Polly Rose Josephine Corrigan 30th May 1974 to 10th December 2019

Dr Polly Corrigan died suddenly aged 45 in 2019. At the time of her death: she was a PhD candidate and a teaching assistant at Kings College London Department of War Studies (the doctorate awarded posthumously in February 2022) . She was an active and respected member of KCL Intelligence and Security Group and a founder member of WIN (Women in Intelligence Network), launched six months after her death. Her lecture on gender and espionage entitled The Lady Vanishes identified a gender imbalance in both espionage itself and in research in the area. And The Polly Corrigan Book Prize, set up jointly by KISG and WIN in her memory, was set up in her memory to celebrate female scholarship within the realm of intelligence and security -with the 2022 winner announced in September 2022 at a joyous event at Kings College Department of War Studies. Polly contributed a chapter (Walking the razor’s edge: the origins of Soviet censorship) to Illiberal Liberation, The Fate of The Bolshevik Revolution, published shortly after her death. She spoke about this in an interview with the Canadian education technology company, IB Historicus. She shared tips on using newly opened Soviet archives, based on her visits to Kyev and Georgia.

Biog: Polly grew up in Camden Town, attended Primrose Hill Primary School, Haverstock School, Liverpool University studying history and did an MA on Ukraine dissidents at London University and spent a year in Moscow teaching English in 1993. In her twenties, she worked briefly for the Guardian, as a writer at a dot.com company and became the Telegraph’s first online features editor. She married Rhys Morgan in 2005, living in Walthamstow with their two children, Martha and Rosie, (13 and 9 at the time of her death) and more recently two cats Francoise and Claude. She reappraised her life after Rosie’s birth and began the PhD, The Soviet Security Service and its Treatment of Novelists, aged 41 in 2015. Polly engaged fully in combatting cancer. She tweeted (@PollyCorrigan) about her first journal article the day before she died. The following morning, she talked contentedly about living longer and seeing her beloved daughters continue their wonderful lives, sadly not to be.

This website remains a work in progress and any and all contributions gratefully received.

Clockwise: Polly Rhys and Martha having a picnic, with her co-writers planning Illiberal Liberation, and at a gallery with Rosie. ADD MORE

Polly had received this name-tag (left on her desk at KCL) for a conference on Intelligence and Major Political Change in Talinn that she was due to address in November 2019, 11 days before her death. She’d given up on that opportunity presumably just weeks beforehand. Until the end, she looked forward to resuming this work as part of a full and long-lasting life.