‘Sadness and Gladness’

The New English Landscape


Elizabeth Lebas 31 May 1947 – 19 May 2014

A crowded chapel at Golders Green Crematorium recently paid tribute and said farewell to a much-loved friend and colleague, Elizabeth Lebas, who made a unique contribution to English social history, particularly in relation to public health, landscape and municipal politics. Elizabeth was born in France to communist-sympathising parents, but when she was five the family emigrated to Quebec, and she grew up in Montreal. In France her parents had run a left-wing youth hostel, and in Montreal her father, a marine engineer, set up a cinema-society, leading to Elizabeth’s lifelong interest in film, the subject of her most important research. The service concluded with a reading of Leo Mark’s ‘Code Poem for the French Resistance’, the opening lines of which were particularly poignant for her family and friends, for whom her personal and intellectual generosity knew few bounds:

‘The life that…

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