Mary Agard Pocock


Pocock started her studies in botany at the University of London and obtained a BSc in 1908. In 1913 she returned to South Africa, and four years later returned to England to study at Cambridge. However, at this point Cambridge did not award degrees to women, so she obtained her Honours degree in 1921 from the University of London. She then returned to South Africa where she lectured at various universities and carried out research. She also attended numerous international congresses. She spent some time in the USA doing research on algae.

During World War Two she was a member of the South African Women’s Auxiliary Service. Pocock was part of the South African Association of University Women, and was the first president of the Grahamstown branch.

(Source: E.J. Verwey (ed), New dictionary of South African biography. Pretoria, 1995, pp. 216-217)