Gertrude Louisa (Hill) Hurry was born in Reading. Her father Arthur Hill was a prominent Reading resident, a mayor and justice of the peace. Housing reform pioneer Octavia Hill was her aunt. In 1892, when Gertrude was 32, she married fellow Reading resident and physician Jamieson Hurry.

The Hurrys were involved in the early development of University College Reading, providing funding in 1913 to build a gymnasium, still extant on the University’s London Road campus. A newspaper report in May 1914 on the formal opening of the new gymnasium noted Gertrude Hurry’s leading role in the organisation of the event, recording “her wish was their law”.


1 Etruscan Bucchero ornament, possibly part of a portable brazier, depicting the face of a woman in relief; incised zig-zag lines depict a wig-like mass of hair. From Orvieto, Italy. c. 550BC. Donation of G Hurry. 1915/16 [Ure Museum 12.10.1].


1 A copy of University College Reading’s Review from 1916 noting Gertrude Hurry’s donation of the ornament to the College, and her husband’s donation of a papyrus plant grown on their property [on loan from University of Reading Library].

References/Further Reading

Reading Standard, 1914. Gymnasium for University College. [University History Collection Newspaper Cuttings 1909-15], 9 May.