May was the eldest daughter of the Rev Dr C M Grant, (who made his congregation ‘ a centre of religious and social influence’) and was educated at Dundee High School. In 1905 she went to India for six years under the auspices of the Church of Scotland on educational work. Returning to Dundee,
she was militant in the suffragette cause and was imprisoned in Perth in 1913. As a member of the Women’s Social and Political Union she disrupted meetings and wrote to the press; she’s quoted as having said she was ‘proud to be a gaolbird’ (a remarkable statement for a minister’s daughter) in the cause of women’s suffrage. Disguised in widow’s weeds and glasses, she managed to get into a meeting held by Ramsay MacDonald in the Gilfillan Memorial Hall, but was roughly dragged out by eight burly men – an onlooker describes this as “one of the strongest arguments for women’s suffrage that I have ever seen.”

From 1914 until 1916 when her father died she worked as a VAD nurse in Caird Hospital, Dundee. After that she was involved in war work in Gretna, Waltham Abbey and the Halifax area, then joined the women’s police service. She was a loyal follower of Lloyd George and a frequent speaker at political meetings, twice chosen as a Liberal candidate though never elected. In the 1930s she took up Christian Science and worked as a practitioner and healer until four years before her death. In World War 2 she did Civil Defence work in London.