Flora W lost her mother to puerperal fever – a complication of childbirth – at the age of 12, and subsequently took on domestic and caring duties for her father and clutch of brothers in rural Cambridgeshire.
She married at 20, to a machine worker for a sugar refinery, moved to London and had two sons. A great favourite with children, as she would always have time for games rather than chores, she took in washing to put her children through college.
Later, she served as a councillor for one of the London boroughs, eventually being made one of the first female mayors of a London borough in the mid-1950s.
After her term finished, she served as alderman for the same borough, and had a block of flats named after her in the 1960s.