Australian Women's Register

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Exhibitions

  • Australian Women Lawyers as Active Citizens

Bleechmore, Mary Helene Laurent (1916 - 2015)

Born
9 April 1916
Died
20 February 2015
Occupation
Barrister and Lawyer
Alternative Names
  • Williams, Mary (birth name)

Summary

Mary Helene Laurent Bleechmore (nee Williams) graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Sydney in 1938. She then embarked upon a Bachelor of Laws degree which she interrupted to marry Sidney John Bleechmore, a Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical and Electrical) graduate, on 21 December 1940. She graduated in 1941 and was admitted to the New South Wales Bar on 30 May 1941. For a short time she worked in the Office of the Commonwealth Crown Solicitor. Her husband a member of the Permanent Army, Bleechmore accompanied him to the places where he was stationed and worked when she could. After the Second World War, she lived in Japan where the then Lt-Col Sidney Bleechmore, commanding officer of the Royal Engineers (and mentioned in despatches in 1946), was serving with the British Commonwealth Occupation Force (BCOF). Two of the couple's three children were born in Japan: the birth of their second son, Ralph, on 21 September 1947 in Eta Jima, was significant for being the first birth of an Australian in the BCOF area. Their daughter, Antonia (Toni) Turnbull, born in Kure on 31 March 1950, became a doctor and activist. Their eldest child, John, was a noted defamation specialist at the Victorian Bar.

Sources used to compile this entry: O'Brien, Joan M., 'A History of Women in the Legal Profession in New South Wales', MA thesis, Department of History, University of Sydney, 1986. Also available at https://womenlawyersnsw.org.au/wp-content/uploads/History-of-Women-in-Legal-Profession.pdf; New South Wales Law Almanac for 1942, Sydney: Alfred Henry Pettifer, Acting Government Printer, 1942, p. 74; 1943, p. 74; New South Wales Law Almanac for 1948, Sydney: Thomas Henry Tennant, Government Printer, 1948, p. 71; New South Wales Law Almanac for 1949, Alfred Henry Pettifer, Government Printer, 1949, p. 71; 1950, p. 71; 1951, p. 73; Calendar for the University of Sydney for the Year 1938, Sydney: David Harold Paisley, Government Printer, Publisher to the University, 1938, p. 709 (page number reads incorrectly as 703); Calendar for the University of Sydney for the Year 1942, Sydney: Alfred Henry Pettifer, Acting Government Printer, Publisher to the University, 1942, p. 530; 'New Admissions', The Sydney Morning Herald, Saturday 31 May 1941, p. 14, http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/17748358, accessed online 7 January 2016; 'The Law School', The Legal Digest, March 1941 - October 1945, No. I., [Sydney: The Fund, 1941-1945], p. 6, http://nla.gov.au/nla.obj-39821473/view?searchTerm=the+legal+digest+Sydney+uni#page/n13/mode/1up/search/mary+williams, accessed online 20 April 2016; 'Honours and Awards: Sidney John Bleechmore', Australian War Memorial, https://www.awm.gov.au/people/rolls/R1517011, accessed online 27 January 2016; 'First Australian Born in Occupied Japan', The Advertiser, Wednesday 1 October 1947, p. 2, http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/36002385, accessed online 18 February 2016; 'Family Notices', Chronicle, Thursday 13 April 1950, p. 38, http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/93746964, accessed online 24 March 2016; 'Bleechmore, Brigadier Sidney John', Who's Who in Australia 1983 (The Herald & Weekly Times, Melbourne, 1983) p. 109; O'Brien, Joan M., 'A History of Women in the Legal Profession in New South Wales', Department of History, MA thesis, The University of Sydney, 1986, pp. 45, 46, 48, Women Lawyers Association of New South Wales, https://womenlawyersnsw.org.au/wp-content/uploads/History-of-Women-in-Legal-Profession.pdf, accessed online 6 March 2016; 'Bleechmore, Mary Helene Laurent', Tributes, The Advertiser, 21 February 2015, http://tributes.adelaidenow.com.au/notice/128012014/view?random=1460784261459, accessed online 16 April 2016; 'Obituary & Celebration: Dr John Bleechmore, Bar Roll No 1306', https://www.vicbar.com.au/GetFile.ashx?file=PeopleObituariesFiles%2f20150904+Bleechmore+John+-+Victorian+Bar+Obituary+notice.pdf, accessed online 14 March 2016.

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