Lucia was born Lucia Marion Brown in Liverpool in c.1864. She married twice, first to Philip Braham in 1884, with whom she had three children, and to Robert William Foster Welch in 1904. She came to Southampton in 1903 and took a keen interest in local politics and social welfare. She was elected Conservative councilor for Newtown in 1918. She chaired the Health Committee from 1924 and held many other civic appointments culminating in her becoming mayor in 1927. She was Southampton’s first woman councillor, first woman alderman and first woman mayor.

Nationally, she was very active in the suffragette movement, a member of both the Women’s Social and Political Union and the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies. She died in 1940. A Southampton Solent University hall of residence in Royal Crescent Road was named after her in 1995.

Lucia Foster Welch

Image Unavailable

Portrait in oils by Frank Brooks, 1928, now in Southampton Art Gallery

Further reading:

Southampton People, by John Edgar Mann, p40-41. (HS/t)
Familiar and Forgotten, by Southampton Art Gallery, p13. (HS/t)


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