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An initiative of The National Foundation for Australian Women (NFAW) in conjunction with The University of Melbourne

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Mayo, Edith (Janet) Allen (1915 - 1995)

CBE, OBE

Born
28 April 1915
Died
1995
Occupation
Community worker

Summary

Formerly President of the War Widows' Guild of South Australia, Janet Mayo was elected National President of the War Widows' Guild of Australia following the death of her predecessor, Jessie Vasey, in 1966.

Details

The daughter of A. Simpson CMG, CBE who was Mayor of Adelaide at the outbreak of World War I, Janet worked with the Girl Guides' Association and the St John Ambulance Auxiliary before her marriage to Eric Mayo. They had two sons.

At just 26 years of age she became a war widow, loosing her husband, a torpedo officer on the HMAS Sydney, when his ship was sunk in the Indian Ocean by the German raider Kormoran on 19 November 1941. [1]

One of the Vice-Presidents of the interim committee, Janet continued in this position when the War Widows' Guild of South Australia was launched on 21 November 1946, later becoming South Australian State President. She held this post for over 20 years. Following the death of Jessie Vasey in 1966, Janet was elected the new National President. She retired in 1977.

On 31 December 1976, Janet Mayo was appointed to the Order of the British Empire - Commander (Civil) for community service. She was awarded an OBE in 1967 for her work as National President, War Widows' Guild of Australia.

[1] No Mean Destiny by Mavis Thorpe Clark p. 71

Sources used to compile this entry: Cadman, Kerith A (ed.), Who's Who in Australia, 1988, 26 edn, The Herald and Weekly Times, Melbourne, 1988, 960 pp. p. 623.; Clark, Mavis Thorpe, No mean destiny : the story of the War Widows' Guild of Australia 1945-85, Hyland House, South Yarra, Vic., 1986, 288 pp; National Council of Women of South Australia, Greater than their knowing: a glimpse of South Australian women 1836-1986, Wakefield Press, Netley, SA, 1986, 310 pp.

Related entries

Presided

Archival resources

National Library of Australia Newspaper Microcopy Reading Room

  • Biographical cuttings on Janet Mayo, former national president of the War Widows' Guild; National Library of Australia Newspaper Microcopy Reading Room. Details

Anne Heywood

Site-wide information and acknowledgements

National Foundation for Australian Women The University of Melbourne, eScholarship Research Centre

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