Mavis Tate

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Mavis Tate
Mavis Tate.jpg
Member of Parliament
for Frome
In office
14 November 1935 – 4 July 1945
Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin
Preceded by Henry Thynne, Viscount Weymouth
Succeeded by Walter Farthing
Member of Parliament
for Willesden West
In office
27 October 1931 – 13 November 1935
Preceded by Samuel Philip Viant
Succeeded by Samuel Philip Viant
Personal details
Maybird Hogg

(1893-08-17)17 August 1893
Died 5 June 1947(1947-06-05) (aged 53)
Political party Conservative

Mavis Constance Tate (17 August 1893 – 5 June 1947), baptised Maybird Hogg, was a British Conservative politician and campaigner for British women's rights.


Her first marriage, to Captain G. H. Gott, lasted from 1915 until their divorce in 1925. Her second marriage, to Henry Tate, lasted from 1925 to their divorce in 1944. She suffered a nervous breakdown in 1940.

Tate died in London in 1947. She committed suicide by gassing herself.[1]

Political career

As a member of the Conservative Party, she was elected Member of Parliament (MP) for what under normal political conditions was generally a safe Labour seat Willesden West in 1931. In 1935, she moved to the constituency of Frome, which she held for the Conservatives with a majority of 994. Frome had been a Labour seat during the 1920s prior to her election, and in 1945 she was defeated by the Labour candidate.

It has been alleged that she was an early member of Archibald Ramsay's Right Club from its founding in May 1939, but this seems unlikely as she was one of those protesting publicly against German persecution of the Jews in November 1938.

Women's rights campaign

Tate was an advocate of arming women to resist a German invasion in 1940.

She chaired the Women's Power Committee of 1941 and the Equal Pay Campaign Committee of 1942 and was vocal on the subject of equal pay for women as part of the war effort.[2]


Shortly after the end of World War II, Tate travelled with nine others to visit the Buchenwald concentration camp in Germany to report on the result of the atrocities there. She narrated the newsreel of this visit for British Pathé News.[3]

At an inquest on her death the Coroner found that she had committed suicide while her mind was disturbed through ill-health. In a note left for her brother she wrote: "As I have no one dependent on me, it seems to be the wiser thing to end my life. An invalid is only a national liability. Today I cannot endure the extensive, constant pain in my head and I have had practically no sleep at all for week after week." According to the medical evidence, she worked harder than any normal person could be expected to work and it was all in the interest of other people. She faced intense pain from kidney trouble with great courage. Her brother, Col. Kenneth Hogg, said she was always trying to do too much. Her illness dated from the time she visited the Buchenwald horror camp in 1945.


  1. ^ "Sickness causes suicide". The West Australian. 11 June 1947.
  2. ^ "WOMEN'S EQUALITY IS SEEN IN DANGER; Mrs. Tate, British M.P., Says They May Have to Go Back to Kitchens After War". New York Times. 19 June 1943. Retrieved 14 August 2008.
  3. ^ Holocaust Uncovered - Taken from the original 1945 British Pathe newsreel "German Atrocities - Proof" on YouTube Retrieved 2 December 2013.

External links

  • Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Mavis Tate UK Parliament
  • Women of the week Fembio
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Samuel Philip Viant
Member of Parliament for Willesden West
Succeeded by
Samuel Philip Viant
Preceded by
Henry Thynne, Viscount Weymouth
Member of Parliament for Frome
Succeeded by
Walter Farthing

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