Miriam MOSES OBE (1884-1965)

Miriam Moses This Is Your Life

programme details...

  • Edition No: 77
  • Subject No: 77
  • Broadcast live: Mon 15 Dec 1958
  • Broadcast time: 7.30-8.05pm
  • Venue: BBC Television Theatre
  • Series: 4
  • Edition: 12

on the guest list...

  • Mrs Haimes - niece - in audience
  • Sir Basil Henriques
  • Maude Wood
  • Ada Stern
  • Beatie Morris
  • Sadie Westbury
  • Elizabeth Tesler
  • Canon Thomas Fitzgerald
  • Sheila Dunstan
  • Sheila Fox
  • Alex Nurse
  • Georgia Brown
  • Esther Yianni - adopted daughter
  • Frank Austin
  • Filmed tributes:
  • Leah Wainman
  • Frances Goldstein

production team...

  • Researchers: Ken Smith, Liam Nolan
  • Writers: Ken Smith, Liam Nolan
  • Director: Vere Lorrimer
  • Producer: T Leslie Jackson
related pages...

A Charitable Life

the unsung heroes

This Is Your Life

Radio Times previews the ninth series


Anna Perceval, trustee of The Bradians Trust, discusses Miriam Moses and her appearance on This Is Your Life in an exclusive interview recorded in November 2023

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Photographs of Miriam Moses This Is Your Life

East London Advertiser article: Miriam Moses This Is Your Life

East London Advertiser 19 December 1958


After feeling stunned, Miss Moses enjoyed her life story on TV

MISS MIRIAM MOSES, MBE, JP, thoroughly enjoyed her unexpected ordeal as the subject of Monday's BBC television programme, This Is Your Life, although a glistening tear came occasionally as friends of years gone by walked suddenly upon the stage to recall incidents in her full and varied life.

Two girls who were former members of the Brady Girl's Club came all the way from America to take part in the programme. A cheque for £6000, the first instalment to a new wing to be named after her, and added to the club was handed to her as the programme ended. It was a really wonderful Stepney evening on television. What did Miss Moses think of it all. "I was deeply touched," she told me. "It was a grand finale to the work I have enjoyed doing for so many years." Miss Moses had several times brought her handkerchief to her eye. "A tear did come sometimes," she confessed, "otherwise I thoroughly enjoyed it." Miss Moses' niece had written for tickets to see the show, and asked her aunt to go with her. Miss Moses did, and to her surprise was asked by Eamonn Andrews to go upon the stage. "I was stunned at first," she said.

When she was Mayor

Sir Basil Henriques, for so many years the warden of the Bernhard Baron Settlement and former chairman of the East End Juvenile Court, came forward to greet her and recall those aspects of her life which he had known. He spoke of the year when she made history by being Stepney's first woman Mayor. "She was a very good Mayor," he said. "In those days we used to shout abuse at each other on the council. She would call us to order. We would be quiet for two minutes and then it would begin all over again". Sir Basil then spoke of her work as a JP on the East London Juvenile Court. "She saved many girls from going to approved schools," he said.

40 years back

Mrs Maude Wood came forward to recall another chapter in the life of Miss Moses – when she was a V.A.D. nurse during the First World War at Mile End Hospital nursing wounded soldiers. At that time Miss Moses lived at Stamford Hill and Maude looked after the home whilst Miss Moses was on duty. They had not seen each other for 40 years. Maude was 17 when, in 1909, she entered the service of Miss Moses. "I was scared at first, but I soon knew I was going to be very happy," she said.

First Brady girl

Leah Yankelowitz, the first of the 40,000 girls to become Brady members in nearly 30 years, could not be in the studio as she was in Sydney, Australia, but she was televised from there. She took the part of "The Spirit of Brady" at the coming of age celebrations eight years ago. On the stage to talk of days at the Brady Club and Settlement was Mrs E Tessler, who as Miss Benjamin, was club leader for 15 years, and recalled Miss Moses' work in A.R.P. during the war, especially when the rocket caused the loss of many lives at Hughes' Mansions.

From America

Two old Brady girls came from America for the broadcast. One was Sheila Segal, now Mrs Fox. Whilst at Brady, she married an American soldier, and Miss Moses' wedding gift was the wedding party. They now have a restaurant in Louisiana. Also from America came stage artiste Georgia Brown who gave up cabaret engagements to make the trip. In contrast to these visitors from afar there were others from Stepney - Canon Fitzgerald, of SS Mary and Michael's Church, and Mr Alex Nurse, head of the Robert Montefiore School, to praise Miss Moses for her interest in and work for young people.

Man with £6,000 cheque

Last to appear in this cavalcade of those who have known Miriam Moses and her work was Mr Frank Austin, JP. Known in the world of business as head of the Austinsuite furniture firm. He is chairman of the Brady Executive and he said that the £30,000 extensions to the Brady Club would include a new building to be called the Miriam Moses Wing. The business man who was himself once a Brady boy then handed to Miss Moses a cheque for £6,000, the first instalment of donations from friends of Miss Moses and Brady towards the extension scheme.

Photo – Miss Miriam Moses OBE JP, who retired this year after 30 years at the helm of the Brady Girl's Club. Her social work began before the First World War, helping with penny dinners, when many Stepney people knew what real hunger meant.

Unknown source article: Miriam Moses This Is Your Life

Unknown source and date


TWO old friends met on Monday evening one - from Highams Park and one from Stepney. But their meeting place was under the fierce glare of cameras in a BBC television studio.

Both were appearing in the television programme, This Is Your Life.

The woman from Stepney was Miss Miriam Moses, who was presented with a book of her life story by Eamonn Andrews. Miss Moses is now retiring from her post as warden of Brady Girls' Club and Settlement, Stepney.

The Highams Park woman, Mrs Sadie Westbury, of 28 Clivedon Road, appeared with her mother, Mrs Stern, and her sister, Mrs Beattie Morris.

The three women had known Miss Moses during the war years when the Settlement practically became their home.

As soon as the programme on Monday evening was over the three women disappeared behind the scenes to have a chat about the old days.

Unknown source article: Miriam Moses This Is Your Life

Unknown source and date



A career dedicated to social welfare work, particularly at the Brady Clubs and Settlement, Whitechapel, ended last week with the death of Miss Miriam Moses. She was in her 80th year.

Her life of public service began when, as a young woman in Stepney, where she was born, she became increasingly interested in the activities of her father, Mr Mark Moses. He was a magistrate, a Borough Councillor, synagogue worker (treasurer of the Federation and a United Synagogue warden), and L.C.C. schools representative. It was in the schools that his daughter started her own activity, by distributing soup and bread among pupils and becoming one of the managers of the Hanbury Street School and then their chairman.

Her interest in children's welfare extended from Hanbury Street to several other schools and their care committees, and in addition she was, among other things, honorary secretary of the Stepney committee of the Children's Country Holidays Fund and chairman of the Whitechapel Tuberculosis Aftercare Committee.

On her father's death in 1921 Miriam Moses succeeded him on the Stepney Borough Council and, about that time, was made a J.P. For many years she was a member of the Whitechapel and Stepney Board of Guardians, and in this as in most of her work she was not merely an office holder to whom people came for help or advice but a visitor to their homes who kept in touch with them.

At Brady Club

Her activity among Jewish organisations grew steadily. She helped to run the Jewish Children's Holiday Home at Herne Bay, became a member of the welfare and visitation committees of the United Synagogue, and was among the founders of the Home of Rest and on the committee of the Home for Aged Jews.

The Brady Girls' Club, which Miss Moses started in 1927, was a development of her work at the Buxton Street School. She was the club leader till 1949. She retired then from office but remained warden of the Brady Settlement. Even on giving up the wardenship in 1958 she continued her association with this busy East End centre as vice-chairman. The new £30,000 extension to the settlement includes a section named the Miriam Moses Wing.

Her working day as warden generally began at 8.30 a.m. and ended 15 hours later. She would be concerned with the mothers club, the play centre for infants, with old people's pension worries and a host of other family matters, besides all the questions arising out of running the girls' club. With the war years came special problems. Crises like the bombing of nearby flats, in which many people were killed or injured, brought out her remarkable powers of control organisation - she acted as A.R.P. post warden at the Club's air raid shelter.

Miss Moses's work and influence were demonstrated on television when, in 1958, she found herself the subject of Eamonn Andrews' This Is Your Life and was confronted with old club girls she had mothered.

Her settlement work was not the only aspect of her career that was then recalled. There was, for instance, her civic activity. Miss Moses made history in Stepney in 1931 by being the Borough's woman mayor. And in Anglo-Jewry, too; this made history: she was this country's first Jewish woman mayor. She served on a number of the Council's health and welfare committees and for several years was an alderman. In 1945 she was appointed O.B.E. for social services in Stepney.

Most of her work as a magistrate was carried out at the East London Juvenile Court at Toynbee Hall from which she retired in 1952.

The Henrietta Szold Award, for outstanding work in social service, was presented by the British Youth Aliyah Committee to Miss Moses in 1963.

A few of the offices she held were: chairman, Whitechapel Liberal Association; president, Union of Young Israel Societies; life vice president, League of Jewish Women; chairman, women's campaign committees of the Jewish Welfare Board and the Central British Fund; hon. secretary, Committee for Training Jewish Social Workers; and hon. vice-president of the Mizrachi Women's Organisation.

To the New Synagogue, N16, of which her father had been warden, Miss Moses gave many services: she was chairman of the ladies' guild and representative at the Board of Deputies - when she was elected a Deputy in 1931 she was the first woman chosen to represent a constituent of the United Synagogue. A campaign for the right of women seat holders to vote in United Synagogue elections was waged for many years by Miss Moses, and this right was eventually granted in 1954.

Series 4 subjects

Jo Capka | Jimmy Edwards | Andrew Milbourne | Bella Burge | Tommy Steele | Ronald Shiner | James Edward Wood
Margaret Rowena Jones | John Griffiths | Freddy Bloom | Bransby Williams | Miriam Moses | Elsie Mullock | John Vidler
Florence Desmond | Noel Duckworth | Alfred Daniel Wintle | Ted Heath | Andrew Macdonald | Harriet Cohen
Willie Hall | Reginald Blanchford | Kenneth More | Hugh Llewelyn Glyn Hughes | Miriam Jowett | Ted Willis
Alfred Southon | Tiger Sarll | Mary Ward | Roy Gill | Stirling Moss | Ethel Goldsack | Tommy Trinder