Mary Silyn Roberts was born in North Wales' Mold in 1877 but was raised in London. She later moved back to the region in 1905 with her husband Robert, a minister, who had taken up a new ministry in Tanygrisiau; a quarrying area with a tight-knit community that valued education. During WW1, Mary became organiser for Wales' Women's Land Army. She also had 3 children during this time but managed to juggle all these responsibilities.  

After the war, in 1925, Robert founded the WEA in North Wales and continued to set up 14 branches in the next 5 years. Mary spent this time as a peace campaigner, joining a number of groups and taking part in various events with the aim of pushing for peace in Europe. Her feats as honourable secretary of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom were impressive and involved a lot of travelling, but this didn't stop her from being a devoted mother and wife. 

Tragedy stuck in 1930, when Robert suddenly died during his return trip from Russia. Mary was asked by The North Wales Committee to take up the role of district secretary, which she did with great success. Along with great organisational skills, Mary was solutions-focused, finding innovative ways during WW2 for tutors to get to classes when petrol was short. The commitment to her work, family and political affiliations stayed with her throughout her life and are well worth of acclaim. 

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Kay Field

Digital Marketing Officer

Kay is the Digital Marketing Officer at the WEA.