Florence Attridge

Radio Technician

A black and white historical photograph of a young woman with dark curly hair

Photograph of Florence Attridge as a young woman (Image courtesy of Tim Wander)

  • BORN 14th June 1901, Chelmsford, Essex
  • DIED 1975, Chelmsford, Essex
  • WORKED Marconi New Street Works, Chelmsford
  • HONOURS Awarded British Empire Medal in 1946 for secret wartime defence work
  • MINERVA SCIENTIFICA PROJECT Echoes from Essex 2020

(Images of Attridge’s medals courtesy of Tim Wander)

Entry by Dr Patricia Fara, Emeritus Fellow of Clare College Cambridge and member of the British Society for the History of Science.

Artistic Connections

None recorded


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Unknown, but it was then compulsory to attend school until the age of 12.


After the First World War, she worked for many years at Marconi, but probably left in 1950 when she married for the first time.

Women workers at Marconi New Street winding shop, c.1922 (Image courtesy of Tim Wander and the Marconi Company Archive)

Marconi New Street Works in 1920 (Image courtesy of Tim Wander)

Scientific Achievement

Technicians are crucial for scientific research. She was in charge of the coil-winding department, so was a highly skilled manual worker involved in developing radio communication technology

Did You Know?

Paradoxically, because her wartime work was secret, it’s impossible to know exactly what she contributed, but she played an important role in developing spy sets and decoding equipment for the Special Operations Executive.

The British Type 3 Mark II radio she may have worked on (Image courtesy of Tim Wander)

An Inspiring Woman

She excelled at the meticulous intricate work that made radio communication possible. Women who work behind the scenes are often overlooked, but their role is crucial. Appointed a manager, she must also have shown high administrative skills.

A note from King George accompanying Attridge’s BEM (Image courtesy of Tim Wander)