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Mansom, Dorothy Mary (1905 - 1978)

2 June 1905
Adelaide, South Australia
6 November 1978
Equestrienne, Opera singer, Public servant and Sports Administrator


Dot Mansom left school at the age of 15 and worked for her father in his capacity as bookmaker at the Supreme Court Hotel. She attended the Hyde Park School of Music, and sang in minor roles for the South Australian Opera Company. She later toured with operas to Melbourne and Western Australia. On weekends she taught riding, and during the Depression years took work at the Port Adelaide Bacon Factory, before becoming a buyer and manageress for Miller Anderson Ltd's mantle department. Mansom become an investigating officer with the drapery section of the State branch of the Rationing Commission during World War II, gaining equal status with her male colleagues. She married Clarence Henry Gray in June 1950.

After the war, Mansom was secretary of the South Adelaide Riding Club (which she re-formed) and the Horse Riding Clubs' Association. She bought a former racehorse, Antonym. In an attempt to popularise dressage, she established the Dressage Club of South Australia with Tom Roberts in 1949. The following year she won a blue ribbon in dressage events at the Royal Agricultural and Horticultural Society of South Australia's show. Mansom became a member of the executive of her local Light Horse Association, and helped to organise Australian Olympic Federation horse trials in South Australia. She predeceased her husband, and was buried in West Terrace cemetery, Adelaide.

Sources used to compile this entry: Edgar, Suzanne, 'Mansom, Dorothy Mary (1905 - 1978)', in Australian Dictionary of Biography Online, Australian National University, 2006,

Barbara Lemon

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