Queer Places:
St Peter's Churchyard Frimley, Surrey Heath Borough, Surrey, England

Mary Emma "Nina" Struth Smyth (June 2, 1824 – January 12, 1891) was Ethel Smyth’s mother. Smyth's autobiography discussed her own sexual affairs with women in coded terms but openly described how her mother, Emma Struth Smyth, and the children’s author Juliana Ewing “were attracted to each other at once and eventually became great friends”.

Mary Emma Struth was born in Marylebone on June 2, 1824, the daughter of Charles Struth and his wife Emma Louise Stracey. She moved to Paris as a small child where she was educated. She was multi-lingual and was fluent in French, German, Spanish Italian and Hindustani.

She was living with an uncle in Rackheath in Susses when she met and married John Hall Smyth in 1849.

They moved to Bengal soon after their marriage and their eldest three children were born there. They were living at Bourne House in Bexley (Kent) when their fourth child Ethel Mary was born in 1858 and Sidcup in Kent in 1861. In 1867 they moved to Frimhurst in Frimley Green. This is where she lived until the end of her life.

Her eldest son John died aged 21 in 1874 and was buried at St Peter’s. It is said she never coped with the death of her son.

According to biographies of her daughter Dame Ethel Smyth’s life her mother made friends locally with both the Longman family (publishers) and Empress Eugenie when they were at Farnborough Hill.

Emma died at Frimhurst on January 12, 1891, and was buried at St Peter’s.

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