Miss Evelyn Whyte

no-picture-square3Evelyn Whyte, 48, (1884-1972) was General Secretary of the Parents’ National Educational Union (PNEU) and thus will be well known to fellow table guest The Hon. Mrs Franklin, the Hon. Sec. for the PNEU. She was educated at the same school as Lady Rhondda, St Leonards, St Andrews Fife, albeit a year younger. So two very strong links, to the table and to the guest of honour – but apart from that we have as yet little further information, a little surprising for someone who at least gets a Who’s Who entry and a notice of her death in The Times.

puzzle-piece2-50Can you tell us more about Evelyn Whyte?


Under our current plan she is besides fellow PNEU member “Netta” Franklin and surgeon extraordinaire Dr Louisa Martindale. Which ought to make for a good evening.


Perhaps she has PNEU ideas she would like to discuss with The Hon. Mrs Franklin, though probably would not talk shop. She may have tales from school to relate about the guest of honour. Hmmm..


Evelyn Whyte was born on 15th August 1884, at Pentland House, Old Road, Lee, Kent, the sixth of the seven children of Lewisham-born Ruth Colman Jay (daughter of a bank clerk) and her husband, Bishopsgate-born Robert Whyte and South African merchant. She was educated at St Leonards School, St Andrews, Fife (like Lady Rhondda, albeit one year younger). Her eldest sister Agnes, born 1877, entered the school in 1893. Evelyn’s address from 1912 to 1929 was 3 Lansdowne Place, Blackheath.[1]


In 1934, if not earlier, Evelyn became General Secretary of the Parents’ National Educational Union (PNEU), 26 Victoria St SW1, and lived, at least to 1957, at 7 Oakcroft Road, Blackheath.[2] At the same (Lewisham) address in 1939, she was a Secretary, living with her sister Elsie Jeanie Whyte and her widowed sister Dorothy Webb. Both she and Dorothy were ARP Wardens during WW2. By 1967 Evelyn was living at Waverley Abbey House, Farnham.[3] Evelyn died in hospital in Hindhead, Surrey, age 87 on the 26th March 1972, 41 years on from the dinner, the “beloved sister of Elsie Jeanie Whyte”.[4]


[1] With thanks to Dinner Puzzle contributor Jane Claydon, former Deputy Headmistress of St Leonards, from the school alumni records.

[2] Miss Evelyn Whyte, Hutchinson’s Woman’s Who’s Who 1934, Hutchinson & Co. London.

[3] With thanks to Dinner Puzzle contributor Jane Claydon

[4] The Times, 28.3.1972

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