Draft:Mary Ann Mercer

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Mary Ann Mercer was a councillor and Mayor of Birkenhead, UK from 1924 - 1925.

Personal life[edit]

Mary Ann Mercer was born in Newport, Shropshire. Her father died when she was three. Despite her limited schooling, she worked as a housekeeper and also trained as a nurse.[1] While working as a district visitor in Belfast she joined the Labour party. She married in 1912 and in 1914 the couple moved to Birkenhead and joined the Labour party. They had children. Mercer died 26 September 1945 and is buried and commemorated in Flaybrick cemetery in Birkenhead.

Political life[edit]

She was elected as a Labour councillor in 1919 for Argyle ward and continued to represent people in Birkenhead until 1945. Mercer was an alderman from 1926 - 1932. Her experience of her mother's struggles as a widow was the reason why Mercer became a strong advocate for state pensions for women.

She was Mayor from 1924 to 1925.[2] During her tenure she was at the unveiling of the Birkenhead War Memorial to those who fell in the First World War. She also held events at Birkenhead Town Hall to feed children. Her portrait as Mayor was painted by Maude Hall Neale and is in the Williamson Art Gallery and Museum, Wirral.

Mercer was a magistrate from 1929.

In the 1935 general election she was a candidate for the Liberal-held Birkenhead East seat for Labour. However, she came third behind the Liberal and Conservative candidates.[2]

Legacy[edit]

Mercer Road in Bidston & St James Ward in north Birkenhead is named after her.

A blue plaque was unveiled on 103 Norman Street, Birkenhead where she once lived on 12 May 2018.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Baldwin, Anne (2012). Progress and patterns in the election of women as councillors, 1918 – 1938 (PDF) (Doctoral Thesis ed.). University of Huddersfield. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
  2. ^ a b c Hughes, Lorna (7 May 2018). "Honoured at last: the Wirral nurse who changed history for working-class women". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 16 July 2018.