The Times/1936/Obituary/Sophia Lonsdale

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Miss Sophia Lonsdale

Miss Sophia Lonsdale, who died last week in her eighty-third year, was remarkable in her generation. A correspondent writes of her:—

The daughter of the Rev. John Lonsdale, for over 50 years Canon of Lichfield, she made her mark in the city where most of life was sent by her business capacity and readiness to undertake any which which came to hand, especially if it entailed rectifying abuses. She was absolutely fearless and disinterested, and no difficulty was too great for her to face. To her was owing the regeneration of the local workhouse, the sanitation of the city, the foundation of the High School, and the establishment of the Lichfield Charity Organization Society. She was at her best when she had some big battle to fight, and it is not too much to say that she invariably came out victorious. Later in life she settled in London, where she was absorbed in the work of the Charity Organization Society. For many years she was a member of the Soho committee, later chairman of the Paddington committee, and, finally, on the Administrative Central Council, the chairman of which described her as one of the personalities which gave to the C.O.S. the quality of greatness. She had the power of attracting the absolution devotion of her personal friends, who remember her as the most sympathetic and delightful of companions, with an unfailing fund of humour. In her later years her chief interest lay in the Girls Diocesan Association, whose members recall her with love and reverence. Her strong sense of religion was the directing star of all her activities, and supported her through the many years of invalid life which preceded her death. Her memoir by her cousin Violet Martineau, was recently published.

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