Friday, 18 July 2014

Remembering the women who died during the First World War

Many of you will know that I am hoping to ensure remembrance for the many women who died in the service of their country or because of WW1 and who are buried in the many wonderful Commonwealth  War Graves Commission Cemeteries throughout the world from Australia to Zimbabwe.  To this end, I have been reading the CWGC List of Female WW1 Casualties.

This morning, I received an interesting e-mail from Michael Atrill who asked if I could post these two memorials.  He also asked what prompted me to include the posting I made on 18th February 2014 of the list of women buried in the Cemetery at Etaples, which included the name of Florence Grover who contracted Influenza and died while visiting her husband who was too ill to be moved.

I was in fact researching Betty Stephenson, the YMCA volunteer worker who was killed in France in an air raid on 30th May 1918 at the age of 21.  Betty is buried in the same Cemetery as Florence Victoria Grover.  It was Betty's duty to drive around relatives who travelled to France to visit men who were in hospital and too seriously ill to be transported back to Britain for treatment.  Betty's story is so very interesting that I had to find out more, which led me to the CWGC List.

Reading through the list, I was astonished to find so many women who died during WW1 in the service of their country in many roles - nurses, doctors and medical orderlies, but also telephonists, clerks, cooks, drivers, ambulance drivers, waitresses, entertainers and so on.   I could not remember one instance of anyone saying that they had visited the grave of a female relative in France or Belgium, so I decided to do something about it.  

I am currently contacting the Royal British Legion and other organisations, asking if the women can be remembered as well.  From time to time I also put a posting on this weblog.

Please join me in helping to get these women noticed so that truly we may say WE WILL REMEMBER THEM ALL.

The two remembrance plaques shown were supplied by Michael who asked me to include them in memory of Albert and Florence Grover who are buried in the same cemetery in France.   






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