Mary Whitmore (1884-1974) was the first woman mayor of Ipswich. Her interest in politics began when she joined the suffragette movement at the formation of the Ipswich branch of the Women's Social and Political Union, (WSPU).
After joining the Labour party in 1924 she was elected as a councillor in 1930 and was very active in, and chaired a number of Public Health Committees. One of the founder members of the local Workers Education Association, (WEA) she was secretary from 1929-39.
A pioneer of women's suffrage, education and public services she was described by Doris Young , (a member of the National Labour Women's Advisory Committee), as a Socialist, Pacifist, and Internationalist. Whitmore was Mayor in 1949-50 and was awarded the MBE in 1951 for her contribution to Public Services.