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The Papers of Enid Russell-Smith

Reference Code: GBR/0014/RUSM

Scope and Contents

Papers mainly comprising letters to her brother and sisters, with a draft memoir, speeches and other correspondence.


  • Creation: 1941-86

Conditions Governing Use

Researchers wishing to publish excerpts from the papers must obtain prior permission from the copyright holders and should seek advice from Archives Centre staff.

Biographical / Historical

Enid Russell-Smith was born in Esher, Surrey, 3 March 1903, the daughter of Arthur Russell-Smith and Constance Mary Dilke. She was educated at St Felix School, Southwold, and Newnham College, Cambridge, 1922-5.

In 1925 she became one of the first women to enter the Civil Service by competitive examination and joined the Ministry of Health as Assistant Principal. She remained in the Ministry of Health and was promoted to Private Secretary to the Permanent Secretary, 1930-4; Principal, 1934-9; and Assistant Secretary, from 1939. During the Second World War she was involved in organising the evacuation of children from major cities to the country. She also played an important role in the post-war establishment of the National Health Service. She was Principal Assistant Secretary; Under-Secretary, 1946-57; and Deputy Secretary, 1957-63.

She retired from the Civil Service in 1963 and became Principal of St Aidan's College, Durham University, 1963-70. She continued as a part-time Lecturer in Politics at Durham until 1986. She died at her home in the city, 12 July 1989.

She was an honorary fellow of Newnham College, Cambridge, 1974-89. She was appointed DBE, 1953.

Her publications include: "Modern Bureaucracy: the Home Civil Service" (1974).


9 archive box(es)

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

The papers were bequeathed to Churchill Archives Centre by Enid Russell-Smith, 1989, and received after her death, 1990.

Related Materials

Enid Russell-Smith's letters to her brother from 1963 are held by Durham University Library.


This collection level description was prepared by Sophie Bridges, December 2004. The papers were catalogued in 1990. Biographical information was obtained from Enid Russell-Smith's obituary in "The Times", 17 July 1989; "Who's Who 1897-1996"; and the website of the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.


Smith, Dame Enid Mary Russell Russell-, 1903-1989, civil servant

2004-11-30 11:37:12+00:00
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Churchill Archives Centre Repository

Churchill Archives Centre
Churchill College
Cambridge Cambridgeshire CB3 0DS United Kingdom
+44 (0)1223 336087