The Papers of Jean Russell McFarlane

Scope and Content

Scrapbooks containing press cuttings, programmes and photographs, and a few items of correspondence and ephemera, all relating to Jean McFarlane's career as a lacrosse player.

Administrative / Biographical History

Jean McFarlane was born in 1908 and attended Birklands School in St. Albans. McFarlane played lacrosse at club, county and territorial level, representing Liverpool, Lancashire and the North respectively, and was first selected to play lacrosse for England Reserves in 1930 and was elected by the All England Ladies' Lacrosse Association to captain the English Reserves Team to play against England on 15 October 1932. Following this match she was selected to play for the England team in international matches for the 1932/33 season. McFarlane continued playing for England until 1937 and was captain of the team for matches played against Ireland and Scotland in March and April 1937. In 1936 McFarlane was one of eight people invited to visit the USA to coach and play with schools, clubs and colleges in various districts.
McFarlane served as Honorary Secretary for AELLA from 1934 to 1939 and in 1937 was asked to assemble an unofficial team to give a demonstration game as part of an International Women's Week in Budapest, Hungary. She was awarded Honorary Life Membership of the All England Ladies' Lacrosse Association in 1962. From 1963 to 1973 she served as President of the East Women's Lacrosse Association, and from 1979 to 1981 as Vice-President of the All England Women's Lacrosse Association.

In the closing stages of the Second World War, McFarlane was part of the British Red Cross Civilian Relief Team which travelled from Belgium to Germany in April 1945 where she spent time in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. She remained with the British Red Cross Society in Germany until 1949 and was promoted to Assistant Commissioner (Foreign Relations) in 1948.

She died on 25 September 1998.

Jean McFarlane's recollections of lacrosse in the 1930s were published in the AEWLA 75th Anniversary Souvenir Brochure, a copy of which is held in LBA AEWL/19/3/2.

Acquisition Information

Some of the papers were found amongst the All England Women's Lacrosse Association Archive gifted to the University of Bedfordshire by the English Lacrosse Association in November 2014 under Accession No. AWL2014/001, and the remainder were included in a donation to the University of Bedfordshire by Carol Haydn-Evans on 23 May 2017 under Accession No. AWL2017/002.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to make any published use of any material from the collection must be sought in advance in writing from University of Bedfordshire Special Collections. Identification of copyright holders of unpublished material is often difficult. Special Collections will assist where possible with identifying copyright owners, but responsibility for ensuring copyright clearance rests with the user of the material.

Related Material

Jean McFarlane's personal papers relating to her work with the British Red Cross in Germany, particularly in the former concentration camp at Bergen-Belsen, are held at the Imperial War Museum, London.