Helen Brown Scott Lennox

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Helen Brown Scott Lennox, 1889?–1960

Church to Atheism

Helen Brown Scott Lennox was the daughter of a Church of Scotland Minister and is thought to have come from Lesmahagow. She attended Glasgow University at a time when very few woman were offered places and graduated with an honours degree in Classics. Her transition to atheism came after hearing Guy Aldred speak at one of his meetings. According to John Taylor Caldwell, on revealing her atheism to her father his only comment was “Is that all that’s wrong with you? I thought you were objecting to your stepmother.”

Quiet Propogandist

Helen first became active in the Anti-Parliamentary Communist Federation, when the group split she left with Guy Aldred and others becoming an active member in his newly formed United Socialist Movement.

Helen, a scholarly, self-sacrificing, modest, quiet and quite timid young woman was a reasonable poet and Strickland Press published a booklet of her poems “Swords into Ploughshares”. In spite of her degree, she never worked as anything above a junior typist and lived her life in the slums of Glasgow. She gave all she could in effort, time and financial support to the United Socialist Movement. One of her tasks was to chalk the streets with information about coming events, a common practice in those days, she would cover a large number of streets and a considerable distance with her chalk, her timid nature undaunted by the jibes and abuse hurled at her by onlookers. After world war 2, when the Americans started to set up bases in Britain, Helen was a familiar sight on the streets of Glasgow alone with her placard;


Bearing in mind her quiet timid nature, this must have required considerable courage. Helen Brown Scott Lennox died suddenly on April 27th. 1960 and was cremated in Maryhill Crematorium, a fellow comrade, Willie McDougal, saying the words of tribute.

Posted by John Couzin

The book Radical Glasgow

Radical Glasgow website