Wednesday, 24 January 2018

Emma Pauline Cunliffe-Owen (1863 - 1950) - British

WW1 Researcher Debbie Cameron sent me a poem written by Claude Edward Cole Hamilton Burton - see Forgotten Poets of WW1 - who, I discovered from Catherine Reilly’s “Bibliography of English Poetry of WW1” used the pen-names Touchstone and C.E.B.   Debbie has been researching a soldier who was in one of the Sportsman’s Battalions, to which Touchstone’s poem was dedicated.   I had to find out more and discovered that the Sportsman's Battalions had been set up by Emma, starting in September 1914.

Emma Pauline Cunliffe-Owen was born in Kensington in 1863.  Her father was Sir Francis Philip Cunliffe-Owen, director of the South Kensington Museum, which later became the Victoria and Albert Museum.  Emma’s mother, Jenny, whose maiden name was Von Reitzenstein, was of German origin. 

Emma was the sixth of ten children born to Francis and Jenny.   Emma was a keen sportswoman but she had health problems that eventually necessitated the use of a wheel-chair.  Emma married her cousin, Edward Cunliffe Cunliffe-Owen in 1882 and they had two sons, the elder of whom died in 1912, and two daughters.

After the death of her husband, Emma married Dr. Robert Stamford and as Mrs Stamford was awarded the O.B.E. in 1921 for her services during the First World War.  Emma died in Loughborough in November 1950.

Photograph:  Emma with her husband and younger son.


With many thanks to Debbie who sent me this link to a WW1 book about the Battalions:

Saturday, 20 January 2018

Abbie H.D. Gardner (1860 - 1918)

Mrs. ABBIE H.D. GARDNER, a civilian. Abbie was born in 1860 and was 56 when she died on 21st January 1918. She was buried in Cairo New British Protestant Cemetery - Grave Reference: Plot C Grave 28.   But what was Mrs Gardner doing in Egypt and how did she die?  I can’t find any further information about Abbie Gardner – can anyone help please?

Thursday, 18 January 2018

BOOK REVIEW: “The Woman War Correspondent, the U.S. Military, and the Press” by Carolyn M. Edy

Drawing on a large selection of resources, the aim of the book is to provide a history of the women accredited by the U.S. Government as war correspondents.  Although my particular field of interest is the First World War and this book covers American women war correspondents from 1846 until 1947, I found it extremely interesting and will be referring to it again and again.   Carolyn Edy - who teaches journalism at Appalachian State University, Boone, North Carolina - addresses not only the stories of the women who went to battle areas to write about war but also the conflict women experienced, and are still experiencing, in order to gain recognition and be taken seriously in a patriarchal society.

I find it incredible to discover in Chapter Two that women reported on war as long ago as 1846 (The Mexican War), yet we are only now, in the 21st Century, beginning to hear of those remarkable women.   It seems that the idea of recruiting women to report on conflicts was with an eye to increasing the newspapers’ advertisement revenue but, whatever the reason, having women war correspondents was, nevertheless, a cautious step towards equality.

It is difficult to pick out one or two items of interest for the purposes of this review but I particularly liked the story about the British reporter Lady Mary Howard who went to cover the Boer War for the “London Telegraph” (page 27).  There are many illustrations throughout the book with those taken during WW1 being of special interest to me.   The comprehensive list in Appendix 1 beginning on page 136, lists 44 American women war correspondents who covered WW1, of which I had only heard of two!

The chapters on the women reporters of the Second World War are a real ‘eye-opener’ – who knew that one, Caroline Iverson, as well as being ‘pretty’ also had a pilot’s licence (p. 84)?    Eisenhower’s comment about women in total warfare on page 76 made me realise that is why so many women in Britain rallied to the cause in WW1, yet in 1943 Britain’s General Montgomery (known after his WW2 successes affectionately to the British public as ‘Monty’ – p. 89) refused to allow women anywhere near his troops in North Africa.  It seems Monty did, however, change his mind later on.

With an Index, extensive bibliography and copious notes, this is a must-read book for anyone interested in, or studying, the history of the First and Second World Wars.
“The Woman War Correspondent, the U.S. Military, and the Press” by Carolyn M. Edy, published by Lexington Books, Lanham, Boulder, New York and London 2017.  Lexington Books is an imprint of The Rowman and Littlefield Publishing Group, Inc.

Saturday, 6 January 2018

Mary Elizabeth Hardy

Mary Elizabeth Hardy was the daughter of the Reverend Theodore Bailey Hardy, VC, DSO, MC.  She was a VAD during WW1 and served at The Queen Alexandra Red Cross Hospital at Dunkirk, France.

Mary is in the background of the painting by Terence Cuneo of her father receiving his Victoria Cross from King George V in 1918:

Information kindly supplied by the Museum of Army Chaplaincy near Andofer, Hampshire, UK