Photo – Gertrude Paul
Leeds, England, March 7, 2019 – A national of St Kitts and Nevis is among several inspirational Leeds women who have changed the world.
Kittitian Gertrude Paul is listed as one of eight Leeds heroines whose achievements are being celebrated on International Women’s Day.
“Gertrude Paul is a Caribbean migrant who came to Leeds from St Kitts in 1956. Gertrude became the city’s first black headteacher and an important community leader in Chapeltown who founded the West Indian Carnival. She died in 1992,” read the citation in the Yorkshire Evening Post.
The St. Kitts and Nevis Association of Leeds was started by Ms Paul.
The others are Jane Tomlinson, a radiographer from Leeds, Jane was told her cancer was terminal in 2000. She completed the London Marathon three times and finished an Ironman triathlon. She raised over 1.85 million for charity before her death in 2007 aged 43.
Sue Ryder Sue, who volunteered as a WW2 nurse when she was just 15, did relief work in post-war Poland and set up the Sue Ryder Foundation, providing care for the elderly and disabled.
Leonora Cohen, wife of a Leeds jeweller who joined the Women’s Social and Political Union and became bodyguard to Emmeline Pankhurst. She was imprisoned after throwing an iron bar through a case in the Tower of London, and went on hunger strike.
Mary Gawthorpe Grew up in Woodhouse and later became a teacher and women’s suffrage activist. She suffered serious injuries after being beaten while heckling Winston Churchill. In later life emigrated to the USA.
Beryl Burton, the racing cyclist from Morley won seven world titles. She even set a women’s record for the 12-hour time trial which exceeded the men’s record for two years. Died aged 58 of heart failure during a social ride.
Nicola Adams, the Leeds boxer, is the first woman to win an Olympic medal in the sport at London 2012; she later followed up her achievements by retaining her gold at Rio 2016. Has now turned professional.
Barbara Taylor Bradford, a writer was raised in Armley and worked as a typist before her first book was published in 1979. After A Woman of Substance sold more than 30 million copies worldwide, it entered the top 10 list of all-time bestsellers.
Photo – Gertrude Paul