Mary Somerville Elwes (1879 (Wells) – 1961 (Bath))

Kitchen Bridge and River Cam, St John’s College Cambridge



Elwes was born in Wells in 1879 to the Vicar of Over Stowey, Edward Leighton Elwes, latterly Chancellor of Chichester Cathedral. She served during the First World War with the French Red Cross and was awarded the War Medal. An avid traveller, she visited the Americas, Africa and Europe during the inter-war years, painting, undertaking commissions and lecturing. She was particularly interested in gardens and painting flowers. She was in the USA for the duration of the Second World War, returning to Britain at the end of 1945. Meanwhile her cousin, Admiral Sir James Somerville, sank the French fleet in 1940.

Condition: a little spotting to sky.