Dr. Anna Kellgren-Cyriax

Anna Kellgren-Cyriax croppedDr Anna Violet Kellgren-Cyriax, 26, (1906-1993) of Swedish descent, qualified in medicine and physical education, disciplines that ran in her family. Anna was a founder member of the British Association of Sports and Medicine and she will have been well acquainted, if not perhaps working together with, Dr Anna Broman (at this table) whose own father Allan Broman had once worked for Dr Anna K-C’s grandfather. She went on to win a rowing gold medal at the 1938 British Empire Games in Sydney, which perhaps was behind her later decision to retire “Down under”.


The youngest guest at this table, Anna would no doubt welcomed the opportunity to sit with any of her fellow guests. As noted above, she probably knew Anna Broman well, and perhaps had met with our Olympic fencer – possibly both Anna Broman and Gladys Davis were role models for her. Her interest in folk music and dance and folk costumes might well have given her common interest with Clare Leighton. It is quite probable that along with the other younger members of the whole party, this was quite an event to be attending, an evening to remember.


As noted above, looking forward to meeting many new people and enjoying a discussion amongst her physical education colleagues.


Anna was born in Paddington on 20th December 1906 to Dr Edgar Ferdinand Cyriax (1874 – 1955, born in Canonbury, Islington, father born in Gotha, Germany, mother born of German parents) and Dr Annjuta “Anna” Kellgren (1875 – 1965, born in Paddington). Her mother was “a descendant of the Swedish therapist who with Ling virtually founded the profession of physical education, based on anatomical and physiological principles rather than the military types of drill and exercise then in vogue”.[1] At 26 we can assume Anna was establishing herself at this time in the family profession. At this time she was living there too with parents, brother and a Miss Leonora Cyriax at 41 Welbeck Street, Marylebone.


In 1938 Anna rowed for Britain’s gold medal winning women’s rowing team at the British Empire Games in Sydney. In 1939 [census] she was still living with her mother at 41 Welbeck Street, Marylebone. She retired to Australia in 1975 and focused on her other overriding interest: Swedish folk music and dance.

Anna Kellgren-Cyriax croppedThis rare picture shows her in her Swedish folk costume in 1977. She died in the land of her birth nonetheless, in Birmingham, 14th February 1993. [2]


[1] From the obituary of her brother, Dr. James Henry Cyriax, MD, MRCP by H.E.Robson in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.– Vol. 19, No. 3, September 1985, page 164

[2] Details of Anna’s career are given in the obituary of her brother, Dr. James Henry Cyriax, MD, MRCP by H.E.Robson in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.- Vol. 19, No. 3, September 1985, page 164

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