Saturday, 22 July 2017
Saturday, 15 July 2017
Saturday, 8 July 2017
Dorothy Willis, nee Hart (1894 – 1916) and Sarah Frances Ruby Hart (1900 – 1919) - British women who died serving in WW1
Women Members of the Women’s Royal Naval Service (WRNS) and the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) were seconded to air bases run by the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service. When the RFC and RNAS merged to form the Royal Air Force, it was decided to form a separate Women’s Royal Air Force (WRAF).
Photograph reproduced by kind permission of Sarah and Dorothy’s relative, Helen Buckland and with thanks to Debbie Cameron who posted their story on the Facebook Page Remembering Women on the Home Front in WW1.
Sources: Find my Past, Free BMD and
Thursday, 6 July 2017
Kate Luard – a British Nurse at Passchendaele - review of "Unknown Warriors" Kate's letters home from the Western Front
The MCC archivist tells me that there were no cricket matches played by women's teams during WW1.
However, historian Debbie Cameron found these photographs of some of the members of the Women's Auxiliary Army Corps during the First World War. The suggestion was that they could play cricket with convalescing wounded.
Source: Debbie Cameron's Facebook page Remembering Women on the Home Front in WW1 and the National Library of Scotland. No name of photographer.
Thursday, 29 June 2017
By the time WW1 broke out, Phoebe had gained a reputation as a skilled doctor, however the Australian government’s policies precluded her from military service. In 1917, Phoebe travelled to Britain paying her own fare and joined the Royal Army Medical Corps. Initially Phoebe became House Surgeon at the Cambridge Military Hospital in Aldershot.
As time went on, the British Army overcame its initial reluctance to allow women doctors to treat the wounded and in November 1917 Phoebe was posted to France, attached to a unit of Queen Mary’s Army Auxiliary Corps. During an enemy air raid near Abbeville in May 1918, Phoebe’s calmness and care for those wounded, regardless of personal danger, led to her being awarded the Military Medal. She was the first woman doctor ever to receive this decoration for bravery. She then served as a Major in Rouen and Le Havre.
After the war, Phoebe went back to Australia to continue working as a doctor. She died on 24th March 1967.
Find out more about the women who served during the First World War and were killed or died and are buried in cemeteries in Belgium and France, see the book “Women Casualties of the Great War in Military Cemeteries Volume 1: Belgium and France”, available from www.poshupnorth.com
With thanks to Stanley Kaye for telling me about Phoebe.
The Military Medal, created on 25th March 1916, was a British Military Medal awarded to personnel of the British Army and other Services for bravery in battle on land.
Saturday, 24 June 2017
Saturday, 17 June 2017
Winifred was born in Plymouth, Devon, UK in 1882. Her parents were Joseph James Shepherd and his wife Mary Elizabeth Shepherd, nee Anning. Winifred had the following siblings: John, b. 1874, Kathleen, b. 1875, Olive, b. 1877, Victor, b. 1888, Florence, b. 1889 and Muriel, b. 1892. John, Kathleen and Olive became teachers. Winifred joined a Voluntary Aid Detachment during the First World War and died on 17th June 1917 of an illness contracted while on duty.
Winifred's name is not included on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission List of Female Casualties of the First World War so I do not know where she was buried.
Saturday, 3 June 2017
Tuesday, 30 May 2017
Monday, 15 May 2017
“Sister Palmieri nursed the typhus-stricken Serbians at Kragujevac under conditions calculated to daunt the bravest. Subsequently they were able to move into two buildings formerly used as stables, after having the floors cemented and the whole place fumigated and white-washed. Sister Palmieri is now temporarily in France”.
From the Commonwealth War Graves Commission List of Female Casualties of the First World War:
PALMIERI, Nurse, Mrs. ALICIA. Voluntary Aid Detachment. 15 May 1917.
Saturday, 22 April 2017
During the First World War, Ethel Locke-King (seen here on the right) was Assistant County Director of Surrey, UK. She was responsible for establishing and organising twelve auxiliary military hospitals, one of which was in their home Brooklands House and is now Brooklands College. Several of the other hospitals were in houses owned by Hugh Locke-King. Ethel oversaw the management of 700 volunteers in nineteen Voluntary Aid Detachments. Mena House Hotel in Egypt was requisitioned for use by the Australian Army during WW1.
and the Brooklands Museum website.
Thursday, 20 April 2017
Margaret trained as a nurse and worked as a Staff Nurse in the North Staffordshire Infirmary from 1907 until the outbreak of WW1. She died in Harwich Hospital on 20th April 1917. A plaque to the memory of Margaret, who was awarded the Associate Royal Red Cross Medal for her work, was placed in the Chapel of the North Staffordshire Infirmary. Since 2015, this plaque has been situated in the Atrium at the Royal Stoke University Hospital, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, UK.
Margaret's name is not on my copy of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission List of Female Casualties of the First World War. If anyone knows more about Margaret, please get in touch.
Monday, 10 April 2017
More information can be found in Women Casualties Of The Great War In Military Cemeteries - Volume 1: Belgium & France
ISBN 978-1-909643-26-086 pages with black and white photographs
perfect bound paperbackSelling price £6.00 plus postage and packing
CLICK HERE FOR MAIL ORDER LINK
Monday, 20 March 2017
‘Asturias’ was another of the passenger liners requisitioned by the British Admiralty for use as a hospital ship during the First World War. Originally in service with the Royal Mail Steam Packet Company ‘Asturias’ was built by Harland and Wolff Shipbuilders of Belfast, who built the Titanic and her sister ships, and sailed the route between Southampton and Buenos Aires in The Argentine. She was sent to be re-fitted as a hospital ship and served during the Gallipoli Campaign, in Egypt and Salonika.
In 1915, ‘Asturias’ was the first hospital ship to be targeted by German U-boats. A torpedo hit her but did not detonate. A press release issued by the German Government at the time explained that ‘Asturias’, clearly marked as a Hospital Ship, had been wrongly identified as a target.
Following the sinking of the HMHS “Asturias”, the British “Government announced that measures would be adopted to bring home to the German Government the shameful character of the outrages committed under their orders.” (Globe, Saturday, 7th April 1917)
Monday, 13 March 2017
In Malta's Pieta Military Cemetery are the graves of four other women who died while serving during WW1 - three nurses and a doctor.
Sunday, 12 March 2017
Nursing Sister Dodds, of the Territorial Force Nursing Service, who trained at Willesden Infirmary, was wounded during the attack, and Nursing Sisters Ethel Garrett and Annie Rebecca Colhoun were awarded the Military Medal for their bravery during the attack.
Margaret was posthumously awarded the French Croix de Guerre with Palm. The medal was first created in 1915 and consists of a square-cross medal on two crossed swords, hanging from a ribbon with various degree pins. The decoration was awarded during World War I, again in World War II, and in other conflicts. The Croix de Guerre was also awarded to foreign military forces allied to France.
Photograph and additional information about the Croix de Guerre kindly provided by Steve Dewar, Margaret’s Great-Nephew.
Mary trained as a nurse and from 1st October 1908 till 31st January 1913, she worked at the Royal Southern Hospital in Liverpool, where she was in charge of the Tropical Ward. After that she worked in a Cancer Hospital in London, in the Children’s Hospital in Heswall and in the Merchant’s Hospital in Liverpool. She joined the Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service during WW1 and served with the 37th Hospital which was established in June 1916 in Vertekop (now called Skydra) near Manastir in Salonika, attached to the Serbian Army. The Field Hospital at Vertekop was clearly marked with large red crosses and was quite a long way from the Front Line. For her bravery in trying to save her patients, Mary was awarded the French Croix de Guerre with Palms and was Mentioned in Despatches.
Saturday, 11 March 2017
According to researcher Debbie Cameron (thank you Debbie!), Dorothy's husband was a well known bacteriologist who was Pathologist to the Brompton Hospital for Consumption. He served in the British Army during the First World War as an Honorary Captain with the Royal Army Medical Corps(R.A.M.C.) and was Special Bacteriologist to the British Expeditionary Force during the War, working to develop vaccines. Arthur died in France in 1926.
Friday, 10 March 2017
Saturday, 4 March 2017
Mary was the daughter of Captain Walter Henry Stewart Flynn, R.A. and his wife Mary Elizabeth Pilkington, who were married in Westminster in March 1865. Mary’s mother was related to William Pilkington, a Lancashire cotton mill owner.
Lieutenant-Commander H. T. Gartside-Tipping returned to naval service during the First World War. A keen yachtsman, when he was killed at the age of 67, Henry was the oldest serving naval officer of that war. He was killed on 25th September 1915 during naval operations in the North Sea off Zeebrugge on the coast of Belgium, serving in the Dover Patrol vessel H.M. Armed Yacht "Sanda".
Sunday, 26 February 2017
Sue Robinson of the Group Wenches in Trenches The Roses of No Man's Land has been researching Kitty for many years and regularly visits Kitty's grave in Wimereux Communal Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France. Sue has managed to get Kitty's name inscribed on the War Memorial in Meany and a special service of dedication is to be held there today - Sunday, 27th February 2017.
Along with Kitty in Wimereux Communal Cemetery, you will find the graves of some of the other women who died while serving during the First World War: Mildred Clayton-Swan, Emily Helena Cole, Isabella Duncan, Margaret Evans, Jessie Hockey, Nita King, Alice Lancaster, Rubie Pickard (who at 67 is among the oldest of the volunteers during WW1), Barbara St. John, Anna Whitely, Christina Wilson and Myrtle Wilson. "We will remember them…"
Sources: Commonwealth War Graves Commission List of Female Casualties of the First World War and Sue Robinson of Wenches in Trenches The Roses of No Man's Land
Thursday, 23 February 2017
Among the first journalists to write up Kitty's story from Sue's account was Plymouth Herald newspaper's Live News Editor Max Channon. Kitty joined the Royal Army Service Corps Canteens Division and served in France. She was taken ill and died on 27th February 1917, aged just 19. Originally from Ireland, Kitty lived in England when war broke out and, like so many women the world over, she wanted to do her bit. Kitty was buried in Wimereux Communal Cemetery, Pas de Calais, which is five kilometres north of Boulogne in France. In that Cemetery you will find twelve other women who died serving during WW1, including that of Rubie Pickard, one of the oldest volunteers, who died in April 1916 at the age of 67. Rubie, who lived in France, was a volunteer working for the newspaper department that supplied British newspapers to hospitals in France during the conflict.