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Discrete CollectionsThe Women's Library
TitleKempster, Miss Elizabeth
Ref No8SUF/B/097
Box Fetch NoBox 1: Disc 21
Date24 Jun 1976
Extent86:23 mins
Admin Biographical HistorySee biographies for Emmeline and Fred Pethick-Lawrence and Elizabeth Kempster
DescriptionInterview took place at Horizon Hotel, St Brelade's Bay, Jersey (her home address was then Dordol, Plat Douet Road, St Saviour, Jersey). Interviewee was an employee of the Pethick-Lawrences. Also see other interviews related to the Pethick-Lawrences [8SUF/B/090, 8SUF/B/092, 8SUF/B/102].

Interview summary:
0:00 mins: How she got the job with the Pethick-Lawrences. Kempster saw advert for a housekeeper and applied. Interview at Lincoln's Inn and first impression of Fred and Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence. The garden at Fourways, Emmeline's love of flowers. The Pethick-Lawrences' interest in people and attitude to employees. Emmeline's love of children. Difficulties when Fred went away and Emmeline left on her own. The respect they had for each others' independence. Disagreements with Emmeline and her advice after an argument. Emmeline's fatal heart attack and death. Fred's loneliness after Emmeline's death. Both lonely at times, never recovered from being put out of the suffrage movement. Seldom mentioned suffrage.

15:00 mins: Sylvia Pankhurst a frequent visitor at Fourways. Life at Fourways in the 1950s. Kempster called a friend and adopted daughter. Nursing Lady Pethick-Lawrence towards the end of her life. Her work; gave Emmeline her breakfast and helped her bathe and dress. The holiday in Ireland. Fred's praise of the Labour Government and his attitude to rationing after the Second World War. Esther Knowles, Mrs Groom Smith and Kempster all Conservative but only major disagreement was over the death penalty. Fred's visit to India and the effect it had on him. Kempster employed in 1945 just after he returned. Emmeline's character and interests.

30:00 mins: Emmeline's frailty. Kempster's relationship with Fred and caring for him when ill. Birthday celebrations. The Blarney Stone in Ireland. Fred's sense of humour. Dietary fads.

45:00 mins: Esther Knowles's relationship with Fred. Esther's help given to Kempster. Examples of Emmeline's impetuosity. The Pethick-Lawrence marriage. Emmeline's fondness for her brothers and her letters. Fred's kindness to Kempster.

60:00 mins: Fred easy to talk to. Kempster's engagement and later meeting with former fiancé. The Pethick-Lawrence's sympathy. Fred's relationship with Kempster. His keenness on sport and good health. His attitude to clothes. Emmeline's indifference to dress and need for grooming. Her appearance, her character. Fred's ability to care for her. Emmeline's attitude in the last years towards Fred's commuting.

75:00 mins: Emmeline's hospitalisation, her final year and death. Fourways. Emmeline's love of nature.
Related Record8SUF/B/090
Access StatusOpen
Access ConditionsInterview recordings are available online and can be accessed at the link provided in this record.
Former Reference NumberTape 33
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