Marjorie Rackstraw OBE (1888–1981)
Educationist, social worker and volunteer.
Marjorie Rackstraw dedicated her life to serving others. She started her career in Edinburgh as warden of the Students Hall of Residence at Moray House. After a spell in the Soviet Union as a relief worker during the Great Famine, she returned to Edinburgh to take on the post of Warden of Masson Hall. Here she worked as Adviser for Women Students, counselling on matters such as accommodation, education and future careers. She left an indelible legacy, remaining in contact with many of her students and remained connected with the Masson Hall Association.
Marjorie’s passion for volunteering took her to London where she supported projects for the elderly, war refugees and homeless. She relocated to Germany to join the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration and engaged in a range of community feeding projects.
After returning to Britain, Marjorie was elected as a Labour Councillor in Hampstead and established the Hampstead Old People’s Housing Trust.
Thirty years after leaving Masson Hall, Marjorie financially contributed to the building of a new hall of residence for students at the University of Edinburgh. She was awarded an OBE in the New Year’s Honours List in 1961.
You can find out more about Marjorie in the Marjorie Rackstraw Collection at the University of Edinburgh Archives.