Family joins commemoration as plaque unveiled to care pioneer

She is one of Leeds’s most famous daughters, who dedicated her life to the relief of suffering, and at the weekend her family gathered to remember her work.

Sue Ryder’s daughter and son, Elizabeth and Jeromy Cheshire, were at her childhood home in Scarcroft, Leeds, on Saturday for the unveiling of an historic blue plaque to commemorate her work.

Her legacy lives on today in the work of the Sue Ryder Foundation, which by the 1990s ran 80 homes in a dozen countries, with 28 in Poland and 22 in the former Yugoslavia. In Leeds her work is carried on by Wheatfields Hospice in Wood Lane, Headingley, which is run by the foundation.

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On Saturday Leeds Civic Trust, unveiled one of its historic blue plaques at her childhood home, Scarcroft Grange, in Wetherby Road, Scarcroft.

The chairman of Leeds Civic Trust, Lynda Kitching, said: “Sue Ryder was a remarkable woman who devoted her life to the relief of suffering. Leeds Civic Trust is delighted to be able commemorate her by placing one of our plaques on her childhood home at Scarcroft.”

Lady Ryder was born in Leeds in 1924 and served with the Special Operations Executive during the Second World War which promoted and coordinated resistance.

During the post-war reconstruction in Europe, she worked as a volunteer among displaced refugees and on her return to England, she established the Sue Ryder Foundation for the sick and disabled of all ages.

She married Leonard Cheshire in 1959 and was awarded the OBE in 1957. In 1979 she was made a life peer.