The Society's oldest member celebrates her 100th birthday

Dr Gertrud Holmes, the Society’s oldest member, celebrated her 100th birthday at Greyfriars Court in Lewes on 8 June this year.

For many years an educational psychologist in Chelmsford, Dr Holmes remembers mourning the death of Emperor Franz Josef when she was five years old. She has vivid recollections of her schooldays and of the exciting intellectual climate in Vienna in the post World War I years. She was fascinated by languages and travelled to Hungary, Italy, France and Britain in the late 1920s and early 1930s. She managed to complete a PhD in Child Psychology in Vienna University before the arrival of the Nazis.

She escaped to England, though sadly her parents did not, and worked as a nanny after her arrival in September 1938. Later she trained as a teacher and taught languages at the Perse School in Cambridge, before becoming an educational psychologist. She joined British Psychological Society in 1947.

Dr Holmes received messages of congratulation from around the world on her 100th birthday, including one from the Pankhurst family in Ethiopia. Her contribution to the profession of educational psychology and longstanding membership will be marked in the next issue of Debate, the journal of the Society’s Division of Educational Child Psychology.