John Barnes, Historian

Florence Fletcher (1902 – 1961)

Florence Fletcher was appointed Secretary of the Conservative Women’s Advisory Committee in 1947 and for thirteen years she organised its meetings and the annual conference with unfailing enery and enthusiasm. Latterly she struggled with failing health and was forced to accept retirement in October 1960. She died a few months later on 1 February 1961 at the early age of 59. She was an immensely popular figure and widely mourned. Dame Barbara Brooke wrote of her sense of personal loss in a brief tribute for The Times.

After working in a voluntary capacity for the party, she trained as a woman organiser and was appointed to the Rugby Division in March 1934. She remained there until the outbreak of war when she joined the ATS. She spent the next six years with them, three of them serving in the Middle East, and attained the rank of Chief Commander. She was made an MBE (Military) in 1943.

On demobilisation she returned to work for the party organisation, initially as Deputy Central Office Agent in the northern Area.

She was a woman of warm affections and her courage was never more evident than in the way she combated illness to continue with the work she loved.