Monday, 14 December 2015

Katherine Mary Harley (1855 - 1917) - British

Looking through the Commonwealth War Graves Commission List of Female Casualties of the First World War, on page 25, I found this entry:

Katherine Mary Harley, who initially worked at the Scottish Women's Hospital in Royaumont, France as a clerical assistant.   She then volunteered to go to Serbia, where she was attached to the Serbian Ministry of the Interior.   Katherine was 63 when she was killed during the bombardment of Monastir on 7th March 1917.   She was awarded the Croix de Guerre for her services during the First World War.

Katherine's parents were Commander John Tracey William French of the British Royal Navy, and his wife Margaret, nee Eccles, of Ripple Vale, Kent.  Katherine was the widow of Colonel George Ernest Harley, C.B.  Katherine's brother was Sir John French who commanded the British Expeditionary Force for the first eighteen months of the First World War.

Katherine is buried in Thessaloniki in Greece in Salonika (Lembet Road) Military Cemetery. 

Source:  CWGC List of Female Casualties of the First World War.

Saturday, 12 December 2015

Mabel Dearmer (1872 - 1915) - British writer, artist and illustrator

I wrote more extensively about Mabel Dearmer in a post on 28th April 2014*.  Since then, although I have not been able to find a photograph of Mabel, I have at least found a photograph of where she is buried.

Mabel went to Setbia as a nursing orderly during the First World War when her husband volunteered to serve there as chaplain to a Red Cross Ambulance Unit.  Mabel contracted Typhoid and died of Pneumonia on 11th July 1915, shortly before the death of her younger son, Christopher, from wounds sustained at Gallipoli where he served with the Royal Naval  Air Service.  Mabel is buried in Kragujevac Cemetery in Serbia, alongside Dr. Elizabeth Ross and Nurse Lorna Ferriss.  Mabel's letters 'Letters from a Field Hospital' were published after her death and are available to read on the Internet -  

I wonder if there will be a stamp issued to commemorate Mabel Dearmer as there has recently been by the Serbians to commemorate some of the other women who went to help Serbia during WW1 - Flora Sandes, who was a soldier with the Serbian Army, Evelina Haverfield, Dr. Elsie Inglis, Dr. Elizabeth Ross, Dr. Katherine McPhail and Dr. Elmslie Hutton.


For an in-depth discussion about the life and work of Mabel Dearmer, Dr. Margaret Stetz in America sent me this link to the excellent work of Diana Maltz of  Southern Oregon University: