Monday, 26 May 2014

Inspirational Women who died in the service of their country during WW1

While researching women who nursed in France during WW1 I found several who worked in the Wimereux area.  

I am certain there must be many women from other countries as well as the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, Canada and South Africa who died in the service of their country.

Below are those who died during WW1 and are buried in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cemetery in Wimereux, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France:


CLAYTON-SWAN, Mildred - Army Service Corps (Canteen) – Civilian

COLE, Emily Helena – Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service – Sister

DUNCAN, Isabella Lucy May – Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Nursing Service – Sister

EVANS, Margaret Ellen – Voluntary Aid Detachment

HOCKEY, Jessie Olive – Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Nursing Service – Reserve Sister – from South Africa (Cape Province)

KING, Nita Madeline – Voluntary Aid Detachment

LANCASTER, Alice Hilda – Nurse – Special Military Probationary attached to the Territorial Force Nursing Service*

PICKARD, Mrs Rubie (aged 67) – Voluntary Aid Detachment – voluntary worker in the Newspaper Department for supplying daily newspapers to British Hospitals

ST. JOHN, Barbara Esmee – Voluntary Aid Detachment

TREVELYAN, Armorel Kitty – Civilian in the Army Service Corps Canteen

WHITELY, Anna E. – Canadian Army Nursing Service – Nursing Sister from Peterborough, Ontario

WILSON, Christina Murdoch – Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Nursing Service – Sister

WILSON, Myrtle Elizabeth – Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Nursing Service – Sister – Australian from Melbourne

* The Territorial Force Nursing Service was set up in 1909 as a sister organisation to the Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Nursing Service in order to supplement the service during emergencies.  All members worked as nurses in civilian life.  In 1920 the service was re-named The Territorial Army Nursing Service (TANS) when the Territorial Force was re-named The Territorial Army.  The Territorial Force Nursing Service became the Territorial Army Branch of Queen Alexandra’s Royal Army Nursing Corps.   Source: and

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

A Petition regarding commemorating Nurse Edith Cavell

I noticed today that there is a petition organised by a relative of Edith Cavell's - details here:

in case anyone would like to sign.

Edith was one of my heroines as I grew up.  We studied her story in primary school along with the story of Grace Darling - another of my heroines - and Florence Nightingale, Elizabeth Fry and Elizabeth Garrett Anderson.

I have since read an excellent biography about Edith Cavell.

Saturday, 3 May 2014

Lena Ashwell (1872 - 1957) - WW1 Entertainer and Entrepreneur

I am very grateful to Mrs Dorothy Clare, who is very supportive of my project.  Mrs Clare reminded me that I have not yet mentioned Kate Adie's book about women during the First World War - "Fighting on the Home Front" which is published by Hodder and Stoughton.   I have long been an admirer of Kate's work - both as a war correspondent and as a writer.

Mrs Clare sent me a cutting from "The Daily Telegraph" featuring a photograph of Lena Ashwell who is featured in Kate Adie's book.

Lena was a feminist who organised cultural entertainment for the troops by taking lectures, string quartets, operatic works and a wide variety of drama - including Shakespeare and Sheridan - to as close to the Front as possible in all manner of weathers.

Lena's story sounds fascinating.  I shall add her to the list and find out more.

From:  The Daily Telegraph Weekend - Saturday, April 12, 2014

Photo:  Lena Ashwell in the role of Edward V in a production of Shakespeare's "Richard III".  Google Images