Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Book Review: “Sister Poppy at the Front” by Brenda Gostling and Mik Richardson (Brenda Gostling, Norwich, 2018)

To my mind, this is a very important book.  Inspired by Poppy the GoGo Hare, a commemorative sculpture in Norfolk, and by the letters of the veteran war nurse Kate Luard, “Sister Poppy at the Front” tells the story of a member of Britain’s Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Nursing Service who served in France during the First World War. With the title character being depicted as a hare, the book is primarily aimed at small children. However,  adults will also enjoy reading the nurse’s story, which is complemented by some really beautiful drawings - reminiscent of the “Little Grey Rabbit” series.

I love the simplicity of the story told about the nurse, her duties in France, the conditions in which she worked and how she felt.   Finding her brother is the sort of coincidence that did happen. Brenda includes brief details of a Base Hospital, a Casualty Clearing Station and a Hospital Train. The illustrations really help to set the scene.   I particularly liked the illustration of Poppy’s QAIMNS tippet hanging in the cupboard on the first page and are they badgers who are stretcher bearers?

Reading the book took me back to my own primary school days when our headmistress often read us stories about a resourceful rabbit, and to my earliest introduction to the history of the First World War.  I vividly remember, as a very young child, looking at Grandfather’s black and white framed print of Fortunino Matania’s “Goodbye Old Man” and wondering what happened to the horse.  To my mind, it is vital to educate young children about our history and to ensure individual stories are recorded.  It is also good to find a book that describes the women of WW1 who contributed so much but who have been overlooked for so long.  My family always commemorated the First World War but it was not until I began researching in 2012 for a series of commemorative exhibitions about the conflict, that I realised the full involvement of women.

A share of any profits from the sale of “Sister Poppy at the Front” will go to the East Anglian charity Break, which runs children’s homes and also provides breaks for children and young people with disabilities and their families.

Some time ago, I heard of an initiative in Australia whereby people sponsor small teddy bears dressed in WW1 military uniforms, which are sent to primary schools to help educate children about Australia’s involvement in the conflict. Brenda tells me that a Norwich firm of Independent Financial Advisers – Almary Green - who were the sponsors of the Poppy GoGoHare sculpture - have kindly purchased a copy of the book for every primary school in the county of Norfolk – a total of 355 books.  Definitely an initiative to copy.

“Sister Poppy at the Front” £6.99, written and published by Brenda Gostling with illustrations by Mik Richardson.  Further details from http://www.brendagostling.co.uk/

Note:  The QARANC (as the QAIMNS has become) explain: “Brenda and Mik have amalgamated the uniforms of the Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service and the Voluntary Aid Detachment to form the uniform as worn by Sister Poppy who nurses on a ward at No. 33 Casualty Clearing Station.”
http://www.qaranc.co.uk/Sister-Poppy-at-the-Front-GoGoHare.php

Photos: Brenda and Mik with the book and a cuddly hare in a nurse's uniform made by Mik's wife to accompany Brenda and  Mik on promotional visits.

Lucy London, 12th June 2018

Monday, 4 June 2018

Eleanor Eileen Black, VAD and Dorothea Kathleen Mary Bolus, South African VAD, who drowned on 4th June 1918

4th June 1918

Remembering Volunteer ELEANOR EILEEN. BLACK, a volunteer with the Voluntary Aid Detachment who drowned at sea from Royal Mail Ship RMS “Kenilworth Castle” on 4th June 1918. Eleanor was daughter of Randlord Black, of Queen's Road, Parktown, Johannesburg. Eleanor is remembered in York Minster, York, UK on the Panel commemorating the South Africa Army Nursing Service and on Hollybrook Memorial in Southampton, Hampshire, UK. 

Remembering Volunteer DOROTHEA KATHLEEN MARY BOLUS of the South African Voluntary Aid Detachment, a passenger on the RMS “Kenilworth Castle”, who drowned on 4th  June 1918. Dorothea was daughter of Mrs. Louise Bolus, of "Maisonnette," Kenilworth, Cape Town, South Africa. Dorothea was buried in Plymouth’s Efford Cemetery, in Devonshire, UK - Grave Reference: Church. C. 4785.

The Royal Mail Ship “Kenilworth Castle” was one of the first mail ships commissioned for the Union-Castle Shipping Line.  Built at Harland and Wolfe, Belfast in 1903, she was launched in 1904 and requisitioned as a troop carrier during the First World War. The ship was in a convoy sailing to Britain. It was dark and they had to sail without lights to avoid detection by German submarines.  35 miles off Portsmouth, two of the Royal Navy escort ships were in collision - HMS “Rival” and HMS “Kent”.  Depth chargers from “Rival” exploded under the “Kenilworth Castle”, which was badly damaged. The order was given to abandon ship.  Some of the life boats were lowered but became swamped and 15 people were drowned, among them Eleanor Black and Dorothea Bolus.    The RMS “Kenilworth Castle” eventually reached Portsmouth, where the remainder of her passengers were put ashore.  The ship was repaired, went to sea again after the war and was broken up in 1936.

Here is an extract from a letter from Nurse Bracken, one of the nurses who survived in which she described the incident:   “I'm sending you one of our newspaper accounts of the affair because it describes what happened to the lifeboat in which Black, Bolus, a Wynberg girl called Zondendyk, and myself were.   When the boat capsized I managed to hang on to the side and hung and hung until the boat righted itself but it was the most ghastly few minutes I ever lived through. I remember a big dark wave washing right over me and something - an oar, I think, pressed against my throat until I thought I should choke and something else crushed my eye against the boat's edge and I saw stars and felt my eyeball must burst. My corsets were torn right off me and my legs were bruised and bleeding. Then the boat righted itself and I found myself inside. There were just two of us left, the other a fellow passenger named Dawson and his pyjamas were simply tom to rags! Our boat was quite full of water and we had lost our oars and rudder.

We didn't see or hear anything of the others then and were drifting right away until the Kenilworth turned and her wash brought us rushing back. I really thought that was the very end but we did a surprising turn and instead of crashing into her we rushed along her side and crossed her stern so close that Mr Dawson was struck in the mouth and his teeth knocked out. Then we got out on the other side and that was the last we saw of the Kenilworth. It was horribly dark and we could hear the dreadful calls for help from men and women in the water but could not get near to them. Two women drifted right up to the boat and these were saved. One was the young wife of a Colonel of Marines - the other Nurse Zondendyk. I found a bucket and a scoop tied to the boat and these were used to bale out the water. Mr Dawson and I baled and baled until we were too tired to do any more but the boat felt almost respectable again so we all sat huddled together shivering and taking turns at being sea sick!” 

Read more from Nurse ‘s letter here:  http://samilitaryhistory.org/vol054kc.html

Original Source:  Commonwealth War Graves Commission List of Female Casualties of the First World War

Additional information kindly supplied by Derek Walker : http://www.southafricawargraves.org/search/details.php?id=1862

Sunday, 3 June 2018

Alice Hilda Lancaster, Special Military Probationer Nurse, TFNS - died 3rd June 1918

Remembering Nurse ALICE HILDA LANCASTER, a Special Military Probationer with the Territorial Force Nursing Service, who served in France during WW1.  Alice drowned whilst bathing on 3rd  June 1918 at the age  of 35. Alice was the youngest of five children born to Thomas Lancaster and his wife Alice Halliley Lancaster (nee Milner) of The Cliffe, Monk Bretton, Barnsley, Yorkshire.  She was buried in Wimereux Communal Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France - Grave Reference: IV. A. 2. 

Alice is also remembered on a Memorial tablet in St Paul's Church Monk Bretton, in the Memorial book in St Paul's Church, Monk Bretton, on the War Memorial, Cross Street, Monk Bretton and on her mother's gravestone in Monk Bretton Cemetery

Photo of Alice’s grave from http://barnsleysoldiersww1.blogspot.com/2013/12/alice-hilda-lancaster-1883-1918.html

Original Source:  Commonwealth War Graves Commission List of Female Casualties of the First World War

Thursday, 31 May 2018

Some of the women of WW1 who died or were killed during May 1918

May 1918

1st May

BLETCHLEY CEMETERY, Buckinghamshire, UK

SAUNDERS, Worker, (Assistant Cook), LILIAN. Queen Mary's Army Auxiliary Corps. 1 May 1918. Age 25. Daughter of Mr and Mrs J Saunders, of Fenny Stratford. Grave Reference: Spec. Memorial.

5th May

WARNOCK, Nurse, ELIZABETH McMATH (DAISY). 10th (Glasgow) Detachment attd. 8th General Hospital, Voluntary Aid Detachment. Died of septicaemia, 5th May 1918. Age 31. Daughter of William and Mary Malcolm Elizabeth Muir Warnock, of 19, Westminster Terrace, Glasgow, late of Holytown, Lanarkshire. Buried St. Sever Cemetery, France, Grave Reference: Officers, B. 4. 23.

7th May

STREATHAM CEMETERY, London, United Kingdom

LATHAM, Forewoman, LOUISA FRANCES, 37124. Depot, Tank Corps (Wareham), Queen Mary's Army Auxiliary Corps. Died of sickness, 7 May 1918. Age 39. Daughter of George and Catherine Latham, of

10th May

BASRA MEMORIAL, Iraq

HOBBES, Sister, NARRELLE. Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service. Buried at sea, 10 May 1918. Age 37. Daughter of the late J.F. and Margaret Hobbes of New South Wales, Australia. Grave Reference: Panel 43.

12th May

BIRMINGHAM (LODGE HILL) CEMETERY, Warwickshire, UK

Staff Nurse, BEATRICE GEORGINA FREDERICA FORBES of the Territorial Force Nursing Service, who died on 12th May 1918. Beatrice was buried in Birmingham Lodge Hill Cemetery in Warwickshire, UK - Grave Reference: Screen Wall. B10. 2. 225.

16th May

MIKRA BRITISH CEMETERY, KALAMARIA, Greece

Staff Nurse, MARGARET ELLISON DUCKERS of the Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service, who died on 16th May 1918 at the age of 25. Margaret’s parents were James Samuel and Jane Duckers, of "Edencroft," Wetheral, Carlisle. She was buried in Mikra British Cemetery, in Kalamaria, Greece - Grave Reference: 254.

17th May

EDINBURGH (WARRISTON) CEMETERY, Edinburgh, UK

Remembering Assistant Administrator (equivalent to the male rank of Officer) MARJORIE TRAILL MARTIN, Service No. O/1144,  of the Queen Mary's Army Auxiliary Corps, who died on 17th May 1918 at the age of 26.  Marjorie’s parents were the Rev. Alexander Martin, D.D. (Professor of Theology and Principal of New College, Edinburgh), and Jane Thorburn Martin. Marjorie was buried in Warriston Cemetery, Edinburgh - Grave Reference: K. 150.

19th May

ETAPLES MILITARY CEMETERY, Pas de Calais, France

MACDONALD, Nursing Sister, KATHERINE MAUDE MARY MACDONALD of the 1st Canadian Gen.eral Hospital.  Katherine was with the Canadian Army Nursing Service. She was killed in action on 19th  May 1918 at the age of 31. Her parents were Mary Maud and Angus Macdonald, of Brantford, Ontario, Canada.  Katherine was buried in Etaples Military Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France, where you will find 19 other women who died in WW1.  Katherine’s Grave Reference for anyone visiting Etaples Military Cemetery is XXVIII. L. 8.

20th May 1918

ST. ARILDA'S CHURCHYARD, Oldbury, Gloucestershire, UK

Phoebe Elizabeth MEADOWS, a VAD with the Territorial Force Nursing Service.  Born 1889 died 20th May 1918. Phoebe’s parents were Charles and Phoebe Elizabeth Meadows. She was buried in St Arilda's Churchyard, Oldbury, Gloucestershire. Grave reference:B14.

21st May

ETAPLES MILITARY CEMETERY, Pas de Calais, France

Nursing Sister, GLADYS MAUDE MARY WAKE of the 1st Canadian General Hospital. Gladys was with the Canadian Army Nursing Service. She died of wounds received during an airraid by enemy aircraft on 21st May 1918 at the age of 34.  Gladys’s parents were Gervas Fountayne Wake and Amy Rosamond Wake, of Compton Hill, Malvern, Worcestershire, UK. Gladys was born in Esqlaimault, British Columbia, Canada.  She was buried in Etaples Military Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France , where you will find 19 other women who died or were killed during the First World War.  The Grave Reference for Gladys Maude Mary Wake is  XXVIII. L. 5.

23rd May

TRURO CEMETERY, NOVA SCOTIA, Nova Scotia, Canada
Remembering Nursing Sister, JESSIE  A. JARVIS of the Canadian Army Medical Corps. Jessie died of pneumonia on 23rd May 1918 at the age of 29.  Her parents were George M Jarvis and Frances M. Jarvis, of 176, Bolsford St., Moncton, New Brunswick.  Jessie was buried in Truro Cemetery, Nova Scotia, Canada.   Grave Reference: L. 50. Div. C. Third grave from North end.   I wonder if her grave receives any visitors?

24th May

RAWALPINDI WAR CEMETERY, Pakistan

Remembering Nurse RUTH MARY NODDER of the Territorial Force Nursing Service. Ruth died of sickness on 24th May 1918, at the age of 33.  Her parents were the Rev. J. B. Nodder and Mrs. Nodder, of Ashover Rectory, Chesterfield, Derbyshire.    Ruth was buried in Rawalpindi War Cemetery, which is in Pakistan. Grave Reference: 3. A. 6.  I wonder if her grave receives any visitors?

26th May

ASH CEMETERY, Surrey, United Kingdom

Remembering Mechanic Driver, Florence EMBLETON of the Women's Legion, who died on 26th May 1918.  Florence was born in Yorkshire in 1888. Her parents were John Embleton, a Captain in the Royal Army Ordnance Corps,and his wife, Sarah Embleton.  Florence had a brother Charles, b. 1891 in Egypt where his father was based at the time, and John, born in 1896.  Charles also joined the Royal Army Ordnance Corps, served in France during WW1 and died on 20th July 1916.  Florence and her family lived in York in 1901 and in Ash, Surrey, at the time of her death.  During WW1 Florence initially served as a clerk and then nursed in Aldershot Hospital.  Florence joined the Women’s League in 1917 and was a Motor Driver with No. 52 Motor Transport Corps, Army Service Corps, attached to the Army School of Sanitation.   She was buried with full military honours in Ash Cemetery, Ash, Surrey, UK, Grave Reference: F. 15-1.   Source:  CWGC List of Female Casualties of the First World War and http://www.ashmuseum.org.uk/embleton.htm


28th May

ETAPLES MILITARY CEMETERY, Pas de Calais, France

Remembering Nursing Sister Margaret LOWE of the 1st Canadian Gen. Hosp., Canadian Army Nursing Service. Margaret was badly injured a German air raid on Etaples and died on 28th May 1918 at the age of 32.  Her father was Thomas Lowe, of Binscarth, Manitoba, Canada.  Margaret was buried with full military honours in Etaples Military Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France. Grave Reference: XXVIII. M. 9.

29th – 30th May 1918

The night of 29th - 30th May 1918 was particularly bad, as there were several German bombing raids on non-military targets such as hospitals.  In spite of the hospitals being clearly marked with Red Crosses and situated some way away from the Front, they were still bombed by enemy aircraft. The diary of No.3 Canadian Stationary Hospital records:  “The night was clear and bright. There should have been no difficulty in the airmen recognising it as a hospital.  The hospital is well marked with red crosses, which airmen say are quite visible from the air.  There is no doubt that the occupants of the aeroplane knew it was a hospital, for when the came back and dropped bombs a second time, the flames clearly illuminated the red crosses on the buildings.”
The women nurses, members of the QMAAC and volunteers killed during bombing raids on the night of 29th – 30th May 1918 were buried in the following cemeteries in France:

ABBEVILLE COMMUNAL CEMETERY EXTENSION, Somme, France

Worker (equivalent to the rank of Private) MARY McLACHLAN BLAIKLEY, 31503. Queen Mary's Army Auxiliary Corps. Mary was killed on 30th May 1918. She was a niece of Robert Blalkley, of Brown's Land, Cartcosh, nr. Glasgow. Grave Reference: IV. C. 4.

Worker BEATRICE V. CAMPBELL, 31673, of the Queen Mary's Army Auxiliary Corps.  Beatrice was killed on 30th May 1918. Age 20. Daughter of the late John J. and Annie Morgan Campbell, of Cupar, Fife. Grave Reference: IV. C. 6.

Worker MARGARET SELINA CASWELL, 15703 of the Queen Mary's Army Auxiliary Corps.  Margaret was killed on 30th May 1918 at the age of 22.  Her parents were Fredrick and Mary Jane Caswell, of Green Cross Farm, Churt, Farnham, Surrey. Grave Reference: IV. C. 1.

Worker CATHERINE CONNOR 34767 of the Queen Mary's Army Auxiliary Corps. Catherine was killed on 30th May 1918. Grave Reference: IV. C. 9.
Worker JEANIE GRANT, 31918 of the Queen Mary's Army Auxiliary Corps. Killed by a bomb from an enemy aeroplane, 30 May 1918. Age 22. Daughter of Mrs. J. Grant, of "Burnfoot," Greengairs, Airdrie, Lanarkshire. Grave Reference: IV. C. 7.

Worker, ANNIE ELIZABETH MOORES, 15695. Queen Mary's Army Auxiliary Corps. Killed in aerial attack on Abbeville, 30th May 1918 at the age of 27. Annie’s parents were Alfred and Mary Moores, of Charlton Lane, Ludwell, Salisbury, Wiltshire, UK. Grave Reference: IV. C. 3.

Worker, ETHEL FRANCIS MARY PARKER, 9048. Queen Mary's Army Auxiliary Corps. Killed by a bomb at Abbeville, 30 May 1918. Age 21. Daughter of William George Parker, of 6, East St., Sturry Rd., Canterbury. Grave Reference: IV. C. 2.

Worker, ALICE THOMASSON, 35588. Queen Mary's Army Auxiliary Corps. 30 May 1918. Grave Reference: IV. C. 8.

WATSON, Worker, JEANIE H. L., 34864. Queen Mary's Army Auxiliary Corps. 30 May 1918. Age 25. Daughter of Mrs. J. Oliphant, of 21, Park St., Cambuslang, Glasgow. Grave Reference: IV. C. 5.

BAGNEUX BRITISH CEMETERY, GEZAINCOURT, Somme, France

Nursing Sister, D M Y. BALDWIN, of the 3rd Canadian Stationary Hospital, Canadian Army Nursing Service. 30 May 1918. Grave Reference: III. A. 24.
.
Nursing Sister, A. MacPHERSON, of the Canadian Army Nursing Service. 30 May 1918. Grave Reference: III. A. 26.

Nursing Sister, EDEN LYAL PRINGLE of the Canadian Army Nursing Service. Killed in enemy air raid, 30 May 1918. Age 25. Daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William Pringle, of 2030, 12th Avenue East, Vancouver, British Columbia. Grave Reference: III. A. 25.

ETAPLES MILITARY CEMETERY, Pas de Calais, France

STEVENSON, Civilian, BERTHA GAVIN (BETTY).  Betty was a volunteer with the Young Men's Christian Association. She was killed when the aircraft involved in the air raid on Etaples on the night of 30th  May 1918 jettisoned his bombs in a field as he returned to base.,  Betty was 21 years old and had been in France since the beginning of the war.  She was awarded the Croix de Guerre avec Palme (France).  Her parents were Arthur G. and Catherine Grace Stevenson, of Harrogate, Yorks. Betty was born in York.  Grave Reference: XXVIII. M. 6.  Betty is also remembered on Harrogate War Memorial.

30th May 1918

CAMBERWELL OLD CEMETERY, London, UK
Staff Nurse BERTHA VINTNER of the 2nd London General Hospital, a member of the Territorial Force Nursing Service. Bertha died on 30th May 1918. Daughter of Mrs. Vinter, of Wyndham Rd., Camberwell, London, UK. Bertha was buried in Camberwell Old Cemetery - Grave Reference: 101. 25354.

We will remember them

Source:  The Commonwealth War Graves Commission List of Female Casualties of the First World War

Monday, 21 May 2018

Gladys Maude Mary Wake, Nursing Sister with the Canadian Army Nursing Service

Remembering Nursing Sister, GLADYS MAUDE MARY WAKE of the 1st Canadian General Hospital. Gladys was with the Canadian Army Nursing Service. She died of wounds received during an air raid by enemy aircraft on 21st May 1918 at the age of 34.  Gladys’s parents were Gervas Fountayne Wake and Amy Rosamond Wake, of Compton Hill, Malvern, Worcestershire, UK. Gladys was born in Esqlaimault, British Columbia, Canada.  She was buried in Etaples Military Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France , where you will find 19 other women who died or were killed during the First World War.  The Grave Reference for Gladys Maude Mary Wake is  XXVIII. L. 5.

Book Review: “A Lab of One’s Own: Science and Suffrage in the First World War” by Patricia Fara, published by Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2018.

“A Lab of One’s Own: Science and Suffrage in the First World War” by Patricia Fara, published by Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2018.

This is an extremely important book, which, I think, should be required reading for all school pupils because women are still a long way from being treated as equals in our society.  As Fara explains, she wrote the book because, in her view “… the main reason for studying the past is to understand the present – and the whole point of doing that is to improve the future.”

My family has commemorated the First World War for as long as I can remember – Grandfather was an Old Contemptible with the Royal Field Artillery, one Great Uncle was killed at Arras and another died at sea just 3 days before the Armistice.  In spite of that, I did not realise the extent to which women were involved in the conflict until I began researching for a series of commemorative exhibitions in May 2012.  Six years on and Fara’s book has really opened my eyes.  I did not know about most of the women Fara has included and I also learnt a lot of other vital background information. 

As a scientist herself, Fara, who, among other things, lectures on the history of science at Cambridge Unviersity, has a wealth of professional experience which is put to good use in researching this book - the bibliography alone is the most incredible work.

The book is divided into five sections – Preserving the Past, Facing the Future; Abandoning Domesticity, Working for the Vote; Corridors of Science, Crucibles of Power; Scientific Warfare, Wartime Welfare and Citizens of Science in a Post-War World.  Each section has chapters with copious notes which refer you to the bibliography and there are also illustrations throughout.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and it is extremely difficult indeed to pick out just one or two points of particular interst.  However, I particularly enjoyed reading about:  Rachel Costelloe and her fellow cricketers at Newnham College, Cambridge.  Rachel became Mrs Ray Strachey, “one of Britains most prominent suffrage campaigners” (Chapter 1).    Baden-Powell’s wife Olave, who took over the leadership of the Girl Guides during WW1, urging the girls to “prepare sandbags and collect spagnum moss” for dressing wounds. (p. 54).  Nevinson’s “The Acetylene Welder” Lithograph of 1917, which is reproduced on page 85, looks incredibly modern and Mabel Elliott’s outstanding exploits as a member of the British Military Intelligence (p. 183) must have been kept secret for so long due to the Official Secrets Act.

According to Fara, in 1918 King George V said: “When the history of our Countrys share in the war is written, no chapter will be more remarkable than that relating to the range and extent of womens participation…. Some even have fallen under the fire of the enemy.  Of all those we think today with reverent pride.” (p.271).  I wonder what happened because, since then, that participation seems to have been largely forgotten and most people only remember the Tommies and the trenches – I don’t recall any mention of the women who died while serving.  At least the Royal British Legion have amended their WW1 commemortive logo from “Every Man Remembered” to “Everyone Remembered”.

As Fara reminds us, there is no room for complacency in the 21st Century, as women still have a long way to go in the struggle for equality: “Before the First World War, suffragists could see what they were fighting against, but modern discrimination is elusive, insidious and stubbornly hard to eradicate.” (p. 285).

I urge you to read the book for yourselves.  May I suggest it be dedicated to Malala Yousafzai?

Lucy London, May 2018

Thursday, 10 May 2018

Narrelle Hobbes (1878 - 1918) - Australian Nurse, member of the British Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service in WW1

With grateful thanks to Nicki for researching Narrelle for us.  Florence Narrelle Jessie Hobbes was born in Tilba Tilba, New South Wales, Australia on 21st August 1878.  Her parents were J.F. and Margaret Hobbes.

Narrelle began her nursing course in 1903, qualifying in 1910.  She was working in Brewarrina District Hospital when the war began and travelled to England on 20th February 1915 to enlist in the QAIMNS.

Narrelle was initially posted to Malta, then Sicily and then to No. 22 Stationary Hospital, Mesopotamia (now Iraq), in May 1916.  She travelled via India where she worked briefly at Victoria War Hospital before continuing her journey to Basra.  Posted to Amara, Narrelle was based at No. 32 British General Hospital.

Narrelle became ill in June 1917.  After various treatments, she was finally diagnosed with Liver Cancer in February 1918.  Her sister travelled to take Narrelle home but Narrelle died on board the ship taking the sisters back to Australia on 10th May 1918 - the Hospital Ship HMHS "Kanowna".  She was buried at sea and is remembered on the Basra War Memorial in Iraq on Panel 43.

With many thanks to Vicki for her fantastic research.

https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/P10679026

Sunday, 29 April 2018

A poem dedicated to an unknown female war Worker of the First World War by Arundel James Kennedy Esdaile

I would love to know whose grave inspired Arundel to write this poem and where it was.  In Belgium or France perhaps?

“On a War-Worker, 1916” by Arundel James Kennedy Esdaile (1880 – 1956)


Far from their homes they lie, the men who fell
Fighting, in Flanders clay or Tigris sand:
She who lies here died for the cause as well,
Whom neither bayonet killed nor bursting shell
But her own heart that loves its native land.

From ““Cambridge Poets of the Great War: An Anthology” Michael Copp (Associated University Presses, London, 2001) 

Arundel James Kennedy Esdaile was born in London on 25th April 1880.  His parents were James Kennedy Esdaile and Florence Esdaile.  His siblings were Emmeline, b. 1878, Everard, b. 1883, Millicent, b. 1884 and Percival, b. 1889.  The family lived in Sussex.

Arundel was educated at Lancing School, Sussex and Magdalene College Cambridge.  He worked at the British Museum Library.  In 1907, Arundel married Katherine Ada McDowell, whose father was Secretary of the Girl’s Public Day School Trust.  Arundel died on 22nd June 1956.

Friday, 27 April 2018

Florence Esther Benoy QMAAC

Remembering Worker (equivalent to the rank of Private), FLORENCE ESTHER BENOY, 12113. Queen Mary's Army Auxiliary Corps who died on 26th April 1918 at the age of 25. Florence was a daughter of Isaac Frank Benoy, of 6, Carlton Terrace, Birkenhead Rd., Hoylake, Cheshire. She was buried in Rake Lane Cemetery, Wallasey, Wirral, UK - Grave Reference: 7. C. of E. 19.

Gwladys Myfanwy Ryder - WW1 WAAC

A lady called Marjorie contacted me recently about her Mother, who joined the WAAC in WW1.  Marjorie said:

“About my Mother:   she was born 25th November 1900 and baptised Gwladys Myfanwy Ryder.  My Grandparents had 7 children - 5 girls and 2 boys. Her Father's name was - Earnest Edward Ryder - Mother's name Martha Beatrice Ryder.

My Mother lost her father suddenly when she was fifteen and at that time he was in the Liverpool Police force.  My mother decided to go to London and she joined the army in WW1, pretending to be older than she was.  Her brother, Ernest Edward Ryder, born 1897 also joined the army WW1 and was wounded and died 15 months later

My Mother's Father was born in Hampshire - Aldershot Barracks - in 1867.   According to reports, the family at the time moved on to India, so there must have been an Army tradition in the family.

My Mother first married a James Crombie and had 4 children. According to reports he was not a very good husband and she divorced him

My Father, Arthur Patrick Ford, born 17th February 1900, also joined up in WWI at the age of 17 yrs he was sent to Turkey and was attached to a prison camp which he did not like

My Parents did not know each other until they met in 1929. They married and had five children - one of whom died at birth.

Both my parents became Air Raid Wardens in 2nd war 1939 and therefore, were both involved with both wars - the children were evacuated to Wales and we went to live with relatives

I am trying to find a photograph of my mother in her uniform WW1."

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

ANZAC Women who died while serving during The First World War

On ANZAC Day, 25th April 2018, here is the list of Female Casualties of the First World War from Australia and New Zealand from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission:

AUSTRALIAN

ADELAIDE (WEST TERRACE) CEMETERY, South Australia, Australia

STAFFORD, Staff Nurse, MARY FLORENCE. 1 Aust. Gen. Hosp., Australian Army Nursing Service. 19 March 1919. Age 27. Grave Reference: Light Oval. 55. SE.

ALBANY PUBLIC CEMETERY (OLD), Western Australia, Australia

SAW, Staff Nurse, NELLIE, R40618. Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service. 31 March 1919. Age 29. Grave Reference: Meth Section. Row A. Grave 1

BALLARAT (NEW) GENERAL CEMETERY, Victoria, Australia

WILLIAMS, Sister, BLODWYN ELIZABETH. Australian Army Nursing Service. 24 May 1920. Age 38. Grave Reference: Private B. 7. 28.

BEECHWORTH CEMETERY, Victoria, Australia

ROTHERY, Staff Nurse, ELIZABETH. Australian Army Nursing Service. 15 June 1918. Age 33. Grave Reference: C.E. B. 419. (GRM/3*).

BENDIGO CIVIL CEMETERY, Victoria, Australia

HENNESSY, Staff Nurse, MAY. Australian Army Nursing Service. 9 April 1919. Grave Reference: C.E. H1. 24202.

BRIGHTON GENERAL CEMETERY, VICTORIA, Victoria, Australia

McPHAIL, Staff Nurse, IRENE. Australian Army Nursing Service. 4 August 1920. Grave Reference: C.E. ZA. 1689. (GRM/3*).

FREMANTLE CEMETERY, Western Australia, Australia

THOMPSON, Staff Nurse, ADA MILDRED. Australian Army Nursing Service. 1 January 1919. Grave Reference: Ang. A. 806. (GRM/6).

PERTH WAR CEMETERY AND ANNEX, Western Australia, Australia

RIDGWAY, Staff Nurse, DORIS ALICE. Australian Army Nursing Service. 6 January 1919. Daughter of Mr. and Mrs. A. J. Ridgway, of Wolseley, South Australia. Grave Reference: NC1. 7.

QUARANTINE STATION, WOODMAN POINT, Western Australia, Australia

O'KANE, Staff Nurse, ROSA. Australian Army Nursing Service. 21 December 1918. Age 28. Daughter of Mrs. J. E. O'Kane, of Charters Towers, Queensland. Grave Reference: (GRM/6).

ROOKWOOD NECROPOLIS, SYDNEY, New South Wales, Australia

NUGENT, Staff Nurse, LILY. Australian Army Nursing Service. 21 February 1918. Grave Reference: R.C. L. 962.

STIRLING DISTRICT CEMETERY, South Australia, Australia

ATKINSON, Staff Nurse, BLANCHE. Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service. 9 December 1916. Age 38. Grave Reference: General Section Grave 177/178

SWANWATER WEST GENERAL CEMETERY, Victoria, Australia

GREWAR, Sister, GERTRUDE AGNES. Australian Army Nursing Service. 24 May 1921. Grave Reference: Pres. B. 54.

SYDNEY (WAVERLEY) GENERAL CEMETERY, New South Wales, Australia

PORTER, Sister, KATHERINE AGNES LAWRENCE. R R C, Mentioned in Despatches. Australian Army Nursing Service. 16 July 1919. Grave Reference: R.C. Vault. 16. 649A. (GRM/2*).

CAIRO WAR MEMORIAL CEMETERY, Egypt

BICKNELL, Staff Nurse, LOUISA ANNIE. 1st General Hosp., Australian Army Nursing Service. Died of sickness, 25 June 1915. Daughter of Mrs. Eliza Bicknell, of 205, Longridge St., Abbotsford, Victoria. Grave Reference: B. 306.

MOWBRAY, Staff Nurse, NORMA VIOLET. Australian Army Nursing Service. Died of pneumonia, 21 January 1916. Age 32. Daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth Barclay Mowbray, of Longville, Dickson St., Eagle Junction, Queensland. Born at St. George, Queensland. Grave Reference: D. 271.

ISMAILIA WAR MEMORIAL CEMETERY, Egypt

WATSON, Staff Nurse, BEATRICE MIDDLETON. Australian Army Nursing Service, attd. 1st Aust. Stat. Hosp.. Died of sickness, 2 June 1916. Age 34. Daughter of William Galley Watson and Jane Ada Watson, of Middleton, Kooyong Rd., Elsternwick, Victoria. Born at Elsternwick. Grave Reference: B. 67.

LILLE SOUTHERN CEMETERY, Nord, France

MOORHOUSE, Sister, EDITH ANN. Australian Army Nursing Service. Died of sickness, 24 November 1918. Age 33. Daughter of Frederick and Deborah Moorhouse. Born at Undera, Victoria, Australia. Grave Reference: I. C. 25.

ST. SEVER CEMETERY, ROUEN, Seine-Maritime, France

KNOX, Sister, HILDA MARY. Australian Army Nursing Service. Died of sickness, 17 February 1917. Age 33. Daughter of James and Isabella Knox, of Benalla, Victoria, Australia. Grave Reference: Officers, B. 4. 10.

RIGGALL, Member, LOUISA. Australian Red Cross Society. Died of hoemorrage, 31 August 1918. Grave Reference: Officers, B. 3. 1.

WIMEREUX COMMUNAL CEMETERY, Pas de Calais, France

WILSON, Sister, MYRTLE ELIZABETH. Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service. Died of pneumonia, 23 December 1915. Age 38. Daughter of Andrew Stevens Wilson and Catherine Wilson, of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Left Queensland for Nursing Service, April, 1915. Grave Reference: III. M. 1.

MIKRA BRITISH CEMETERY, KALAMARIA, Greece

MUNRO, Sister, GERTRUDE EVELYN. Australian Army Nursing Service. Died of sickness, 10 September 1918. Age 36. Daughter of Mr. A. B. and Mrs. E. P. Munro, of 5, Gillies St., Alfredton, Ballarat, Victoria, Australia. Grave Reference: 591

DELHI MEMORIAL (INDIA GATE), India

MORETON, Sister, LETETIA GLADYS. Australian Gen. Hosp. No. 2 Australian Army Nursing Service. Died of enteric, 11 November 1916. Age 26. Daughter of Samuel Henry and Letetia Dexter Moreton. Born at Brim, Victoria, Australia. Grave Reference: Face 23.

DEOLALI GOVERNMENT CEMETERY, India

CLARE, Sister, EMILY. Australian Army Nursing Service. 17 October 1918. Age 28. Daughter of Peter and Mary Clare, of 34, Lynch St., Footscray, Victoria, Australia. Grave Reference: Plot RC. Row M2. Grave 22.

KIRKEE 1914-1918 MEMORIAL, India

O'GRADY, Nursing Sister, AMY VEDA. Australian Army Nursing Service. 12 August 1916. Grave Reference: Face F.

POWER, Nursing Sister, KATHLEEN. Australian Army Nursing Service. 13 August 1916. Age 28. Daughter of Michael and Johanna Power, of Garrygauge, Piltown, Co. Kilkenny, Republic of Ireland. Grave Reference: Face F.

JOHANNESBURG (BRIXTON) CEMETERY, Gauteng, South Africa

PARROTT, Sister, AMY MAUD AUGUSTA. Voluntary Aid Detachment. 24 October 1918. Age 37. Daughter of Col. and Mrs. T. S. Parrott, of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Grave Reference: E.C. 2219.https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=2003452649868322&set=p.2003452649868322&type=3  from a newspaper report about Sister Parrott of 1918

HAREFIELD (ST. MARY) CHURCHYARD, Middlesex, United Kingdom

DICKINSON, Staff Nurse, RUBY. Australian Army Nursing Service. 23 June 1918. Age 32. Daughter of William and Julia Dickinson, of "Arizona," Almora St., Mosman, Queensland. Born at Forbes, New South Wales. Grave Reference: Aust. 57.

KENSAL GREEN (ALL SOULS') CEMETERY, London, United Kingdom

ASHLEY, Member, DORA, 17663. No.10 Motor Transport Repair Depot, Women's Royal Air Force. Died of pneumonia, 4 November 1918. Age 27. Daughter of E. B. and Fanny Ashley, of Woodlands, Longwarry South, Drouin, Victoria, Australia. Grave Reference: 198. 19. 460933.

LEICESTER (WELFORD ROAD) CEMETERY, Leicestershire, United Kingdom

BRENNAN, Nurse, K A. Australian Army Nursing Service. 24 November 1918. Grave Reference: Screen Wall. O1. 198.

MANCHESTER SOUTHERN CEMETERY, MANCHESTER, United Kingdom

GRANT, LYDIA W. F.  VAD – Nurse, Red Cross Unit: BRCS VAD AUSTRALIAN DETACHMENT BRISBANE 2 Died - aged 37 - at the military hospital on Ducie Avenue, Manchester (this was part of 2nd Western General Hospital) on 1st April 1917.

Her Brother Chesborough G. F. Grant was in attendance and he gave on the death certificate an address of Whytecliff, Albion, Queensland, Australia. In 1903 and 1905 Lydia was living at Lynton Norwood Street Toowong Brisbane with Emily Mary Graham Grant, Peter George Grant and John Macdonald Grant.

SUTTON VENY (ST. JOHN) CHURCHYARD, Wiltshire, United Kingdom

TYSON, Sister, FANNY ISOBEL CATHERINE. Australian Army Nursing Service. Died of sickness, 20 April 1919. Age 28. Daughter of John and Teresa Tyson, of 18, Blanche St., Elsternwick, Victoria. Born at Balranald, New South Wales. Grave Reference: 85. L. 5.

WALKER, Matron, JEAN MILES. R R C. Australian Army Nursing Service. Died of sickness, 30 October 1918. Age 39. Daughter of Alfred and Louisa Miles Walker, of "Allowah," Dunbarra Rd., Bellevue Hill, Sydney. Born in Tasmania. Grave Reference: 15. H. 1.

TOWER HILL MEMORIAL, London, United Kingdom

McMILLAN, Stewardess, (Saln.), CLARA LOUISA. "Wimmera" (Melbourne), Mercantile Marine. Killed by mine, 26 June 1918. Age 31. Daughter of Mrs. Margaret McIlwraith, of 229, Bridport St., Albert Park, Australia. 

NEW ZEALAND

ALEXANDRIA (CHATBY) MILITARY AND WAR MEMORIAL CEMETERY, Egypt

HAWKEN, Staff Nurse, ADA, 22/123. New Zealand Army Nursing Service. Died of enteric, 28 October 1915. Daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Gilbert Hawken, of 16, Ranfurly Rd., Epsom, Auckland, New Zealand. Grave Reference: G. 125.

MIKRA BRITISH CEMETERY, KALAMARIA, Greece

ROGERS, Staff Nurse, MARGARET, 22/175. H.M. Transport Marquette, New Zealand Army Nursing Service. Drowned, 23 October 1915. Daughter of Thomas Rogers of Beach Rd., Akaroa, Banks Peninsula, New Zealand. Grave Reference: 1833.

MIKRA MEMORIAL, Greece

BROWN, Staff Nurse, MARION SINCLAIR, 22/104. New Zealand Army Nursing Service. Drowned at sea (from H.T. "Marquette"), 23 October 1915. Daughter of Mrs. J. S. Brown, of Waiuatuku, Southland. 

CLARK, Staff Nurse, ISABEL, 22/108. New Zealand Army Nursing Service. Drowned at sea (from H.T. "Marquette"), 23 October 1915. Sister of Alexander David Clark, of Ardgowan, Oamaru. 

FOX, Staff Nurse, CATHERINE ANNE, 22/118. New Zealand Army Nursing Service. Drowned at sea (from H.T. "Marquette"), 23 October 1915. Sister of Miss M. Fox, of Hallenstein's Buildings, Auckland. Born at Otago. 

GORMAN, Staff Nurse, MARY, 22/73. New Zealand Army Nursing Service. Drowned at sea (from H.T. "Marquette"), 23 October 1915. Daughter of John and Catherine Gorman, of Arno, Waimate, Timaru. 

HILDYARD, Staff Nurse, NORA MILDRED, 22/125. New Zealand Army Nursing Service. Drowned at sea (from H.T. "Marquette"), 23 October 1915. Age 28. Daughter of Betsy Ann Hildyard, of Lyttelton, Christchurch, New Zealand, and the late William Hildyard. 

ISDELL, Staff Nurse, HELENA KATHLEEN, 22/130. New Zealand Army Nursing Service. Drowned at sea (from H.T. "Marquette"), 23 October 1915. Daughter of Mrs. H. C. Isdell, of Preston Rd., Greymouth. 

JAMIESON, Staff Nurse, MABEL ELIZABETH, 22/133. New Zealand Army Nursing Service. Drowned at sea (from H.T. "Marquette"), 23 October 1915. Daughter of Thomas Jamieson, of Church St., Kumara, Greymouth, and the late Frances Jamieson. 

RAE, Staff Nurse, MARY HELEN, 22/161. New Zealand Army Nursing Service. Drowned at sea (from H.T. "Marquette"), 23 October 1915. Age 36. Sister of Miss Robina Rae, of 25, Cambridge Terrace, Christchurch. Born at Rae's Junction, Otago. 

RATTRAY, Staff Nurse, LORNA AYLMER, 22/160. New Zealand Army Nursing Service. Drowned at sea (from H.T. "Marquette"), 23 October 1915. Sister of Mr. C. W. Rattray, of Crawford St., Dunedin. 

CHRISTCHURCH (SYDENHAM) CEMETERY, Christchurch City, New Zealand  

THOMPSON, Staff Nurse, MARGARET HEPPLE, 22/486. New Zealand Army Nursing Service. 28 February 1921. Age 36. Daughter of James and Annie E. Thompson, of 67, Hackthorne Rd., Christchurch. Born at Pleasant Point. Grave Reference: Block 38C, Lot 6162.

FEATHERSTON CEMETERY, South Wairarapa District, New Zealand

LUMLEY, Nurse, CORALE. Nursing Staff., New Zealand Voluntary Aid Detachment. 25 November 1918. Grave Reference: 22.

WHISHAW, Sister, MABEL HELEN, 22/371. New Zealand Army Nursing Service. Died of influenza, 10 November 1918. Daughter of John and Katherine Whishaw, of Stoneridge, Featherston. Born at Kakaramea, South Taranaki. Grave Reference: 85.

BROOKWOOD MILITARY CEMETERY, Surrey, United Kingdom

SPEEDY, Volunteer, MISS LOUISA ELLEN. New Zealand Volunteer Worker, New Zealand Reinforcements. Died of influenza and pneumonia, 11 January 1919. Age 47. Daughter of Graham and Emily J. Speedy. Grave Reference: II. H. 1B.

DOVER (ST. MARY'S) NEW CEMETERY, Kent, United Kingdom

MABERLEY, Stewardess, E. S.S. "Maloja" (Belfast), Mercantile Marine. Drowned, as a result of an attack by an enemy submarine, or killed by mine, 27 February 1916. Age 54. Born at Dunedin, New Zealand. Grave Reference: L. M. 16.

TIDWORTH MILITARY CEMETERY, Wiltshire, United Kingdom

TUBMAN, Staff Nurse, ESTHER MAUDE, 22/517. New Zealand Army Nursing Service. 18 September 1918. Age 31. Daughter of Jane Tubman, of 43, Prince Albert Rd., st Kilda, Dunedin, and the late Edward Tubman. Grave Reference: C. 334.


Saturday, 7 April 2018

Remembering two women who died on 7th April 1918: Edith Dorothy Pepper from Lincoln and Hylda Fanny M. Maclean from Warwickshire

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission List of Female Casualties of the First World War lists the following two women who died on 7th April 1918:

CAIRO WAR MEMORIAL CEMETERY, Egypt
Special Probationer Nurse, (Military), EDITH DOROTHY PEPPER, 83/P/481 of The Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service.    Edith was born in Lincolnshire in 1893.  Her parents were William Ernest and Edith Martha Pepper, nee Cant, who lived in Manor House, Nocton, Lincoln.  Edith had a brother called Ernest C. Pepper, who was born in 1900.  Edith died on 7th April 1918, at the age of 25. She was buried in Cairo War Memorial Cemetery in Egypt - Grave. Reference: O. 145. https://billiongraves.com/grave/Edith-Dorothy-Pepper/6728353

EDINBURGH (WARRISTON) CEMETERY, Edinburgh, UK
MACLEAN, Driver, H F M. MACLEAN, of the Women's Legion, who died on 7th April 1918. Grave Reference: C1. 831.
 
Driver, Hylda Fanny M. Maclean, nee Green of the Women's Legion. Hylda was born was born in Foleshill, Warwickshire, UK in 1879 to Fanny T, nee Harrison, and Eli Green, a cycle manufacturer. Hylda had a sister, Elizabeth M., who was born in 1876 and a brother, William H., who was born in 1870.  Hylda married Norman Henry Maclean, a Civil Serevant, in Coventry in 1900.  They had a daughter called Isabella Una, born in 1908..  Hylda, who was a despatch rider with the Women’s Legion in WW1, died on 7th April 1918. Grave Reference: C1. 831.  With grateful thanks to researcher Debbie Cameron, who has a Facebook Page - Remembering Women on the Home Front WW1 - for additional information about Hylda, who is also featured on the IWM site Lives of the First World War. 
 
 

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

April 1918

Remembering some of the women who died or were killed during April 1918:

3rd April

LONGUENESSE (ST. OMER) SOUVENIR CEMETERY, Pas de Calais, France
BARKER, Nurse, EDITH FRANCES. 90th (Cheshire) Detachment, Voluntary Aid Detachment. Died of cerebro-spinal meningitis, 3rd April 1918. Age 49. Daughter of Richard and Emily Barker, of Huyton, Liverpool. Grave Reference: VI. B. 5.

EDINBURGH (NORTH MERCHISTON) CEMETERY, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
HENDERSON, Worker, Mrs. BARBARA, 35272. Queen Mary's Army Auxiliary Corps. 3 April 1918. Age 39. Wife of William Hendeson. Grave Reference: G 155.

7th April
CAIRO WAR MEMORIAL CEMETERY, Egypt

PEPPER, Probationer Nurse, (Special Mil.), EDITH DOROTHY, 83/P/481. Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service. 7th April 1918. Age 25. Daughter of William Ernest and Edith M. Pepper, of Manor House, Nocton, Lincoln. Grave Reference: O. 145.

EDINBURGH (WARRISTON) CEMETERY, Edinburgh, UK
MACLEAN, Driver, H F M. Women's Legion. 7 April 1918. Grave Reference: C1. 831.

9th April
ARMLEY (ST. BARTHOLOMEW) CHURCHYARD, Yorkshire, United Kingdom

MAYNE, Worker, GERTRUDE, 27339. Queen Mary's Army Auxiliary Corps. 9 April 1918. Age 29. Daughter of John Thomas and Elizabeth Sadler, of 14, Strawberry Place, Armley. Grave Reference: North of Church Tower.

19th April
BODELWYDDAN (ST. MARGARET) CHURCHYARD, Flintshire, UK

QUANE, Worker, DORIS, 10515. Queen Mary's Army Auxiliary Corps, attd. Reserve Bn., Cheshire Regiment. 19 April 1918. Grave Reference: H. 22.

21st April
WIMEREUX COMMUNAL CEMETERY, Pas de Calais, France

WHITELY, Nursing Sister, ANNA E.. 10th Canadian Stat. Hosp., Canadian Army Nursing Service. 2 Kingdom 1stApril 1918. Sister of Harry Henning, of Peterborough, Ontario. Grave Reference: IV. A. 1.

24th April
ALDERSHOT MILITARY CEMETERY, Hampshire, UK

STEPHENS, Worker, LIZZIE DORA, 20110. Queen Mary's Army Auxiliary Corps, attd. 21st Officers Cadet Bn.. 24 April 1918. Age 23. Daughter of John and Margaret Stephens, of 14, Edward's Terrace, Pentwyn, Treharris, Glam. Grave Reference: AF. 2098.

BRAMSHOTT (ST. MARY) CHURCHYARD, Hampshire, UK
FORNERI, Nursing Sister, AGNES FLORIEN. 8th Canadian General Hospital, Canadian Army Medical Corps. 24 April 1918. Age 39. Daughter of The Rev. R. S. Forneri, of Peterborough, Ontario. Grave Reference: I. B. 12.

26th April
WALLASEY (RAKE LANE) CEMETERY, Wirral, UK

BENOY, Worker, FLORENCE ESTHER, 12113. Queen Mary's Army Auxiliary Corps. 26 April 1918. Age 25. Daughter of Isaac Frank Benoy, of 6, Carlton Terrace, Birkenhead Rd., Hoylake, Cheshire. Grave Reference: 7. C. of E. 19.

 

 

Saturday, 10 March 2018

Remembering some of the women who died or were killed while serving in WW1 during the month of March 1918

12th March

BRAMSHOT St. Mary CHURCHYARD, Hampshire

Nursing Sister IDA LILIAN KEALY of the 1st Canadian General Hospital., Canadian Army Medical Corps. Ida died of pneumonia on 12th March 1918 at the age of 39. She was daughter of Clara Marion Kealy, of 1037, Johnson St., Victoria, British Columbia. Grave Reference: I. B. 16. (see photo – kindly found by Callan Chevin.)

 



13th March

ST SEVER CEMETERY, Rouen, Seine-Maritime, France

Worker EDITH PEARTON of the Young Men's Christian Association. Edith died on 13th March 1918 and was buried in St. Sever Cemetery in Rouen, France.. Grave Reference: Officers, B. 4. 17.

14th March

BROOKWOOD CEMETERY, Surrey, United Kingdom

Staff Nurse IDA DURANT HANNAFORD, Res.H/280 of the Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service.  
 
Ida died on 14th March 1918 at the age of 34. She was daughter of Ellen Hannaford, of 266, Greenwood Avenue, Toronto, Canada, and the late Joseph William Hannaford. Born in Birmingham. Grave Reference: H. 180705. (see photo kindly found by Callan Chevin.)

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
THE UNITED KINGDOM BOOK OF REMEMBRANCE, Berkshire, United Kingdom

Staff Nurse ANNE VERONICA FLETCHER, of the Territorial Force Nursing Service., who died on 14th March 1918 at the age of 27. 

16th March

READING CEMETERY, Berkshire, UK

Worker AGNES MARY FRANSHAM, 15323 of the Queen Mary's Army Auxiliary Corps, attached to the School of Mil. Aeronautics (Reading).Agnes died on 16th March 1918 at the age of 37. She was the  daughter of Daniel Fransham, of Newcombe Road., Polygon, Southampton and was born at Hedge End, Southampton. Grave Reference: Screen Wall. 72. 16419.

 
TOWER HILL  MEMORIAL, London, UK

Stewardess W. BURTON of the S.S. "South Western" (Southampton), Mercantile Marine. Stewardess Burton was drowned, as a result of an attack by an enemy submarine on 16th  March 1918 at the age of 61. She was born in Southampton. 
 

Stewardess, E B. COCHRANE, of the S.S. "South Western" (Southampton), Mercantile Marine. Stewardess Cochrane was drowned, as a result of an attack by an enemy submarine, 16th March 1918 at the age of  46. She was born in Limerick, Ireland.

You can find out more about the sinking of the S.S. "South Western" here:  http://forgottenwrecks.maritimearchaeologytrust.org/south-western

If anyone has any more information about these inspirational women of WW1, please get in touch.


Source:  Commonwealth War Graves Commission List of Female Casualties of the First World War

Monday, 5 March 2018

Edith Honora Routledge (1889 - 1919) - British; Member of the QMAAC in WW1

Assistant Forewoman, Edith Honora ROUTLEDGE, No. 1585. Mentioned in Despatches. Queen Mary's Army Auxiliary Corps.

Edith was the eldest daughter of George, a licensed victualler, and Elizabeth Routledge, nee Bloomfield, of Rock Ferry, Cheshire, Wirral.  Edith was born in Buxton, Derbyshire in 1889 and baptised on 1st May 1889. 
Edith had the following siblings: Lilian C. born 1891, George b. 1893, Ethel Mary b. 1894, William Henry, b. 1896, Catherine Maud, b. 1898 and James b. 1903.  In 1901, the family ran York Hotel in Victoria Road, New Brighton, Wirral.  In 1911, they lived at no. 379 New Chester Road, Birkenhead, Wirral and Edith was a telephone operator.

Edith joined the QMAAC in WW1 and served in France, where she died of pneumonia on 5th March 1919, at the age of 29.  She was buried in Etaples Military Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France, Grave Reference: LXXII. D. 37.
If anyone has any further information about Edith and a photograph of her, please get in touch via the e-mail connection.
Sources:  Commonwealth War Graves Commission List of Female Casualties of the First World War and Find my Past.
 

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Book Review: “The Mystery of Isabella and the String of Beads: A Woman Doctor in World War 1” by Katrina Kirkwood, published by Loke Press, Norwich, UK, 2016.

Having been researching the role of women during WW1 for the past six years for a series of commemorative exhibitions, I was thrilled when Katrina Kirkwood approached me via this weblog to ask me to review her book about her Grandmother.  Katrina, a former medical research scientist, is the author of this wonderful book about her Grandmother, Isabella Stenhouse (1887 - 1952).  

Isabella trained as a doctor in the early 20th Century, following in the footsteps of one of my childhood heroines, Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, whose bravery and determination to become a doctor paved the way for women to study medicine.  Working only with a small box of medical equipment, some old family photographs and a string of beads that belonged to her Grandmother, in a feat of detective work worthy of the great Lord Peter Wimsey, Katrina weaves the story of her grandmother’s service as a doctor during the First World War.

I don’t want to give too much away because you really need to read this book, but I particularly enjoyed reading about Katrina’s journeys to the places in which Isabella worked during WW1. In each place Katrina describes imagining what those places would have looked like in WW1 and what her Grandmother would have done and how she would have felt.   She also has some very interesting interviews with local inhabitants who try to help solve Isabella’s WW1 mysteries.

I also like the way Katrina chose to involve modern women medical students, women doctors and women medics with the British Royal Army Medical Corps who have seen active service.  This helps to establish how Isabella might have felt when she was treating the wounded.

On p. 206, I was interested to read that In 1913, 4% of the 98 medical students at Edinburgh University were women;  by 1918, the number had risen and 28% of the 1,700 odd students were women.  And there was a surprisingly heart-warming story of a French soldier who was to have his foot amputated.  Further on in the book, when Isabella was posted to Malta, you will find more fascinating information, for instance about enemy Prisoners of War detained on the island.  Mention of the names of other women who were doctors during WW1 and some of those who were nurses is also extremely interesting.

I was also interested to see that Katrina  had visited Hadra Cemetery in Alexandria, Egypt - see post on 12th December 1917 regarding the loss of HMS "Osmanieh".

I do hope Katrina will give me permission to write up an exhibition panel about Isabella.  Exhibition panels are sent out via e-mail free of charge to any venue wishing to host an exhibition. Topics covered are Female Poets, Inspirational Women, Fascinating Facts (such as how the Laughing Cow got her name) and Forgotten (male) Poets.  For anyone interested, I can supply the list of panels researched so far.

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Staff Nurse Annie Winifred Munro of the South African Military Nursing Service

In 2014 I posted the following information about Staff Nurse Annie Winifred Munro of the South African Military Nursing Service.  I can now add a photograph of Annie, thanks to Sue Robinson of the Group Wenches in Trenches, the Roses of No Man's Land.

I just found this entry on page 56 of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission List of Female Casualties of WW1:

 
Staff Nurse Annie Winifred Munro from Pietermaritzburg, Natal, South Africa, a member of The South African Military Nursing Service who died on 6th April 1917, at the age of 26. Annie was the daughter of William and Ellen Munro, of St. Patrick's Rd., Scottsville, Pietermaritzburg, Natal. She was buried in Glasgow Western Necropolis - Grave Reference: B. 1881A

By strange coincidence, my aunt was born on 6th April 1921.  According to my Mother, her Father returned from his service with the Royal Field Artillery in WW1 around Christmas 1919.  Audrey served in the  Women's Royal Naval Service during the Second World War and was at Fort Southwick, Portsmouth on D-Day.   She met and married a soldier from South Africa and went to live in Pietermaritzburg after the war where she died in the spring of 1948.

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Emily Ada Pickford (1881 - 1919) - music teacher - entertainer during WW1

Remembering EMILY ADA PICKFORD, a music teacher from Penarth, Glamorgan, Wales, who died in a tragic motoring accident in France on 7th February 1919.

Emily was born in Wales in 1881.  Her parents were William Henry Pearn, a baker from Penarth, and his wife Emma Jane, nee Sadler.
Emily became a music teacher and Sundayschool teacher.  In 1907 she married Ernest Fergusson Pickford and they went to live in Windsor Rd., Penarth, Glamorgan.

Emily joined Lena Ashwell's Concert Party during the First World War.  Lena, an actress, theatre owner and producer, set up these touring groups to go and entertain the troops in the Western Front from 1915 – 1919, under the auspices of the YMCA (Young Men's Christian Association) and with the patronage of Princess Helena Victoria of Schleswig-Holstein, one of Queen Victoria’s grandchildren. 
Concert party groups usually consisted of between six and seven people - singers, a musician and an entertainer such as a ventriloquist.  On the night of 7th February 1919 one of the groups had been entertaining troops in Guoy, a village in the north of France in the Departement of Aisne.  The group were in two cars travelling back to their headquarters in Abeville along the tow-path beside the River Somme, when there was an unfortunate accident.  One of the cars slid on the icy tow-path and Emily and Frederick Taylor, a baritone singer with the group, drowned.  It is worth remembering that cars, tyres and brakes were not as sophisticated in 1919 as they are in the 21st Century.

Emily was buried in Abeville Communal Cemetery Extension, Abeville, Somme, France.  The Grave Reference is V. G. 23.  She is also remembered on the Memorial to the Men of Penarth who died in the First World War in Alexandra Park, Penarth.
When you have time, do look at this more extensive account of the accident:  http://www.powell76.talktalk.net/mrsemilypickford.htm

Original source:  The Commonwealth War Graves Commission List of Female Casualties of the First World war
 

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Hertfordshire in WW1

An exhibition about the First World War opens at the British Schools Museum in Hitchin in  Hertfordshire on 16th February 2018.   To find out more please see the Museum's website http://www.britishschoolsmuseum.co.uk/page/HertsatWar

The British Schools Museum
41 - 42, Queen Street
Hitchin, Hertfordshire
SG4 9TS


To coincide with that exhibition, I went through the Commonwealth War Graves Commission List of Female Casualties of the First World War looking for Hertfordshire links, with the following results:

ALEXANDRIA (CHATBY) MILITARY AND WAR MEMORIAL CEMETERY, Egypt

ROSKELL, Nurse, GERTRUDE LUCINDA, 5540. 17th Gen. Hosp., Voluntary Aid Detachment. Died of appendicitis, 31 October 1915. Age 38. Daughter of John Burrow Roskell and Gertrude Roskell, of Cronkley, Knebworth, Herts. Grave Reference: Q. 538.

CHELA KULA MILITARY CEMETERY, NIS, Serbia

POPE, Nursing Sister, CICELY MARY LEIGH. Voluntary Aid Detachment. 25 June 1921. Age 31. Daughter of Frances A. Pope, of 12A, Kensington Mansions, Earls Court, London, and the late Rev. W. A. Pope. Born at Redbourn, Herts. Grave Reference: C. 2.

HEMEL HEMPSTEAD (HEATH LANE) CEMETERY, Hertfordshire

HARROLD, Worker, (Waitress), HELEN CHARLOTTE, 50021. Queen Mary's Army Auxiliary Corps. 29 October 1918. Grave Reference: YB. 46.

LANGLEYBURY (ST. PAUL) CHURCHYARD, Hertfordshire

HUDSON, Member, FRANCES LOUISA, 18072. No. 4 Stores Depot, Women's Royal Air Force. Died of sickness, 19 February 1919. Age 22. Daughter of Arthur and C. M. Hudson, of 2, Brookside, Hunton Bridge, King's Langley, Herts. 

ST. ALBANS (HATFIELD ROAD) CEMETERY, Hertfordshire

CHADWICK, Nurse, HILDA. Voluntary Aid Detachment. 2 November 1918. Grave Reference: Mil. I. 5.

DAY, Member, CHARLOTTE ANNIE, 24165. R.A.F. Records (Blandford), Women's Royal Air Force. Died of pneumonia, 30 November 1918. Daughter of Mr. and Mrs. George Day, of St. Albans. Grave Reference: E. I. 25.
I wonder if any of those graves receive visitors?

Saturday, 3 February 2018

REVIEW OF “PEACE LILY” by Hilary Robinson and Martin Impey (Strauss House Productions, 2018)

I first found out about this wonderful book on Facebook*.  I must admit the book really took my breath away – the pictures, painted by Martin Impey (who did the illustrations for the book “War Horse”), are beautiful and the story, written in verse by Hilary Robinson, is very poignant.  I hold my hand up – I was moved to tears.  Although this book has been written to help children understand the admirable contribution of women to the First World War effort, I am certain that it will appeal to people of all ages.  The story centres around some children growing up in a village in Britain during the pre WW1 years in a very, very different world to that we know today.  For the characters in the book, who go on to participate in the conflict, there is a happy ending and I really loved the ‘photograph album’ at the very end of the book.

I feel this book is very important.  Why?   I suppose, at heart I am still the three year old staring at Grandpa’s print of “Goodbye Old Man” by Fortunino Matania, wondering what on earth happened to the poor horse.  Grandpa was an Old Contemptible with the Royal Field Artillery and I have commemorated the First World War all my life, yet it was not until I began researching six years ago for a series of commemorative exhibitions in the Centenary years that I realised the extent to which women were involved.  I had no idea quite so many died or were killed while serving either – “Peace Lily” goes a long way to putting that right.

“Peace Lily” costs £8.99 and is to be launched on 8th March 2018 to coincide with International Women’s Day and as an aid for the schools programme visiting the Battlefields of Ypres and The Somme.  There are other books by Robinson and Impey in this delightful series about the First World War and I for one am going to buy copies of them all for the young (and not so young) members of my family who I know will love them.

For more information, please see https://www.strausshouseproductions.com/
 
*https://www.facebook.com/Where-The-Poppies-Now-Grow-793496400665716/

 Lucy London, February 2018