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Available atThe Core Library Solihull
Ref NoD48
TitlePapers of Miss Doris Hamilton Smith, artist
DescriptionWatercolour paintings, nature diary, sketches, ephemera and also artefacts relating to her time in the Ambulance Service during World War II.
Admin/Biographical historyDoris Hamilton Smith was born in Knowle on 1st July 1891, the only daughter of parents, George Hamilton Smith and Charlotte Eliza Smith (nee Ashford) who married in Solihull in 1885. She was baptised at Knowle parish church on 30th August 1891.

She had three brothers: Donald Hamilton Ashford Smith (born 1886, Solihull); Walter Campbell Smith MC (born 1887, Birmingham. died 1988) and Harold Shirley Smith (born 1893, Knowle). Donald was ordained as a Church of England clergyman, and became Rector at Frinton. After attending Solihull School, Walter became an authority on Antarctic geology, spending all of his career 1910-1957 at the British Museum (except for distinguished service with the Artists' Rifles in both world wars during which he rose to the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel and was awarded the Military Cross in 1917). He was awarded the CBE in 1949. Harold Shirley Smith was a motor engineer (garage proprietor) and also served in the First World War.

Doris attended Solihull School for Girls, "Southend", Station Road, Solihull (run by Miss Marion Burd, sister of the Vicar of Shirley). The school was a three-storey building opposite the junction of Poplar Road and High Street/Station Road (opposite Silhill House). At the school she was taught art by Miss Edith Holden, who taught art every Friday to the top form (ten pupils). Edith Holden's "Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady", a nature notebook she compiled whilst teaching at the school, achieved international success when it was published in 1977. The girls also kept similar notebooks, and one of Doris's is included in this collection. After leaving school, Doris also received private lessons from Miss Holden.

During the First World War Doris served with the Red Cross Voluntary Aid Detachment (VAD), and was also engaged in voluntary war work for the Queen Mary’s Needlework Guild (QMNG) for which she received the badge of the Guild.

After the war, she continued to receive nursing training from the Red Cross and, when the Second World War began, she served as an ambulance driver. She also worked at the Solihull Work Centre of the Brooke Tool Manufacturing Co. Ltd 1942-45.

Doris Hamilton Smith died on 17th October 1982.
Access StatusOpen
Access ConditionsNo restrictions on access. Available on request during library opening hours.
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