The Council meeting in May had voted and debated on Ipswich holding Sunday opening for cinemas, chaired by Mary, it was decided to allow the Sunday entertainment.


A new Recorder for the town had been appointed, Mr Stephen Gerald Howard,Chair of the Cambridge Quarter Sessions and a former Recorder for Bury St. Edmunds (1943). Mr Grafton Deen Pryor the former Recorder for Ipswich had died that year.

Mr & Mrs C. J. Creswell (Ips Star)

In May 1947 Mary presented Mr C. J. Creswell with a silver tea set for his retirement, following 44 years’ service in the Borough Police, retiring as Chief Constable.


On the morning of Tuesday 13th May 1947 Mary was invited to Westbourne Secondary Modern for boys. Joined by governors of the school, she extended a warm civic welcome to a party of 36 Schoolboy from Hatters Lane Secondary Modern School, High Wycombe Buckinghamshire. The chairman of the board of Westbourne governors Mrs S. S. Cutts introduced the Mayor to the boys on their 10 day experimental visit. Mary hoped the visit would be the beginning of a long friendship between the schools and wished them a happy time during their time in Ipswich. Extracts from the Evening Star 14th May 1947.



20th May 1947 it was reported in the Evening Star newspaper, that Ipswich had raised £60 for the Mayors appeal fund, for “Ipswich House” of the National Children’s Home and Orphanage. The new home at Sheringham was to open on the 6th June. Mary had collected donations from businesses from across the town, including Ransomes, Sims and Jefferies. Cranfields Bros. W. Brown and Co. Footmans Pretty and Co. Burton, Son and Sanders. Cobbold and Co. Ltd. Tolley Machs. Ltd. Woodcock and Son. Bayley Printers. Ipswich Sand and Gravel Co. Ltd. Saunders Ipswich Ltd. Sader and Sons. Haddock and Baines Ltd. Frank Mason and son Ltd. W. E .Sneezum. Hines and Clowes. S.C. Grimwade. Titchmarsh  and Goodwin. As well as many people of means in the Ipswich business community.


The mayor of Ipswich closed the flood distress fund with a total of £1,296 15s 2d. The fund was set up in connection to the Lord Mayor of London, National Distress Fund following flooding across the South East of England. Mary offered her sincere thanks to the individuals and organisations that made a worthy contribution from the Town of Ipswich to this national fund. Collections were made at the Odeon, Ritz and Regent Cinemas totaling £304 8s 11d. The British Legion loaned collection boxes and members, with extra help from the W.V.S , nurses from the Borough General and East Suffolk hospital, Toc H. women’s section, St. Johns Ambulance Brigade. Proceeds also came from dances at Bath Hall, local employees and businesses: E.R. Turner Ltd, the Co-opertive Society, Ransomes and Rapier, Suffolk Stadium, Churchmans factory. St. Margaret’s church commitee  as well as Churches accross the town and Borough.

Extracts from 5th-11th June 1947 Evening Star newspaper.

Miss Rosemary Hemmant. (insert)

The twentieth annual Suffolk Schools Athletics Association competition was held at Northgate School sports ground  on Saturday 21st June 1947. School teams from across the county took part in field and track races with many records broken. Bury and Lieston excelled in the afternoon breaking seven records. The revived competition had restarted following the break from the World War, with much enthusiasm from student and teachers alike.

Bury was the clear cut and well balanced team gaining eight firsts and great success in most events. Ipswich with the splendid support from Northgate cheers, won the boys  title but were well down in the list in the girls events. Rosemary Hemmant of Sir John Leman School, Beccles clipped 4.5 seconds off the hurdles and broke the all England girls title record. J. Chapman of Beccles knocked fifth  off the over 14 boys hurdles time.  J.Hatcher of Leiston record breaking 5ft 11incs high jump (under sixteen boys) and R. Martin of Leiston knocked a fifth off the half mile. Mary Whitmore as the Mayor handed out trophies to the victors of a truly splendid day. Extract from the Evening Star 23rd June 1947.




In July 1947 the Ipswich Branch of the British Legion hosted the 20th County Legion summer fete at Christchurch Park, entertaining 27,000 people. Lieutenant-General Sir Evelyn Barker G.O.C. Eastern Command and the Mayor Mary Whitmore inspected the standards from across the county .The inspection took place on the mansion lawn following a short service and wreath laying ceremony at the Cenotaph. British Legion President Colonel- F.L. Tempest alongside the civic guests who later all took the salute in the march past. The Counties standards of each branch paraded through the park, leading the veterans. The towns folk, veterans and families who had travelled to Ipswich to enjoy the day, enjoyed hours of entertainment.



The entertainment for the fete included donkey rides, Punch and Judy, brass and marching bands, army motorcycle display team and Royal Navy displays by the Royal Hospital School, HMS Ganges, naval training demonstrations team. Cake, tea and beer tents were full, as thousands enjoyed the day’s events. The town was also drunk dry!.


14th July 1947 the Mayor attended and handed out prizes at the Annual sports day of Northgate Grammar School for Boys. The Mayor was welcomed by the Headmaster Mr. Morris. (Image from the Ipswich Star 15th July 1947)


On Saturday 19th July 1947, 250+ postal workers were entertained by a tea, concert and dance at the public hall Ipswich, as part of a “Welcome Home” to members who served in the armed forces during the War. A programme was created by Ipswich Outdoor Branch of the Union of Post Office Workers. The Mayor Cllr Mary Whitmore was the guest of honour. She welcomed them home from war and expressed her thanks for those who remained in the postal service during the trying years. Stressing the Post office and postal service played an important part in the life of the country during that time. She also stated that the postal service continues one of increasing importance and success as Ipswich grows.  The Mayor was greeted and joined by the Regional Director, Mr. R. J. Harvey, the head post master, Major Millen and Mr. Tom Wallace, executive council of the union.


On the 30th July 1947 Arthur Saunders VC died aged 69. Arthur had served first in the Royal Navy, leaving in 1908 following 12 years’ service. He started work with Ransomes, Sims & Jefferies, joining the local territorial army. During WW1 he served with the 9th Suffolk Regiment, receiving the Victoria Cross during the Battle of Loos 1915.

Sargeant Saunders earned the highest award for bravery under fire. A quote from his obituary from the Star newspaper: During the battle, although being severely wounded he continued to work a Lewis machinegun until this time he was struck again in the leg by a sniper using explosive bullets. As support arrived Sargeant Saunders collapsed, but on regaining consciousness declared: “He will stick to the guns”

His VC citation read: When his officer had been wounded during the attack, Sergeant Saunders took charge of two machine-guns and a few men and, although severely wounded in the thigh, closely followed the last four charges of another battalion, giving them all possible support. Later, when the remains of the battalion which he had been supporting was forced to retire, he stuck to one of his guns and in spite of his wound, continued to give clear orders and by continuous firing did his best to cover the retirement.

A statement from Lt Christison, The Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders, an officer he assisted said: a shell landed and blew part of his left leg off, above the knee”. A tourniquet was applied and he continued to fight, using a Lewis gun to hold back advancing German troops, some 150 in number. The Germans were somewhat surprised when this heavily injured man began to fire on them.  Lt Christison then joined in the attack. The Germans soon retreated.

Arthur was rescued from his position and carried to a dressing station, where due to the ongoing battle laid on his stretcher for 3 days exposed to the elements. While recovering in England he found out he had won his Victoria Cross.  Still wounded he returned to Ipswich as national hero, receiving a cash donation from the residents of £365, a house and later Freedom of the Borough of Ipswich.

Following the end of the war Arthur joined the newly formed Ipswich branch of the “Comrades of the Great War” a veteran association which would later become the British Legion, taking an active role in their committees. Arhtur would later become a justice of the peace serving in the session courts at the town hall. During WW2 Arthur served with the Ipswich Home Guard,

The funeral was well attended by civic and military representatives at St. Johns Church Ipswich. The Mayor Alderman Mrs Mary Whitmore, Alderman Mr Arthur Lewis Clouting, members of the Council, members of the Justice of the Peace. Officers and N.C.O’s of The Suffolk Regiment and Associations including the 9th Battalion Reunion Dinner Club.  The funeral was conducted by Rev. H. K. Florance, the organist was Mrs H. W. Farthing. The widow Mrs Saunders and family included his sons C.P.O.- T. E Saunders Royal Navy, Flight Sargeant F.S. Saunders Royal Air Force, daughter Miss N. Saunders, sister Mrs F. Cook and the extended Saunders family.


August 27th, it was reported in the Ipswich star newspaper that the funeral had taken place of former Cllr Mr. Frank Gooch Morfey. Mr. Mofey had been a member of the Council for many years. Following his retirement he had devoted much of his time to the unemployment public relief and the allotment schemes of Ipswich. The Mayor of Ipswich Cllr Mary Whitmore, the Deputy Mayor Cllr. Warner, Town Councilors, Alderman, Mr Carpenter (Town Sergeant), Police  Inspector J. Crawford, The Social Welfare department, Town Hall staff, representatives from R. & W. Paul attended the funeral at Ipswich Crematorium chapel. The service was conducted by Cannon F. Mitton and assisted by Rev. Trever Waller (a relative of Mr. Morfey.).



During her mayoral year Alderman and Mayor of Ipswich Cllr Mary Whitmore helped to promote the Women’s Voluntary Service (WVS). The service delivered hot lunches on Tuesdays and Thursdays to old age pensioners, for those unable to cook their own meals. The lunches were cooked at the British restaurant at the Public Hall Ipswich and delivered by WRVS volunteers.


The image shows the Mayor Mary Whitmore (second from the right), Miss N Young, Mrs A.G.H Rackham and Miss G Topple. (Image from the “Evening Star” newspaper  23rd October 1947).




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