Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Lelia, Lady Mathilda Samuelson (1852 – 1915) – Nurse in WW1

Lelia Lady Mathilda Samuelson was born in Belgium in 1852.  Her parents were Chevalier Leon Serena, who was born in Italy, and his wife Caroline, who was born in Belgium.  In 1874, Lelia married William Denny, a shipbuilder from Dumbarton, Scotland. They had two sons and two daughters.   The boys became Captains in the Dragoon Guards - Peter Robert Denny was killed during the Boer War and Leon Serena Denny was killed in Flanders on 13th May 1915.  

After the death of her first husband, Lelia married the Rt. Hon. Sir Bernard Samuelson, Bart and became step-mother of Sir H.B. Samuelson, Bart.  Sir Bernard died in 1905.

When war broke out, Lelia volunteered to work as a nurse in Belgium where her knowledge of languages would be of great use.  She went to work in the Anglo-Belgian Hospital Albert 1st in Rouen, France.  Lelia died on 18th June 1915 at the age of 63.  

With thanks to Sue Robinson of the Group Wenches in Trenches The Roses of No Man’s Land and Neil Thornton for the information.
Sue is campaigning for memorials to all the women of WW1. Find out more and donate on the Wenches' website:
Neil has just published a book about Rorke’s Drift -
Photo from the Dumbarton Cemetery website.

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