Mrs Millicent Louise Battrum (née White)

14 June 1885, Dublin - 20 July 1977, Bexhill-on-Sea, England

Scottish Ladies' Champion 1947

Millicent White was born in Dublin, daughter of a doctor. She joined the nursing profession, trained at Birkenhead General Hospital 1908-1912, and then joined Edith Cavell's clinic in Brussels, Belgium.

Shortly aftert the outbreak of war in 1914, Millicent was obliged to leave Belgium, smuggling important documents in the process (Edith Cavell was executed by the Germans).

Millicent married William Battrum in Worcestershire, England in 1916. He died in Birmingham in 1936.

In 1920 she was awarded the Royal Red Cross – 2nd class – for Civil Nursing Service.

In 1942 Mrs Battrum became the first female member of Dundee Chess Club. At the time, she was Matron of Rossie Priory Hospital, Dundee. At the end of the war she became Regional Nursing Officer for the city's Department of Health.

In 1947 the Scottish Chess Association Congress was held in Dundee as part of the club's centenary celebrations. There were only two entrants in the Scottish Ladies' Championship, Mrs Battrum and Nancy Gordon (later Nancy Elder). They played a match that was to be decided by the first player to win three games. Mrs Battrum won with a score of 3½-½.

Mrs Battrum (left) on her way to winning against Nancy Gordon.

The Scottish Chess Association Year-Book 1948 shows Mrs Battrum residing at Netherwood, 333 Perth Road, Dundee. She later left Scotland, the 1950 SCA Year-Book showing her address as "Wadhurst", Victoria Road, Malvern, Worcester. She moved again, to London and then to Sussex, where she died in a nursing home.

Mrs Battrum was a Life Member of the British Chess Federation.

Silent in an Evil Time: The Brave War of Edith Cavell, by Jack Batten.
The British Journal of Nursing, 20 March 1920, p. 171
The Sunday Post, 6 April 1947, p. 16 (photo).
Wikipedia (Edith Cavell)
The Story of Dundee Chess Club, by Peter W. Walsh (1984).

Compiled by Alan McGowan