Anne Hardie, born Pluscarden, 13 January 1888; married Hubert Johnson, July 1927; died Kitwe, Zambia, 24 August 1974.
Anne Hardie was awarded an MBE for her work in the War Office during the First World War. Afterwards she was appointed headmistress of Mahbubia Girls School in India from where she travelled extensively during the school holidays. Later she farmed in Rhodesia.
Born at Westerton, Pluscarden, to farmer John Hardie and his wife Margaret Leslie
At the start of the First World War Anne was in Germany and it was only by posing as a local that she was able to find her way over the border and thus home. On return to Scotland she taught in Motherwell. When her fiancé, another graduate of Aberdeen, was killed in the war Anne took a job as a stewardess in order to get a passage to Canada. She taught in Canada for a while but returned to work in the War Office in London just as this government department was beginning to allow women through its portals; by 1918 there were more than 22,000. Anne was superintendent of the Mobilisation Department’s press section for a while before moving to the Women War Workers Resettlement Committee where she was secretary. As the men began to return home to reclaim their former jobs this committee was set up to help more than a million women who had stepped into ‘men’s jobs’ throughout the war They were encouraged to return to their former positions in the home.
But Anne did not return to the family farm when she left her post in 1919. She travelled to Hyderabad, India to take up the position as headmistress of Mahbubia Girls’ School.
With grateful thanks to the contributors to, and editors of, Women of Moray: a celebration of the women of Moray and their contribution to history (Luath Press: Edinburgh, 2012)