Manning, Leah (1886–1977)

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Manning, Leah (1886–1977)

English politician. Name variations: Dame Leah Perrett Manning. Born Elizabeth Leah Perrett, April 14, 1886, in Rockford, Illinois; died Sept 15, 1977, in England; dau. of Charles William Perrett and Harriett Margaret Tappin; great-granddau. of Methodist philanthropist Susan Tappin; graduate of Homerton College, Cambridge; m. William Manning, 1914.

Colorful left-wing politician of 1930s, joined Labour Party and Fabian Society; an ardent trade unionist, became president of National Union of Teachers (1929); elected to represent East Islington in House of Commons (1930), but then lost seat (1931) and lost contest for Sunderland seat 4 years later (1935); served as Labour NEC (1931–32); campaigned for Republican cause during Spanish Civil War and published What I Saw in Spain (1933); served as secretary to Spanish Medical Aid Committee (1936) in defiance of Labor Party's position of non-interference; continued to support anti-Franco forces, helping to evacuate Basque children to Britain (1937) and bearing witness to bombing of Guernica; returned to Spain (1938) and wrote report on hospitals where British doctors and nurses were working; became Labor Party candidate for Epping and won seat (1945); published Growing Up (1948); defeated in 1950, attempted unsuccessfully to regain seat (1951, 1955). Named Dame of British Empire (DBE, 1966).

See also autobiography, A Life for Education (1970).

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