her future husband, Chris Thornycroft, who had been in the International Brigades in Spain. During the Second World War, she worked for the Czech Trust and in an aircraft production factory.
Elizabeth joined the Communist Party in the war period but left after the events of 1956.
Source: Angela Jackson `British Women and the Spanish Civil War’
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