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Major-General Dame Helen Charlotte Isabella Gwynne-Vaughan, GBE (1879 – 1967) was a prominent British botanist and mycologist.

She was educated at Cheltenham Ladies' College and King's College London. In 1909, Helen Fraser became head of the botany department at Birkbeck College in London. In 1911 she married David Thomas Gwynne-Vaughan, who died four years later.

In 1917, she was appointed chief controller of the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps. For her service she became the first woman to receive a military CBE in 1918. In September 1918, she became head of the Women's Royal Air Force. She received her DBE in 1919.

In 1921, she became a professor at Birkbeck College and continued her studies on fungi genetics as well as becoming involved in politics. In 1929, she received her GBE.

She was also active in Girl Guides and was honoured with a Silver Fish by them. In 1930, Gwynne-Vaughan chaired the Guides' Sixth World Conference. At this conference, the constitution of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts was agreed and Olave Baden-Powell was unaminiously voted World Chief Guide.

She was first Chief Controller of the Auxiliary Territorial Service from 1939 until 1941. She returned to Birkbeck and retired as Professor Emeritus in 1944.

References

  • Kerr, Rose (1976). Story of the Girl Guides 1908-1938. London: Girl Guides Association.  
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