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: