Sue Ryder: Wikis


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Sue Ryder
Born Margaret Susan Ryder
3 July 1923(1923-07-03)
Leeds, Yorkshire,
Died 2 November 2000 (aged 77)
Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk,
Other names Margaret Susan Cheshire
Known for Sue Ryder Foundation
Park in Warsaw named after Sue Ryder
Park in Gdynia named after Sue Ryder

Margaret Susan Cheshire, Baroness Ryder of Warsaw and Baroness Cheshire, CMG, OBE (3 July 1923 – 2 November 2000), best-known as Sue Ryder, was a British peeress who worked with Special Operations Executive in the Second World War and afterwards led many charitable organizations, notably the charity named in her honour.


Early life

Sue Ryder, as she was known, was born in Leeds, Yorkshire, and educated at Benenden School. When World War II broke out, she volunteered to the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry, even though she was only 16, and she was soon assigned to the Polish section of the Special Operations Executive. In this role, Ryder's job was to drive SOE agents to the airfield where they would take off for their assignments in Europe. In 1943 she was posted to Tunisia and later to Italy.


After the war was over, Ryder volunteered to do relief work, including some in Poland. She was appointed OBE in 1957. In 1959 Ryder married Group Captain Leonard Cheshire VC (later Lord Cheshire), the founder of the major UK charity Leonard Cheshire Disability. She and her husband were one of the few couples to both hold titles in their own right. Both Cheshire and Ryder were converts to Roman Catholicism. They received a joint Variety Club Humanitarian Award in 1975. Ryder was appointed CMG in 1976.

Charitable work

In 1953 she established the Sue Ryder Foundation (later renamed Sue Ryder Care[1]) at Cavendish, Suffolk, to provide help for the elderly and disabled. It operates more than 80 homes worldwide, has about 580 high street charity shops and more than 24,000 volunteers.

In 1998 she retired as a trustee and severed her links with Sue Ryder Care following a dispute with the other trustees, who she accused of betraying her guiding principles.[2]

In February 2000 Sue Ryder set up the Bouverie Foundation (since renamed The Lady Ryder of Warsaw Memorial Trust[3]) to continue charitable work according to her ideals. Its work includes providing accommodation in Lourdes for handicapped pilgrims and their carers.

Later life

Ryder was raised to the Peerage in 1979 and was created Baroness Ryder of Warsaw, of Warsaw in Poland and of Cavendish in the County of Suffolk. In the House of Lords, Ryder was involved in debates about defence, drug abuse, housing, medical services, unemployment and race relations.

Ryder continued to speak for Poland and when the Communist rule there collapsed, she arranged lorries of medical and food aid. In 1989 Ryder made an appeal through The Daily Telegraph to obtain more funding and collected £40,000 through the Lady Ryder of Warsaw Appeals Fund.


Lady Ryder of Warsaw died in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, in 2000 aged 77.


  • Ryder wrote two autobiographies:
  • And the Morrow is Theirs (1975)
  • Child of My Love (1986).


External links

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