Eleanor Gill Welch

Eleanor Welch was born in Handsworth on 15 Dec 1884. She appears in three photos taken by Mary Downing in the late 1890’s. Up until about 1895 the Downings lived in Church Lane Handsworth around half a mile from the Welch household.

Eleanor’s father was a Doctor called John Burges Welch. She attended Edgbaston High School and went on to study Natural Sciences at Newnham College, Cambridge. It seems likely that Mary Downing may also have been a pupil at Edgbaston High School, but this is not documented. Coincidentally the three daughters of her brother Noel Downing did attend the school in the 1930’s, that gives some circumstantial support to the notion.

The group of pictures, and some others, seem to revolve around  a visit to Sierre in Switzerland in about 1900. In the party were Mary Downing, her two older twin sisters Daisy and May and also Carrie Herbert. This visit could perhaps have been facilitated in some way through the school.


  • Eleanor married an academic Stephen Grosvenor Lee in 1915. Information about her education comes from Guy Prail, a descendant of her brother. Material from the Lee family also indicates she was a talented Hockey player representing England at the sport.
Last updated on 12 August 2021 by JJ Morgan