Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Conference: 99th Anniversary - Women's International League for Peace and Freedon

A Conference

to commemorate the 99th Anniversary of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom

will be held on Saturday, 26th April 2014


The Studio Augustine Centre
George VI Bridge

from 2 p.m. - 5 p.m.

For further information and to reserve a place, please e-mail scottishwilps@yahoo.co.uk

The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom

The League was formed in 1915, when 1,200 women from all walks of life and from many countries of the world met in The Hague with one common aim to find a means to  end the War to end all Wars and work towards a lasting peace. 

The League is still going strong, nearly a hundred years on and now more than ever has a very valuable role to play on the international stage.

To find out more about the work of The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom see their website - http://www.wilpfinternational.org/

Friday, 21 February 2014

CWGC - Lytham, Lancashire: Commemorating Alice Knowles of the Women's Royal Naval Service who died on 29th November 1918

If you’ve been following my weblog, you will know that I've recently been looking through the long list of women Casualties commemorated on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission list of 1914 - 1919 War Casualties. 

Cemeteries are listed alphabetically by the name of the cemetery, starting with Adelaide (West Terrace), South Australia and finishing with Harare (Pioneer) Cemetery, Zimbabwe. Under each cemetery are the names of those commemorated with brief details. 

Today, we visited Lytham (St. John the Divine) Churchyard in Lancashire, UK and found the grave of Alice Knowles, a Telephonist with the Women's Royal Naval Service, who died on 29th November 1918, aged 24.  In all, there are 15 WW1 graves in that cemetery. 
We decided to start a special web page to record the graves we manage to visit http://greatwargraves.blogspot.co.uk/ 

We are hoping you will have a look at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website and see if there is a cemetery near you that you could visit.   WE WILL REMEMBER THEM…

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

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

 In the previous post I mentioned the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, how they began and the sterling work they do today.

Just one of the many cemeteries that come under the authority of the Commission is Etaples Military Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France.   There, among the graves of military men, you will find the following graves of women of all ages and from all corners of the world who served during the First World War, who died or were killed in the line of duty and are buried in France:

Nursing Sister Annie Watson BAIN of the St. John’s Ambulance Brigade

Nursing Sister Dorothea Mary Lynette CREWDSON, of the Voluntary Aid Division

Nursing Sister Marjorie CROYSDALE, of the Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service

Matron Eveline Maud DAWSON, of the QAIMNS

Nursing Sister Matilda E. GREEN, Canadian Army Nursing Service

Nursing Sister Alice Violet HALLAM, of the VAD

Nursing Sister M. LOWE, of the Canadian Army Nursing Service

Doris Mary LUKER, described as a ‘worker’ of the Queen Mary’s Army Auxiliary Corps

Nursing Sister Katherine Maude Mary MACDONALD, of the Canadian Army Nursing Service

Mary Maria MATTHEWS, a worker of the Queen Mary’s Army Auxiliary Corps

Marguerite Maud McARTHUR, a civilian volunteer with the Young Men’s Christian Association

E.M. NISBET, a civilian volunteer with The Scottish Churches Huts

Blanche Amelia PAGE, a worker, of the Queen Mary’s Army Auxiliary Corps, attached to The Signals Section of the Royal Engineers

E.H. ROUTLEDGE, Assistant Forewoman of the Queen Mary’s Army Auxiliary Corps

Nursing Sister Jeanie Barclay SMITH, of the QAIMNS

Bertha Gavin (Betty) STEVENSON, a civilian volunteer with the YMCA

Nursing Sister Gladys Maude Mary WAKE, of the Canadian Army Nursing Service

Nursing Sister Jessie Emily WAKEFIELD, of the Territorial Force Nursing Service

E. WHITTAKER, worker, of the queen Mary’s Army Auxiliary Corps

And, under the heading “Non World War Dead’:

Florence Victoria GROVER, a civilian who went to visit her husband, Private Grover, who was too ill to be returned to Britain.  Florence contracted influenza and died while in France.  She is buried in the same cemetery as her husband - Private Albert GROVER.

I haven’t specified their ages, but they were definitely not all young women – Sister Alice Hallam was 45, Eveline Dawson, 49, Jeanie Barclay Smith, 42,

May they rest in peace assured that WE WILL REMEMBER THEM

Monday, 17 February 2014

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Lovingly tended, immaculate cemeteries with beautiful memorials – fitting tributes to our war dead – are something that we tend to take for granted these days.   However, the concept of the War Graves Commission is owed to one man – Major General Sir Fabian Arthur Goulstone Ware, KCVO, KBE, CB, CMG.

During the First World War, Ware was too old to fight so instead he commanded a mobile Red Cross unit on the Western Front.  He was appalled at the number of casualties and his unit began to record all the graves they came across.   In 1915, this initiative was officially recognized by the British Government and was incorporated into the British Army as the “Graves Registration Commission”.

Ware wanted his work to reflect the sacrifice of all the nations that helped Britain during WW1 and, with the encouragement of the Prince of Wales, who was himself a soldier on the Western Front during WW1, the Imperial War Graves Commission was set up with a Royal Charter.

The Commission demanded very high standards for its work. Three of the most famous architects of that time - Sir Edwin Lutyens, Sir Herbert Baker and Sir Reginald Blomfield - were chosen to design and build cemeteries and memorials.  Rudyard Kipling was given the task, as its literary advisor, to advise the Commission with regard to inscriptions.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission has an enormous task as there are official graves all over the world.  If you want to find out details of where a family member killed during a war is commemorated, all you have to do is visit the Commission website - http://www.cwgc.org/

Thank you to all those who work at The Commonwealth War Graves Commission – especially those who tend the graves and keep the cemeteries in trim – you are doing a wonderful job.

Friday, 14 February 2014

List of Inspirational Women of World War One

I have just been looking at this book


At the very end is an index of the organisations that were set up and the people who helped out on the Western Front during WW1.

The vast amount of help sent - and I am certain this is but one small section - really brings it home to us exactly why the First World War was the subject of so many poems, diaries, stories, memoirs, novels and so on.

The book is well worth a look.

We will remember them all.

Monday, 10 February 2014

The Church League for Women's Suffrage

From time to time I receive requests for help in finding out more about some of the poets and inspirational women on my list.   As you will all probably be aware, research is time-consuming and painstaking but very much worthwhile.  In the past few weeks I was asked to help find out about WW1 poets Anna Bunston de Bary, Constance Ada Renshaw and Maud Anna Bell.

I managed to find quite a bit out about the first two poets, but Maud Anna Bell remains, for the time being, rather a mystery.

However, in following up one lead, I began to look at The Church League for Women's Suffrage and came across this very well researched and written site which gives a great deal of information about some wonderfully inspirational women.

For anyone interested in the history of women's struggle for recognition and independence, this site is a must-read:   http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/Wchurch.htm

With many thanks to Rowena from Nottingham.