Thursday, 17 March 2016

Commemorating the nurses who died serving in WW1

Sue Robinson started her WW1 group to commemorate the service of nurses in the First World War in memory of her grandmother, Isabella Robinson.  Although they are not a re-enactment group, when they visit graves in Belgium and France, Group members wear beautiful hand-made replicas of the uniforms worn by nurses during the First World War.   Their outfits serve to remind us of the very different way of life back then and to remember the hardships those wonderful women faced to nurse the sick and wounded, many of whom they saved in incredible circumstances.

Sue says:  “I have always been interested in nurses and VADs however until this last 20 years information was difficult to come by. I had of course stories passed down from my Grannie Robinson who served in both world wars first as a VAD in WW1 then as a qualified nurse in WW2.

I did my degree in modern European history, paying attention to the Great War. I have worked as a fundraiser for years for various military charities and got to thinking that I had never seen any memorials to these mighty girls who left their homes to nurse our wounded in war time.

In 2006 three of us did a sponsored walk on the Somme battlefields raising £1,000 for our local poppy appeal. I was asked “Do you have a name?”  Well, collectively we were women walking the battlefields, so it seems right to become Wenches in Trenches.

Since then, we have grown into a hardy group of women who organise events fundraising for memorials to nurses and other worthwhile causes. In 2015 we paid to have a large memorial bench made and sited at Lochnagar Crater, La Bosselle France. We also paid for the refurbishment of the Nurse Mcvie room at Talbot House Poperinge in Belgium.

At this moment we are busy raising funds for a large memorial hopefully to be placed in Liverpool. We welcome all women from all walks of life to join us and celebrate our sisters who faced hell. 
Anyone who would like to get in touch to join the Group or to donate can do so via the website http://www.wenchesintrenches.co.uk/ and/or the Facebook Group  https://www.facebook.com/wenchesintrenches/?fref=ts

Sue Robinson, March 2016

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