10 Dec BLUE PLAQUE PLACED AT HOME OF CHELMSFORD ICON FLORENCE ATTRIDGE
A blue plaque has been installed in Chelmsford at the former home of electrical engineer Florence Attridge who received a British Empire Medal for her efforts during World War II.
The plaque has been installed at Andrews Place in Chelmsford where Florence lived during her later years with her husband. Local housing association CHP, which now owns the property, worked with Chelmsford City Council to arrange the installation.
Born in 1901, Florence worked at the Marconi wireless factory in New Street. The factory was built by Guglielmo Marconi, who is credited as the inventor of radio. Women played a vital role in the creation of new electrical devices in many pioneering companies.
Florence started working at Marconi shortly after World War I and in 1946 she received a British Empire Medal (civil division) for her contributions to the war effort during World War II. She has become head of the coil winding shop at the factory by this time. Papers accompanying the medal suggest that she was involved in making secret radio sets used by the resistance during the war.
Florence passed away in 1975. In 2016 Chelmsford Museum acquired her British Empire Medal, where it is currently on display to the public.
Mary Gibbons, Chief Executive of CHP said: “I am delighted that we have worked with Chelmsford City Council to install this blue plaque commemorating the life of Florence Attridge.
“Florence was a pioneering woman, and with her links to Chelmsford and Marconi we are very proud to have this plaque on one of our properties. Hopefully it will encourage many more people to learn more about and be inspired by her impressive achievements. It’s exciting to think that someone living in one of our homes today could do something brilliant that will be marked with their own blue plaque in the future.”
Cabinet Member for Sustainable Development, Councillor Mike Mackrory said: “Chelmsford City Council started its Blue Plaque scheme in 1986. The plaques installed so far form a list of the most notable Chelmsford men and women of their day, who were preeminent in their fields and recognisable to passers-by. I am proud that we have been able to commemorate one of Chelmsford’s heroines of World War II. I feel that it is vitally important to value Florence’s work within the war that she was well deservedly rewarded for.