James Joseph Magennis VC Frances Elizabeth Clarke Stewart Parker Samuel Beckett Sam Hanna Bell William Carleton John Hewitt Rosamond Praegar Bernard (Barney) Hughes

Dame Isabel Graham Bryce (1902 - 1997):
Public servant


Isabella Lorrain Smith was born in Windsor Avenue, Belfast, the daughter of James Lorrain Smith, lecturer in medical jurisprudence, lecturer in pathology and Musgrave Professor of Pathology at Queen's College Belfast (later Queen's University), pathologist at the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast and examiner at the Royal University of Ireland. The family left Belfast for Manchester in 1904 and subsequently moved to Edinburgh where Isabella's father was Dean of the Medical Faculty.

She was tutored at home, then attended St Leonard's School at St Andrews before going to Edinburgh University, where she graduated MA. Her first job was as an investigator for the Industrial Fatigue Research Board, looking at the effects of humidity in shoe factories in Leicester. She undertook a year of psychological research under Sir Frederick Bartlett, the first professor of experimental psychology at the University of Cambridge and in 1928 was appointed as HM inspector of factories, a post more typically filled by men at that time. She remained in post until her marriage in 1934 to Alexander Graham Bryce, a surgeon and consultant at several Manchester hospitals.

1938 saw her in the Women's Voluntary Service as a centre organiser, in charge of evacuation schemes. When she herself was evacuated with her two sons to Toronto in 1940 she remained working with the WVS, first in Ontario as Director of Organisation, then in the United States as a Technical Adviser. In 1943 she was appointed Research Fellow in the Fatigue Laboratory at Harvard, studying pilot fatigue.

After the war she returned to Manchester where she became a member of the National Council of Women and of the Federation of University Women, sat on the Board of the Manchester Children's Hospital and was later a Manchester representative on the National Association of Hospital Management Committees and a member of the General Nursing Council. At the same time with this she was a magistrate on the senior and juvenile courts.

Subsequent posts included chairing the Oxford Regional Hospital Board 1963-72; the National Nursing Staff Committee from 196775; the NHS National Staff Committee 1969-75; she was a director, British Transport Hotels from 1962-79, and consultant there 1979-81. She was also involved with the new Independent Television Authority. In 1968 she was created DBE.

She held no official position after 1978 though continued to be involved in voluntary organisations such as the League of Friends of the Radcliffe Infirmary, the Zonta International Women's Organisation and the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

She died in Oxford at the age of 94 years and 364 days.



Born: 30 April 1902
Died: 29 April 1997
Richard Froggatt
Acknowledgements:

Wesley McCann