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28 March 2016

The Returning Officer: Anna Barlow

A lifelong campaigner for peace and temperance, she said at an event for the Grove Retreat for Inebriate Women in 1913 that drink adverts should be “stopped in a Christian country”.

By Stephen Brasher

Anna, Lady Barlow, stood for the Liberals at High Peak in 1922 and at Ilkeston in 1924. A lifelong campaigner for peace and temperance, she said at an event for the Grove Retreat for Inebriate Women in 1913 that drink adverts should be “stopped in a Christian country”. In 1915, the editor of the Manchester Courier rebuked her for saying, “A campaign of lies is entered upon in both countries.” He wondered if her letter had been written “before the sinking of the Lusitania”.

In 1923, she headed an appeal for the German Distress Relief Fund. In a letter in the Yorkshire Post, a reader expressed his disgust: “The Germans do not deserve our sympathy. There are, of course, decent ones, as in other nations, but not in so large a proportion.” 

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This article appears in the 05 Apr 2017 issue of the New Statesman, Spring Double Issue