Skip to main content

Roberts, Eirlys (1911—)

Roberts, Eirlys (1911—)

English consumer activist. Born in London, England, in 1911; daughter of a doctor; attended Clapham High School in London; earned a Classics degree from Girton College, Cambridge; married John Cullen, in 1941.

Born the daughter of a London doctor in 1911, Eirlys Roberts made her mark on European society by campaigning for consumer reform. She began her career as a sub-editor for the Amalgamated Press, and moved into military and political intelligence in the mid-1940s. After taking part in a United Nations Mission to Albania from 1945 to 1947, she settled into a job in the Information Division of the Treasury.

Roberts founded the Consumers' Association in 1957, heading up the research and editorial division, and creating the pioneer publication Which? in 1961. Through Which?, Roberts advocated greater safety and efficiency standards for products as well as public accountability. The accessible style of the journal and the detailed product reports she included made it a success, with a circulation of seven million. In addition to her efforts in these arenas, she served as part-time director of the Bureau of European Consumer Organizations, based in Brussels (1973–78); chair of the Research Institute for Consumer Affairs; and chair of the Environment and Consumer Protection sub-committee of the European Economic Community. For her service, she was awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1971 and was made Dame Commander of the British Empire (DBE) six years later.

Brenda Kubiac , freelance writer, Chesterfield, Michigan

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Roberts, Eirlys (1911—)." Women in World History: A Biographical Encyclopedia. . 18 Apr. 2019 <>.

"Roberts, Eirlys (1911—)." Women in World History: A Biographical Encyclopedia. . (April 18, 2019).

"Roberts, Eirlys (1911—)." Women in World History: A Biographical Encyclopedia. . Retrieved April 18, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.