The Papers of Elisabeth Carling

Scope and Content

The papers of Elisabeth Carling primarily relate to her lacrosse playing career from county and territorial teams to England international, from the late 1940s through to the early 1960s. The two Great Britain and Ireland Touring Team tours to the USA in 1954 and 1960 feature prominently. In addition to lacrosse, Elisabeth also played cricket and hockey at county and territorial level and her involvement in these two sports is documented in the papers.

The papers comprise of photographs, press cuttings, match programmes, scrapbooks, draft articles and memorabilia.

Administrative / Biographical History

Elisabeth Mary Carling was born on 22 July 1928, the only daughter of Dr. W. Russell Carling of Alton.

She attended St Swithun's School, Winchester and on leaving studied at the London College of Secretaries before commencing secretarial work in the Chemistry Department at University College, Southampton. In October 1965 she left to study for 'A' Levels and in 1966 entered Reading University to read Classics, embarking on a teaching career at Godolphin School, Salisbury in 1969 as Head of Classics, where she remained until her retirement in 1988. Following retirement from Goldophin School she taught Classics part-time at St. Swithun's School.

Elisabeth was a talented all-rounder in games, not only playing lacrosse (which she learnt at St. Swithun's School), but she also played hockey and cricket at county and territorial level in the late 1940s and early 1950s, including being part of a territorial team that played a visiting Australian cricket team in 1951 and a New Zealand cricket team in 1954. She was first selected to play for the England lacrosse team in 1952, and in 1954 and 1960 was selected for the Great Britain and Ireland Touring Team (GBITT) tour of the USA, and appointed as vice-captain for the 1960 tour. Elisabeth served as captain for the England team from 1958 to 1962, and for the same period was also captain of the West of England team for whom she played lacrosse from 1948 to 1964.

After her lacrosse playing career finished, Elisabeth served in a number of roles with the All England Women's Lacrosse Association (AEWLA) including as a Selector for the game and as Vice-President for the Association. She was elected an Honorary Life Member of the AEWLA in 1980. In 1982, under her Chairmanship of the Great Britain Lacrosse Council, the first Women's World Lacrosse Tournament was organised on behalf of the International Federation of Women's Lacrosse Associations.

She died on 5 August 2015.


The collection has been arranged into the following categories:

  • Photograph Albums
  • Match Programmes
  • 1951 United States Women's Lacrosse Association Touring Team
  • 1954 Great Britain and Ireland Touring Team
  • 1957 United States Women's Lacrosse Association Touring Team
  • 1960 Great Britain and Ireland Touring Team
  • 1964 United States Women's Lacrosse Association Touring Team
  • 1982 Women's World Lacrosse Tournament
  • Articles
  • AEWLA and IFWLA: Notices and Correspondence
  • Memorabilia

Acquisition Information

The collection was donated by Paul Carling, nephew of Elisabeth Carling, in four separate accessions between 2015 and 2018 under Accession Nos. AWL2015/004, AWL2015/009, AWL2015/013 and AWL2018/001.

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.