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Stancomb-Wills, Janet

Stancomb-Wills, Janet

Alias: None

Title: Dame

Dates: 1854-1932

Nationality: British

Awards: Dame of the British Empire (1918)

Janet Stancomb-Wills was the adopted daughter and niece by marriage of Sir William Henry Wills, first Baron Winterstoke. In 1912, she was appointed president of the Royal West of England Academy and the following year was the first woman to be elected town councillor for Ramsgate, serving as mayor between 1923 and 1924. A generous benefactor, she helped to finance the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition 1914-17 (Endurance and Aurora) led by Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton.

A grateful Shackleton named a glacier for her as well as one of the three boats in which his party reached Elephant Island. Stancomb-Wills was interested in education, social issues and art, serving on many committees in Ramsgate. In 1927, she was appointed Justice of the Peace for Kent. She was created a dame in 1918 and she died on 22 August 1932.

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