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Address presented to Miss G. Croft, M.B.E., Principal of Vincent Girls' High School, Batticaloa (1922- 1948) by the public of Batticaloa, Ceylon on the eve of her departure to England

Reference Code: GBR/0115/RCS/RCMS 402

Scope and Contents

Typescript on oblong palm leaves, 55 x 255 mm in size, attached to the covers by a silver chain running through a single hole in each leaf. The covers are decorated in silver with inner linings of dark blue velvet. The upper cover is engraved, 'To Miss Gladys Croft M.B.E. in affectionate remembrance from the residents of Batticaloa Ceylon'. The volume is housed in a dark blue, clasped velvet box, lined with grey silk, produced by ‘Hemachandra Bros jewellers Kollupitiya.’

The address was presented at a public garden party and warmly thanks Croft for all she had contributed to the school and the wider community. It praises Croft for rare public service, ‘whether we consider its length of well-nigh thirty years, the richness of its quality or the selfless spirit that has actuated it’. When the new principal had first arrived at the school, it ‘was confined to a narrow curriculum and its standards were low. It is due to your energy, enterprise and foresight that today the women of Batticaloa whether in academic education or in feminine accomplishments need not fear comparison with their sisters anywhere in Ceylon.’

One of Croft’s great achievements was to introduce physical education at a time when ‘it was not considered proper for girls to take part in vigorous games and sports,’ contributing significantly to their physical and mental wellbeing, an example since emulated by all women of the community. Croft is praised for pioneering the teaching of Domestic Science and introducing the Girl Guide Movement. The address recognises Croft’s wider social and charitable work, efforts which were amplified by many former pupils inspired to follow her lead. During the Second World War, Croft also took a leading role in Air Raid Precaution measures and in the Red Cross. The address concludes by declaring ‘Our District is immeasurably richer for your life and work among us.’


  • Creation: 1948

Conditions Governing Access

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Biographical / Historical

Gladys Croft served as Principal of Vincent Girls' High School, Batticaloa, between 1922 and 1948. The school had been founded by Wesleyan Methodist Missionaries in 1820. Croft received an M.B.E. in 1949 in recognition of her work in education and social services.


10 leaf/leaves : paper

Language of Materials


Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

good condition

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased in 2019.


This archival description was entered by MJC.

Includes index.
2019-05-10 10:45:18+00:00
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge University Library Repository

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