Christians. Socialists. Activists. Who were the Mcmillan sisters?
Today we celebrate two Virago women.
The Mcmillan sisters, Rachel and Margaret Mcmillan, were christian socialists and educationalists who campaigned for the improvement of education and health for poor children in the early 1900s.
By 1910 they had relocated from Bow to Deptford (one of London’s more deprived areas) The clinic provided dental and medical care. The children were generally debilitated and 80% had rickets. In 1911 the clinic moved to Evelyn House, a small nursery and baby camo was establish…shed in the garden. Within a few weeks of opening its doors, the school had 30 children.
By the start of WW1 the sisters approached the government, offering to take the children of married women working in the munition factories.
For this their school received a grant 7D (3p in today’s currency) for each child.
Prior to the opening of this school children were often left to play and roam the streets or tenement housing.
The school was established initially for only 6 children but by the summer 29 children lived at the school.
Rachel died on her birthday 25th March 1917 and the school was renamed in her honour. Her sister continued to fight for better childrens education and health until her death in 1931.
Clink the link below to see exactly how the sisters revolutionised childcare.
The McMillan sisters are commemorated with a blue plaque in Bromley. If you’re looking for things to do in the area why not check it out yourself! The address is
51 Tweedy Road, Bromley, BR1 3NH
By Azana Francis