Sunday, 13 January 2019

With grateful thanks to the Revd Stuart Jermy, Vicar of St. Martin's of Tours, St. Martins and St. Johns, Weston Rhyn for finding the grave of Eugenie Elizabeth Teggin and taking these photographs.

Staff Nurse EUGENIE ELIZABETH TEGGIN, No. 2/Res/T66 of the Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service. Staff Nurse Eugenie Teggin died on 25th December 1918, at the age of 28. Her parents were John and Mary A. Teggin, nee Wollam, of The Willows, St. Martin's Moors, Oswestry, Salop.  Eugenie had a brother called Harry, b. 1888 and a sister called Ada, b. 1883.  Eugenie was buried in St. Martin’s Churchyard, St. Martin’s Shropshire, UK -  Grave Reference: In old ground North East of Church. 

Wherever possible I try to contact the churches where WW1 women are buried and I ask for them to be remembered in prayers.  

I am extremely grateful to everyone who helps me with my commemorative project.

Photographs of the grave of Louisa Ellen Speedy, a WW1 New Zealand Volunteer Worker

With grateful thanks to Maria Coates for these wonderful photographs taken during a pilgrimage to Brookwood Cemetery two years ago -

Remembering Volunteer MISS LOUISA ELLEN SPEEDY, a New Zealand Volunteer Worker, New Zealand Reinforcements. Louisa died of influenza and  pneumonia on 11th January 1919 at the age of 47. Her parents were Graham and Emily J. Speedy. Louisa was buried in Brookwood Military cemetery, Surey, UK - Grave Reference: II. H. 1B.

Saturday, 12 January 2019

Ida Thekla Bowser, Fellow of the Institute of Journalists (1874 – 1919) – British writer and journalist

Ida Thekla Bowser was born in London in 1874. Her parents were John Carrick Bowser and his wife, Elizabeth, nee Mannell, of London. Thekla’s elder sister Elsie was Matron of a Nursing Home in Putney, London, UK.

Thekla became a writer and journalist, writing under the name of Thekla Bowser. She worked for “The Queen” magazine and had articles published in national newspapers.  Thekla became a member of The Order of St. John of Jerusalem in England in around 1903. When war broke out, she served as an Honorary  nurse initially in England and then, after volunteering for overseas service, served in France as Commandant of a First Aid Post at a railway station.

Thjekla became ill and returned to Britain where she underwent an operation.  She died on 11th January 1919 and was buried in Hastings Cemetery, Sussex, UK - Grave Reference: Screen Wall. E. M. B1.

Thekla’s book “Britain’s Civilian Volunteers: Authorised story of British Voluntary Aid Detachment Work in the Great War” (Moffat, Yard & Co., New York,, 1917) is available to read as a down-load on Archive:

“Hastings and St Leonards Observer” 18 January 1919

Photograph - photographer unknown - from Agnes Conway's collection for the nation of the Women of the First World War in the Imperial War Museum, London

Sunday, 6 January 2019

Marjorie Lilian Purfoy Fitzgerald (1898 - 1919) - Driver with the Women's Royal Air Force.

A very special ceremony of Remembrance was held on Friday, 4th January 2019, at the graveside of Member MARJORIE Lilian Purfoy FITZGERALD, No. 16242, a Driver with the Women's Royal Air Force. Marjorie died on 4th January 1919 at the age of 20. She was buried in Goudehurst Cemetery, Kent, UK - Grave Reference: A. 16. 20.
The ceremony was organised by Goudhurst & Kilndown Local History Society and was attended by a representative of the WRAF Branch of the Royal Air Force Association (RAFA), Patricia Welsh. Patricia attended in uniform, laid a wreath and read out a poem written by Verena Bobbie Smith, a former Member of the Women’s Royal Air Force (WRAF), now an English teacher who raises funds for the Royal Air Force Association and other worthy causes. The poem was written in 2014 for the wrafsontour14 relay, at the National Memorial Arboretum (NMA) and has been adopted as the prayer of the WRAF Branch of the Royal Air Force Association.
Marjorie Fitzgerald was born on 11th April 1898 in Crowthorne, Berkshire. Her parents were Reverend Henry Purefoy Fitzgerald, an Anglican Minister and his wife, Lilian Mary, nee Langton. Marjorie had three siblings. The family moved to Goudehurst in Kent where they had a house called “Lidwells” which they converted into a convalescent hospital during WW1. Marjorie is the only First World War Female casualty commemorated on the WW1 Memorial in Goudehurst. Additional information supplied by Gill Joye, Archivist, Goudhurst & Kilndown Local History Society. 
The National Memorial Arboretum is Britain's year-round national site of Remembrance and is in Alrewas, near Lichfield, Staffordshire, United Kingdom.
Photo of Marjorie's grave kindly supplied by Patricia Welsh who put me in touch with Verena Bobbie Smith who kindly gave me permission to share her poem with you.

Thursday, 27 December 2018

Maud Adeline Cloudesley Brereton (1872 - 1946) – British health consultant

During the First World War, Maud worked for the Ministry of Food, helping to keep the nation healty and well nourished in spite of food shortages.

Born Maud Adeline Ford in St. John’s Wood, London in 1872, Maud’s parents were Matthew Ford, a land steward, and his wife Ellen Catherine Ford.  Maud had the following siblings: Henriette E., b. 1877, William Henry, b. 1878, Charles Reginald, b. 1880, Frances Elsie, b. 1883, Algernon Leslie, b. 1885 and Hilda Mary, b. 1886.

Educated at Hockerill College, Bishop’s Stortford, Maud became a teacher.  In 1893, she was the first headmistress of St. Andrew’s Girls’ School in Willesden.  After two other teaching posts, Maud joined the staff of Homerton Training College, Cambridge as Bursar.  There, she married Charles Horobin, who was Principal of the College, and they had a daughter and two sons.  Charles died suddenly in 1902 and Maud then became Acting Principal of the College. 

On 12th November 1904, Maud married Cloudesley Shovell Henry Brereton. They had two sons and a daughter. Cloudesley was a graduate of Cambridge, Paris and Lille, an inspector of schools, an author and a lecturer at home and overseas. Maud and he had two sons.

In 1911, a group of British gas managers made advertising history by establishing a collective organization dedicated to the promotion of a single industry. The British Commercial Gas Association directed its campaigns at various consumer groups, including builders, architects, and tenants. To present the "woman’s point of view" to their female customers, the B.C.G.A. executive hired Maud as editor-in-chief of thei monthly publicity magazines.

Maud anticipated that gas technology, in the form of cookers, water boilers, and gas fires, had the potential to raise housing and nutrition standards for all classes. She felt that gas appliances had the potention to help the middle classes in their struggle to keep up appearances and reduce the need for live-in staff.  She also promoted modern technology to improve the health of the population. Maud maintained that technology made possible a "domestic revolution," by significantly reducing the time and effort that women, as both servants and housewives, expended on housework. Time saved on housekeeping might be directed to more profitable and gratifying pursuits, including paid employment or voluntary service, extending women’s influence beyond the private sphere.

Maud, who was a close friend of Marie Stopes and supported Marie’s birth control ideas, became a journalist and edited “Mothers’ Magazine”, as well as “Gas Journal”.    She became an expert in child welfare and worked as a consultant.  During the First World War, Maud worked for the Ministry of Food, helping to keep the nation healty and well nourished in spite of food shortages.

After the War, Maud wrote “The Future of our Disabled Sailors and Soldiers: A Description of the Training and Instruction Classes at Queen Mary’s Convalescent Hospitals, Roehampton and at Queen Mary’s Workshops, Pavilion Militayry Hospital, Brighton, for Sailors and Soldiers who have lost their Limbs in the War”.

The only female Honorary Fellow of the Institution of Sanitary Engineers, Maud was also a member of the Royal Institute of Public Health, and Chair of the Association for Education in Industry and Commerce. She was decorated Officier d’Académie by the French Government for international services to public health.

Maud wrote several books, among them “The Mother’s Companion”, “Clean Kitchen Management: The Preservation of Food” and “Cooking by Gas”.

Maud died on 16th April 1946 in Norfolk.

Her daughter, Norah Maud Horobin, followed her mother’s early calling as headmistress of two girls’ High Schools before ending her career as headmistress of Roedean School in Brighton from 1947-61.

Friday, 21 December 2018

Olga Alexandrovna (1882 - 1960) - Russian Artist and Nurse in WW1

With thanks to Historian Debbie Cameron for telling me about Olga.

 Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna of Russia (Russian: О́льга Алекса́ндровна; 13 June [O.S. 1 June] 1882 – 24 November 1960) was born ‘in the purple’ (i.e., during her father's reign) on 13 June 1882 in the Peterhof Palace, west of central Saint Petersburg. She was the youngest child of six children born to Emperor Alexander III of Russia and his wife Empress Marie, formerly Princess Dagmar of Denmark, daughter of King Christian IX of Denmark.

Olga was raised at the Gatchina Palace outside Saint Petersburg. Her relationship with her mother was strained and distant from childhood, Her mother, advised by her sister, Alexandra, Princess of Wales, placed Olga in the care of an English nanny, Elizabeth Franklin.  Olga and her siblings were taught at home by private tutors.  She studied art with art teachers K.V. Lemokha, V.E. Makovsky, S.Yu. Zhukovsky and S.A. Vinogradova. The Imperial Russian children had a large extended family and often visited the families of their British, Danish, and Greek cousins.

Tsar Alexander III died when Olga was 12, and her brother Nicholas became emperor. Olga’s elder brother Nicholas became Tsar Nicholas II of Russia. King George V of Britain and Tsar Nicholas II of Russia were first cousins.  Their mothers, Alexandra and Dagmar, were sisters, which explains why George and Nicholas looked so much alike. They were the daughters of King Christian IX of Denmark and his wife Queen Louise, who was of German heritage. Princess Alexandra married Queen Victoria’s eldest son, Edward, who became King Edward VII and George was their son. Princess Dagmar married Tsar Alexander’s son, who became Tsar Alexander III and Nicholas was their son.

In 1901, she married Duke Peter Alexandrovich of Oldenburg. The couple led separate lives and their marriage was eventually annulled by the Emperor in October 1916. The following month, Olga married cavalry officer Nikolai Kulikovsky, with whom she had fallen in love several years before.

During the First World War, the Grand Duchess served as an army nurse at the Russian Front and was awarded a medal for personal gallantry. At her own expense, Olga opened the First Evgenyivsky Hospital, in which she worked as a nurse. Even at the Front, the Grand Duchess devoted her free time to her watercolours, often painting scenes in the hospital and portraits of officers.

At the downfall of the Romanovs during the Russian Revolution of 1917, Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna, Grand Duke Alexander Mikhailovich (Sandro), and Grand Duchess Olga traveled to the Crimea where they were joined by Olga’s sister (Sandro’s wife) Grand Duchess Xenia. They lived at Sandro’s estate, Ai-Todor, where they were placed under house arrest by the local Bolshevik forces. On August 12, 1917, Olga’s first child Tikhon Nikolaevich was born during their house arrest.

Olga’s brother, brother, Tsar Nicholas II and his family were shot by revolutionaries.

Olga escaped from Russia with her second husband and their two sons in February 1920. They joined Olga’s mother, the Dowager Empress, in Denmark. In exile, Olga acted as companion and secretary to her mother, and was often sought out by Romanov impostors who claimed to be her dead relatives. She met Anna Anderson, the best-known impostor, in Berlin in 1925. After the Dowager Empress's death in 1928, Olga and her husband purchased a dairy farm in Ballerup, near Copenhagen. She led a simple life - raising her two sons, working on the farm and painting. During her lifetime, she painted over 2,000 works of art, which provided extra income for both her family and the charitable causes she supported.

In 1948, the Soviet Union notified the Danish Government that Olga was accused of conspiracy against the Soviet Government.  Feeling threatened by Joseph Stalin's regime, Olga emigrated with her immediate family to a farm in Ontario, Canada. Later Olga and her husband moved to a bungalow near Cooksville, Ontario. Colonel Kulikovsky died there in 1958. Two years later, as her health deteriorated, Olga moved with devoted friends to a small apartment in East Toronto. She died aged 78, seven months after her older sister, Xenia.

I am trying to find paintings done by Olga during her time at the Front in WW1, so that I can add hr to my list of Artists of the First World War.

Self portrait.

Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Sarah MacNaughtan (1864 - 1916) WW1 heroine remembered

First World War volunteer worker Sarah Broom MacNaughtan, a writer, is being remembered by the Widnes Wild Women's Ice HockeyTeam, after the Widnes Planet Ice Rink's Poet in Residence, Lucy London, suggested naming the Team's Match Day Awards in Sarah's honour.

Photos by P. Breeze show (left) Lucy presenting the MVP (Most Valued Player) Award to Widnes player Victoria Venables, and (below) Amy Moran of the Whitley Bay Squaws Ice Hockey Team on 9th December 2018, Planet Ice, Widnes.

To find out more about Sarah MacNaughtan see… To find out more about Widnes Wild Women's Ice Hockey Team see and to find out more about Whitley Bay Squaws Ice Hockey Team, see