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Papers of Marjorie Jean Oswald Kennedy

 Fonds — Multiple Containers
Identifier: Coll-1290

Scope and Contents

  1. Mounted photograph of Highland scene
  2. Packet of photographs c1970s inc. Edinburgh Castle
  3. Folder "Upwards of a Century"
  4. Family photographs
  5. Students taking exam, location unidentified
  6. Album of South African photographs: "Mr R Kennedy, with best wishes from T Wilson Cairncross, Cape Town, South Africa, 14 Oct 1896"
  7. Envelope of photographs of scenery
  8. Envelope of photographs
  9. Scotsman photographs of Pope John Paul II's visit to Edinburgh
  10. Other loose photographs


  • Creation: 19th-20th century


Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Use

Subject to normal reproduction conditions.

Biographical / Historical

Marjorie Jean Oswald Kennedy hailed from the Kennedy family of Kilmarnock which included Thomas Kennedy c1796-1874, founder of Glenfield & Kennedy (producers of valves) and inventor of the world's first water meter.

During the Second World War, Kennedy served with the Women's Royal Naval Service (WRNS), 1942-1945. She was stationed at HMS Pembroke III, the WRNS training depot at Mill Hill in 1942, then at HMS Beaver, Hull, from 1942 to 1943, at HMS Drake, Devonport, in 1943, and then at HMS Pembroke III again and HMS Pembroke V, Bletchley Park, between 1943 and 1945. At Bletchley Park she was working with the team of allied codebreakers who were able to decrypt a vast number of messages that had been enciphered using the German's Enigma machine. The intelligence gleaned from this source, codenamed 'Ultra' by the British, had been a substantial aid to the Allied war effort.

In the 1960s and 1970s she was living in London, but by the early 1980s residing in Edinburgh and working at Edinburgh University Library. Kennedy served as an Elder at St. Cuthbert's Parish Church, Edinburgh, and lived in the Marchmont district of the city. She had been the inspiration behind the founding of the Rock Trust - a charity for homeless people.

Marjorie Jean Oswald Kennedy died in November 2002 aged 87. In August the following year there was local press coverage of the large fortune of £1.5-million left in her will and which had been inherited from her family.


3 boxes


Still to be established.

Physical Location

CLX-A-967, 968, 969.

Custodial History

Assumed to have been in the physical custody of Edinburgh University Library since shortly after Marjorie Kennedy's death but this is just conjecture.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Found amongst General Library stock during 2010 and taken into the custody of Special Collections. Accession E.2010.44


No appraisal has been carried out other than to separate out printed books (see later)

Related Materials

The Imperial War Museum (London) holds four scrap books compiled during her service with the Women’s Royal Naval Service (WRNS) on ‘Special Duties’ between 1942 and 1945 at HMS PEMBROKE III, the WRNS training depot (Mill Hill) (April * September 1942), at HMS BEAVER (Hull) (September 1942 * March 1943), at HMS DRAKE (Devonport) (March * July 1943) and at HMS PEMBROKE III (Mill Hill) and at PEMBROKE V (Bletchley Park) (Station X), billeted at nearby Woburn Abbey (July 1943 * November 1945). Ref. 03/045/1

Separated Materials

Several printed books accompanied these papers. The following have been deemed worthy of retention by Special Collections and can be identified on the Main Library Catalogue.:

  1. The Farmer’s Kalendar, 2nd Edn. (London, 1778) [possibly the only copy in Scotland]
  2. Bartlett, J, The Gentleman’s Farriery, 11th Edn, London, 1785
  3. Seton, Ernest Thompson, Lobo and Other Stories (London, Hodder & Stoughton) [Wellington School, Ayr, Prize awarded to Marjorie Kennedy for General Form Subjects, Lower III, 1924-25]
  4. Wadell, Helen (Translator), Beasts and Saints (Constable and Co. London, 1934)
Papers of Marjorie Jean Oswald Kennedy (c1915-2002)
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the University of Edinburgh Library Heritage Collections Repository

Centre for Research Collections
University of Edinburgh Main Library
George Square
Edinburgh EH8 9LJ Scotland
+44(0)131 650 8379