As with many organisations, the war years were a test of survival for the Tavistock Clinic. The story for those who did not join up was very different to those who did.

The Tavistock Clinic was evacuated to the Westfield Women’s College in Hampstead on 3 September 1939 and during the war a number of women took charge. These included Mary Luff, Jane Isabel Suttie, Margherita Lilley and Rosalind Vacher.

Tavi staff, who were not required by either the army or the Emergency Medical Service went to Westfield and lived as a small community. What were consulting rooms by day would be staff bedrooms by night. To make ends meet staff pooled their resources, putting the incomes of their private practices into a common fund. This not only allowed the less-well off to live, but also funded a significant portion of the Clinics overheads.

Mary Luff became the Acting Director – the first woman to be in charge of the Tavistock Clinic.

More on World War 2 – long-read

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