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No. 86

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Memorable Manitobans: Gertrude Twilley Richardson (1875-1946)

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Gertrude Richardson
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Feminist, reformer.

Born in Leicester, England in January 1875, she trained as a costumer and became active with anti-war socialists during the Boer War. After a prolonged nervous breakdown following the breakup of her marriage, she became active in the suffrage movement, writing many poems on feminist subjects. She immigrated to Canada in 1910 and settled with her mother at Swan River in 1911, joining her brother and sister who had arrived earlier. On 25 July 1912 she married Robert Richardson at Winnipeg, and she soon became active in the Manitoba feminist movement. She opposed the First World War from the beginning and became an anti-conscriptionist in 1915. This stance cost her an outlet for her writing in the magazine Women’s Century, sponsored by the National Council of Women in Canada. In 1917 she began a friendship with Helen Armstrong and continued her involvement with the Christian Peace Crusade. After the war she became ill again, and in 1921 was hospitalized at Winnipeg, remaining there until 1925. After several years on the farm near Swan River, she was admitted to the Hospital for Mental Diseases at Brandon in 1930, remaining there until her death from heart failure in 1946. A memorial plaque was unveiled in 2006 at the Swan Valley Historical Museum.

Sister of Fred A. Twilley.

See also:

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Roaring River School No. 1215 (RM of Minitonas)

“Give us our due!” How Manitoba Women Won the Vote by Harry Gutkin and Mildred Gutkin
Manitoba History, Number 32, Autumn 1996

A Reconstructed World: A Feminist Biography of Gertrude Richardson by Barbara Roberts (1996).


1911 Canada census [Gertrude Dexter], Automated Genealogy.

Marriage registration [Gertrude Matilda Dexter], Manitoba Vital Statistics.

Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by J. M. Bumsted, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 11 January 2015

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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