Friday, 13 July 2018

A wonderful tribute to Worker Mary 'May' Wylie of the Queen Mary's Army Auxiliary Corps who died while serving in WW1

In an effort to persuade someone to visit the grave of Worker (equivalent to the male rank of Private) Mary 'May' Wylie of the QMAAC, who died on 9th July 1918 and was buried in Anfield Cemetery, Liverpool, UK, I wrote a letter to the "Liverpool Echo" who were kind enough to print the letter.


Here is what happened next: The Liverpool Scottish Association sent a message to my friend Sue Robinson of the group Wenches in Trenches The Roses of No Man's Land, saying: The Association was alerted by a recent letter to the 'Liverpool Echo' that today, 9th July 2018, was going to be the Centenary of the death in Oswestry of Worker Mary 'May' Wylie of Queen Mary's Army Auxiliary Corps where she was serving on attachment to 3/10th (Scottish) Bn, Kings (Liverpool) Regiment.


She is buried in Anfield Cemetery. Consequently I conducted a short memorial service at the graveside and Kenny Whittaker played a lament. In July 1918 the Bootle Times noted that ".... May Wylie died for her country as surely as the gallant soldiers who fall in battle". A full report will appear in this Winter's newsletter. From the Liverpool Scottish Association via Sue Robinson.


My grateful thanks to "The Liverpool Echo", the Liverpool Scottish Association and Sue Robinson. Together "We will remember them" ALL.

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Mrs Hilda Wynne (1884 - ?) - British

Newspapers at the time of WW1 report that Hilda was ‘… probably the most decorated British woman of the First World War’.

Hilda was born in 1884 but I have been unable to find out more about her early life. According to the Peerage website, Hilda’s father was James Clifton Brown born in 1841 and a Colonel in the British Army. He was from Yorkshire and served as a Justice of the Peace (JP) in Essex, UK.  Hilda's mother was Amelia Wroe, who was apparently American. The Clifton Browns had ten children – Elsie, Howard, Edward, Louisa, Francis (who became a Vice Admiral), Mildred, Leonard, Douglas (who became a Colonel), Isla and Cedric who was born in 1887.

I can’t seem to find a Hilda and the marriages the four Clifton Brown girls made were not to anyone called Wynne. I found a Reginald Wynne who married a Hilda Brown in 1902, St. George’s Hannover Square, London. He died in Paris in 1913 and was a Colonel in the British Army who fought in the Boer War, which would tally with Hilda being a widow in 1917 when she went to visit America to raise funds to take an ambulance unit to Russia.

I read in one newspaper report about Hilda that her husband had been ‘a general’. According to the Red Cross website, a meeting was held at the Royal Automobile Club in London in September 1914, asking members to lend their vehicles for service as ambulances. Hilda and a man called Ivor Bevan (about whom I can find nothing!) formed the Bevan-Wynne Ambulance Unit and Hilda drove several of the vehicles to Belgium herself. She was based in Dixmunde, where she met up with Dr. Hector Monro and Elsie Knocker and Mairi Chisholm, who also took a mobile ambulance unit to Belgium and France in 1914.

There is a mention of Hilda in Sarah Macnaughtan’s book about her war on two continents. And a photograph of Hilda was featured on the front cover of “The Sketch” on 2nd September 1915, with this report:

"Hilda Wynne in the trenches in the Western Front After service in Belgium, France and Italy, in 1917 Hilda went to America and raised funds for the Anglo Russian Bevan Ambulance Cars Unit."

At that time Hilda was living in West Chapel Street in Mayfair, London. She served in Russia until 1919 and was awarded the Kuaatan Order of St. George for her work with Russian Guards on the Kovel Front.

Sources: http://www.ebooksread.com/authors-eng/albert-bushnell-hart/harpers-pictorial-library-of-the-world-war--volume-7-tra/page-11-harpers-pictorial-library-of-the-world-war--volume7-tra.shtml Award from Russia http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/22343113/2539987 and photograph from "The Sketch" newspaper of 2nd September 1915.


Friday, 6 July 2018

Some of the women who died or were killed during the First World War in July 1918

 July 1918

1st

MANCHESTER (GORTON) CEMETERY, Lancashire, UK

SMITH, Staff Nurse, F. E. SMITH, No. 2/ResS/1235. Staff Nurse Smith worked at the Military Hospital in Aylesbury, UK during WW1. She served with the Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service and died on 1st July 1918.  Staff Nurse Smith was buried in Gorton Cemetery, Manchester, Grave Reference: P. C.E. 140.

3rd

MIKRA BRITISH CEMETERY, KALAMARIA, Greece
MacDOWELL, Chauffeuse, MATILDA with theScottish Women's Hospital. Matilda died on 3rd July 1918 and was buried in Mikra British Cemetery, Kalamaria, Greece, Grave Reference: 1553.


BASRA WAR CEMETERY, Iraq   
KEMP, Staff Nurse, C. M. F. Kemp of the 40th British General Hospital. Staff Nurse Kemp was a member of the Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service. She died on 4th July 1918 and was buried in Basra War Cemetery in Mesopotamia (now in Iraq) - Grave Reference: III. T. 2.

6th
EDINBURGH (ROSEBANK) CEMETERY, Edinburgh, UK
ELDER, Telephonist, ELIZABETH GRANT ELDER, No. G/2605 with the Women's Royal Naval Service. Elizabeth died on 6th July 1918 and was buried in Rosebank Cemetery, Edinburgh, UK - Grave Reference: K. 207.

7th
CANTERBURY CEMETERY, KENT, Kent, UK
MOSS, Driver, R M. MOSS, of the Women's Legion, attached to the Army Service Corps. Driver Moss died on 7th July 1918 and was buried in Canterbury Cemetery, Kent, UK - Grave Reference: R. 351.

LAMBETH CEMETERY, London, UK
EVANS, Member, NELLIE, 12410 of the Women's Royal Air Force. Nellie died of sickness on 7th  July 1918 at the age of 23.  Nellie was married to A. W. Evans, of Courtney Road., Drayton Park, Holloway, London. Grave Reference: Screen Wall. H.3. 859.

9th
LIVERPOOL (ANFIELD) CEMETERY, Lancashire, UK

Worker (which is equivalent to the male rank of Private) May (Mary) Wylie, No. 6306 of the Queen Mary's Army Auxiliary Corps, was attached to the 10th Reserve Battalion of The King's (Liverpool Scottish Regiment). May was born in 1898 in Bootle. Her parents were Hugh Wylie and his wife Emily Mary Wylie, nee Hodgson of Stanley Rd., Bootle.  May had the following siblings:  Harold, Margaret, Rose and Allan.    May died on 9th July 1918 at at Oswestry Military Hospital at the age of 20.  May’s body was returned home for her funeral and she was buried with full military honours in Anfield Cemetery, Liverpool - Grave Reference: I. U. 786.  May is also remembered on Bootle Civic Memorials in Linacre Council School and Liverpool (Anfield) Cemetery



10th
FRENSHAM (ST. MARY) CHURCHYARD, Surrey, UK
STEWART, Staff Nurse, WILMA BRIDGES of the Territorial Force Nursing Service. Wilma died of phthisis on 10th July 1918. Her parents were Charles W. and Sarah Bridges Stewart, of Pembroke Crescent, Hove, Sussex. Grave Reference: On West boundary.

12th
BUXTON CEMETERY, Derbyshire, UK
ROSS, Nursing Sister, ADA JANET of the 1st Gen. Hosp., Canadian Army Medical Corps. Ada died on 12th  July 1918, at the age of 50. Grave Reference: 2479.

13th

ALVIE PARISH CHURCHYARD, Inverness-shire, UK

GRANT, Worker, JESSIE, 21527. Queen Mary's Army Auxiliary Corps. Died of pneumonia, 13 July 1918. Age 25. Daughter of George and Bella Grant, of Rest Cottage, Kincraig. Grave Reference: In South-East corner.


15th
FOREST TOWN (ST. ALBAN) CHURCHYARD, Nottinghamshire, UK

YOUNG, Nurse, ADA ELIZABETH. Voluntary Aid Detachment. 15 July 1918. Age 33.
Daughter of the late Serjt. Maj. Young (5th Dragoon Guards) and Mrs. Young, of Dublin. 

16th
WOOLWICH CEMETERY, London, UK
DAW, Worker, WINIFRED, 7319. M.T. Depot (Sydenham), Queen Mary's Army Auxiliary Corps. 16 July 1918. Grave Reference: 11. 278

17th
LEATHERHEAD (SS. MARY AND NICHOLAS) CHURCHYARD, Surrey, UK
WELLER, Worker, ADA ELIZABETH, 39645. Queen Mary's Army Auxiliary Corps. 17 July 1918. Grave Reference: In East part.

21st
STE. MARIE CEMETERY, LE HAVRE, Seine-Maritime, France
ASPDEN, Worker, DOROTHY, 30438. Queen Mary's Army Auxiliary Corps. 21 July 1918. Grave Reference: Div. 62. III. N. 6.

22nd

BROOKWOOD CEMETERY, Surrey, UK
HILLS, Sister, MAUDE ELLEN. Territorial Force Nursing Service. Died of sickness, 22 July 1918. Age 43. Daughter of Edwin and Sarah Broadhurst Hills, of Cranbrook, Kent. Served in France. Grave Reference: H. 181321.

23rd

MORTON (THORNHILL) CEMETERY, Dumfriesshire, UK
HASTINGS, Sister, H M. Territorial Force Nursing Service. 23 July 1918. Grave Reference: G2. 12.

30th
TERLINCTHUN BRITISH CEMETERY, WIMILLE, Pas de Calais, France
YOUNG, Nurse, MARGARET CAMERON. 2nd Gen. Hosp., Voluntary Aid Detachment. Died of disease, 30 July 1918. Age 25. Daughter of Amelia and the late Thomas Young, of 37, Newington Avenue, Belfast. Grave Reference: I. F. 44.  See photo from Callan Chevin’s Fb page.


SWANMORE (ST. BARNABAS) CHURCHYARD, Hampshire, UK
HORNER, Worker, VIOLET MAY, 45051. Hostel (Bristol), Queen Mary's Army Auxiliary Corps. 30 July 1918. Grave Reference: North-East of church.

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Nursing Sister Mary Rodwell, QAIMNS

Sarah Reay, author of the fantastic book “The Half-Shilling Curate, A personal account of war & faith 1914-1918”, about her grandfather, Army Chaplain The Reverend Herbert Cowl, has given me permission to share this beautiful photograph of Sister Mary Rodwell with you.  The photograph from the author's own collection, is to be found on page 175 of the book.

Nursing Sister Mary Rodwell was the nurse attending Herbert when he was allowed to return to Britain for treatment after being seriously wounded  by a shell fragment.  They were aboard British Hospital Ship "Anglia", which hit a mine and sank while returning to Britain with wounded soldiers from the Western Front on 17th November 1915.

Mary Rodwell was born in Brockdish, Norfolk, UK (near Diss) on 7th June 1874. Her parents were John and Emma Rodwell, she later lived in the village of Oakley on the Norfolk/Suffolk border.

Mary trained as a nurse at Hendon Infirmary in North West London from 1901 to 1904.  She went on to work at the Samaritan Free Hospital, Marylebone Road, London, after which she worked as a private nurse. Mary was a member of the Crystal Palace and Anerley Women's Freedom League (WFL).

When war broke out, Mary felt it was her duty to volunteer for foreign service. From February to May 1915, she served on hospital trains, before being posted to the Hospital Ship "Anglia".  Mary was the only nurse on the ship who died when "Anglia" hit a mine and sank on 17th November 1915.

Sarah explains:

"Mary was amongst the nursing staff on board who attended to King George V on his return from France in October 1915, when he had been injured in a riding accident" while visiting the troops on the Western Front." (p.175).

Mary has no grave but is commemorated on the Hollybrook Memorial in Southampton, UK, on the QAIMNS memorial in York Minster, the memorial board in St. Paul's Anerly, near Penge, at Ditchingham Parish Church, Norfolk, at All Saints Church, Plumpton Green, near Lewes, Sussex, and on a plaque honouring 500 nurses who lost their lives in WW1 in Edinburgh Central Library.  On 2nd July 1920 a memorial bronze plaque was unveiled at Colindale hospital.

Here is the link to the book’s website: www.halfshillingcurate.com

Sources:  http://cohse-union.blogspot.com/2009/11/mary-rodwell-suffragette-and-ww1.html
and Sarah Reay, “The Half-Shilling Curate, A personal account of war & faith 1914-1918” (Helion & Co. Ltd., Solihull, West Midlanbds, UK, 2018)

The photograph, from Sarah Reay's private collection, is reproduced in "The Half Shilling Curate" on page 175. 

Remembering Staff Nurse, C. M. F. Kemp, QAIMNS

Remembering Staff Nurse, C. M. F. Kemp of the 40th British General Hospital in Mesopotamia during WW1. Staff Nurse Kemp was a member of the Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service. She died on 4th July 1918 and was buried in Basra War Cemetery in Mesopotamia (now in Iraq) - Grave Reference: III. T. 2.

Sunday, 1 July 2018

Remembering Staff Nurse F.E. Smith of the QAIMNS

Staff Nurse, F. E. SMITH, No. 2/ResS/1235. Staff Nurse Smith worked at the Military Hospital in Aylesbury, UK during WW1. She served with the Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service and died on 1st July 1918.  Staff Nurse Smith was buried in Gorton Cemetery, Manchester, Grave Reference: P. C.E. 140.

Book Review by Historian Debbie Cameron: “British Widows of the First World War: The Forgotten Legion” by Andrea Hetherington

Debbie Cameron has written a review of the book “British Widows of the First World War:  The Forgotten Legion” by Andrea Hetherington, published by Pen & Sword Military, Barnsley, Yorkshire, UK, 2018 - ISBN: 9781473886766

“This book is packed with info about various committees, social history and personal stories to tempt a researcher. The first one I followed up was tragic. Sybil Griffin, widowed aged 18, shot herself 6/11/17. Her mother found her, her last words being “I have done for myself. I am going to Cecil” Her suicide note said her World was empty. But ended “… cheer up, your loving daughter”. I’ve found her husband’s RFC record card and researched him. He died in an aircraft accident in October 1917 aged just 23. Capt Griffiths died in a flying accident in Kenley UK. He initially survived but died of wounds. The aircraft is noted as being a ‘right (sic) off’. They were married for less than a year by special licence as she was just 17. Tragic.”

Historian Debbie Cameron runs an excellent Facebook Page called 'Remembering Women on the Home Front WW1' which you can find via this link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1468972083412699/  Debbie also contributes a great deal of material to the Imperial War Museum's Lives of the First World War Digital Memory Project: https://livesofthefirstworldwar.org/

For further details about fantastic Pen and Sword military history books, please see their website https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/