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British Industrial History

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Gertrude Eleanor Crawford

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Lady Gertrude Eleanor Crawford (née Molyneux) (1 July 1868 - 5 November 1937) was a British munitions worker and from April to May 1918 the first Commandant of the new Women's Royal Air Force. She was also one of the directors of the Stainless Steel and Non-Corrosive Metals Co, formed by Cleone Benest.

She was the eldest daughter and second child of William Molyneux, 4th Earl of Sefton and Cecil Emily Jolliffe (1838–1899), the fifth daughter of William Jolliffe, 1st Baron Hylton.

On 25 April 1905 she married John Halket Crawford (1868-1936), who rose to be a Major in the 32nd Lancers, Indian Army.

On 26th April she was admitted to the freedom of the Turners' Company and in 1909 she built a goathouse for Lady Arthur Cecil. From 1914 onwards she worked at a munitions factory at Erith.

The History of Science Museum in Oxford hold a collection of turned ivory and other objects made by Lady Crawford. The Worshipful Company of Turners offer an annual prize in her name Lady Gertrude Crawford competition, one of three prizes "in honour of three great exponents and patrons of ornamental turning"

Died on 5 September 1937 in Lymington, Hampshire. She was pre-deceased her husband John Halket Crawford, who died just less than a year earlier on 23 September 1936.

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