The guest list gave us a pretty minimal start: Miss Blunt, Miss Campbell, Miss Gross and Miss W.P. Solomon. Fortunately no Miss Jones or Miss Smith. This table of four women without Christian name clues (though with one very helpful set of initials) finally reveals a table of four talented medical experts: Dame Janet Mary Campbell and Winifred Patience Solomon, both at the peak of their careers, in their mid 50s, and Dr Eleanor Dorothea Blunt and Désirée Muriel Barbara Gross, in their early 30s, already making a name for themselves. Hopefully they managed to stray off-piste in their conversations but at the same time perhaps those at their peak were able to pass on advice to the younger ones.
One of the main features of this table has been in working out who they are. We still have to be careful re Dame Janet Campbell, as there may be other candidates (including two Misses Campbell who worked with the Women’s Social and Political Union, WPSU) and it is surprising that she is listed simply as Miss Campbell. Winifred Patience Solomon took some tracking down but with an unusual name and knowing the initials, I’m sure we are correct, a highly respected London matron, a kindly person and contemporary of Dame Janet. Miss Gross is an unusual name and she is the only candidate we have who fits the bill and being a medic strengthened her case as the table developed its medical dimensions. The only other possible interesting lady surnamed Gross around this time, but a Mrs Gross, would have been Mrs Alexander Gross who as Phyllis Pearsall tramped the streets of London, mapping out the streets for today’s A to Z. A remarkable woman who would have livened up the proceedings. The unusualness of the name Blunt suggests Eleanor Dorothea is correct, though there is no obvious link to Lady Rhondda or her network. Indeed it is not clear who might have been the prime mover in hosting the table though if she was indeed there, I would back Dame Janet Campbell. But all good candidates.
Do you have other candidates? Finding four women in the same profession has made our conclusions seem more convincing, but we have no evidence that they are all medics, but Miss W.P. Solomon looks a solid bet.