Cymraeg

The Experiences of Women in World War One

A collection of information, experiences and photographs recorded by Women's Archive of Wales in 2014-18

A collection of information, experiences and photographs recorded by Women's Archive of Wales in 2014-18

Browse the collection


Sorted by cause of death

Margaret Jane Meredith

Place of birth: Erwood

Service: Farm servant

Death: 1916/02/23, Grugwyllt Farm, Margam, Poisoning / Gwenwyno

Notes: Margaret Meredith had been a farm servant at Grugwyllt Farm, Margam for ‘about a year’. She was 27 or 28. On the evening of February 23rd 1916 she ate yew leaves in an attempt to procure an abortion, and died of poisoning. She had a soldier lover, but had not seen him for a year. She was also said to be seeing a man from Cwmafon. A longer account of the inquest in the Brecon County Times shows that the coroner questioned her employer, Caradoc Jones, a widower, about her condition. He denied responsibility. The verdict was ‘death was due to poisoning by taking yew leaves while temporarily insane’.

Reference: WaW0298

Headline to the report of the inquest of Margaret Jane Meredith. Cambria Daily Leader 25th February 1916.

Newspaper headline

Headline to the report of the inquest of Margaret Jane Meredith. Cambria Daily Leader 25th February 1916.

First part of the report of the inquest into Margaret Meredith’s death. The full report can be found in the Cambria Daily Leader, 25th February 1916, p.6.

Newspaper report

First part of the report of the inquest into Margaret Meredith’s death. The full report can be found in the Cambria Daily Leader, 25th February 1916, p.6.


Mary Elizabeth Thomas (née ?)

Service: Munitions worker, NEF Pembrey, 1917 - 1918

Death: 1918/12/16, NEF Pembrey, Pulmonary oedema / Oedema ysgyfeiniol

Notes: Mary, aged 33, had been working at Pembrey for about a year. On 16th December she was demonstrating a process, how to disassemble shells, to a fellow worker. Suddenly she collapsed, and died soon afterwards. According to her husband she had suffered from bad headaches for 12 months, though she was well when she left for work that morning.

Reference: WaW0299

Report of the inquest into Mary Thomas’s death, Llanelly Star 21st December 1918.

Newspaper report

Report of the inquest into Mary Thomas’s death, Llanelly Star 21st December 1918.


Lily Vinnicombe (née ?)

Service: Munitions worker

Death: 1918/05/22, Royal Gwent Hospital, Newport , Sepsis following abortion / Madredd yn dilyn erthyliad

Notes: Lily Vinnicombe was a 29 year old widow. She died as a result of a self-administered abortion.

Reference: WaW0356

Death certificate for Lily Vinnicombe.

Death Certificate

Death certificate for Lily Vinnicombe.


Florence Gwendolin Howard

Place of birth: Pontypridd ?

Service: Staff Nurse, Territorial Nursing Service/Gwasanaeth Nyrsio Tiri

Death: 1914-11-18, Not known, Septic poisoning / Gwenwyno septig

Memorial: St Catherines Church, grave Glyntaff Cemetery, Pontypridd, Glamorgan

Notes: Nothing is currently known of Florence Howard.

Sources: http://twgpp.org/information.php?id=2257521; http://www.qaranc.co.uk/war_graves_memorials_Nurse/Nyrss.php

Reference: WaW0026

Name of Florence Howard on war memorial plaque in St Catherine’s Church, Pontypridd

St Catherine’s Church, Pontypridd

Name of Florence Howard on war memorial plaque in St Catherine’s Church, Pontypridd

Florence Howard in uniform

Florence Howard

Florence Howard in uniform


Eva Martha Davies

Place of birth: Llantwit Major ?

Service: Nurse, VAD, Aug / Awst-1914 - 1918

Death: 1918-06-16, Newport, Septic poisoning contracted on duty. Gwenwyno septig a gafwyd tra ar ddyletswydd

Memorial: War memorial, Llantwit Major, Glamorgan

Notes: Worked at Newport Hospital. Eva’s photograph was collected by the Women’s Subcommittee of the Imperial War museum as part of its collection of women who died during the War. Two of Eva’s brothers were killed in France. Daughter of Mary Davies (WaW0172),

Reference: WaW0008

Name of Eva Martha Davies, VAD, on Llantwit Major War Memorial

Llantwit Major War Memorial

Name of Eva Martha Davies, VAD, on Llantwit Major War Memorial

Report of Funeral of Eva Martha Davies

Newspaper report

Report of Funeral of Eva Martha Davies


Eva’s photograph was collected by the Women’s Subcommittee of the Imperial War museum as part of its collection of women who died during the War.

Eva Martha Davies

Eva’s photograph was collected by the Women’s Subcommittee of the Imperial War museum as part of its collection of women who died during the War.


Esther Davies

Place of birth: Swansea ?

Service: Driver

Death: 1919/09/22, Gowerton, Septicaemia / Gwenwyn gwaed

Notes: Esther Davies, aged about 30, died after complications from a miscarriage. A Swansea midwife, Mary Lavinia Beynon [qv], was charged with her murder, the charge being that she had used an instrument to procure an abortion. Esther Davies, described as ‘a woman of prepossessing appearance’, seems to have lived a rackety life driving for the Munitions service whilst her husband was in the army. ‘Gentlemen friends’ and ‘visits to Birmingham’ with another woman, Nurse Poulson, were reported in the Swansea press. She had been fined 10s by Neath Magistrates Court in 1917 for failing to produce her driving licence; on that occasion Esther was described as ‘stylishly dressed’ and ‘still smiling’. Mrs Beynon, a Police Inspector’s wife, was found not guilty.

Reference: WaW0302

Cambria Daily Leader 1st June 1917.

Newspaper report

Cambria Daily Leader 1st June 1917.


Mary E Smith

Place of birth: Dolgellau

Service: Forewoman, QMAAC

Death: 1918-08-21, Dolgellau, Sickness / Salwch

Memorial: War memorial, Dolgellau, Merionethshire

Notes: aged 42. Buried St Mary's Dolgellau.

Sources: http://www.roll-of-honour.com/Merionethshire/Meirionnydd/Dolgellau.html\r\nhttp://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/671636/SMITH,%20MARY%20ELIZABETH

Reference: WaW0056

Name of Mary E Smith, Park Lane, on Dolgellau War Memorial

Dolgellau Way Memorial

Name of Mary E Smith, Park Lane, on Dolgellau War Memorial


Jean Roberts

Place of birth: Blaenau Ffestiniog

Service: Worker, WAAC, 1917/11/08 – 1918/01/05

Death: 1918/01/05, Bangor Military Hospital, Spotted fever / Teiffws

Notes: Jean, who was 18 when she died, was the eldest of six children of a widowed mother. In November 1919 her case was raised in Parliament by Haydn Jones, MP for Merioneth. Jean had been the chief support of the family, but her mother was not entitled to any form of compensation and was forced to ask for parochial relief. The matter was ‘considered’ by the Financial Secretary to the War Office, but we do not know the outcome. Jean Roberts’s name appears in the Welsh National Book of Remembrance.

Reference: WaW0260

Details of Jean Roberts in the War Graves Register

Grave Register

Details of Jean Roberts in the War Graves Register

Newspaper report of parliamentary question about Jean Roberts. North Wales Chronicle 14th November 1919.

Newspaper report

Newspaper report of parliamentary question about Jean Roberts. North Wales Chronicle 14th November 1919.


Jean Roberts’s name in the Welsh National Book of Remembrance.

Welsh Book of Remembrance

Jean Roberts’s name in the Welsh National Book of Remembrance.

Jean Roberts’s name on the War Memorial in St David’s Church, Blaenau Ffestiniog. It was obviously added after WW2, hence the mistake WAAF for QMAAC.rn. rn

War Memorial plaque

Jean Roberts’s name on the War Memorial in St David’s Church, Blaenau Ffestiniog. It was obviously added after WW2, hence the mistake WAAF for QMAAC.rn. rn


Lily Maud Leaver

Place of birth: Aberdare

Service: Munitions worker, Not known / anhysbys

Death: 1917/12/28, TNT poisoning / Gwenwyni gan TNT

Notes: Little is known of Lily Leaver, who was born in 1896. Her parents later lived at Abertridwr in Glamorganshire.

Reference: WaW0325

 Lily’s photograph was collected by the Women’s Subcommittee of the Imperial War Museum as part of its collection of women who died during the War.

Lily Maud Leaver

Lily’s photograph was collected by the Women’s Subcommittee of the Imperial War Museum as part of its collection of women who died during the War.

Letter to the Secretary of the women’s collection from Lily’s mother, Mrs A[nnie] Leaver.

Letter

Letter to the Secretary of the women’s collection from Lily’s mother, Mrs A[nnie] Leaver.


Elizabeth Anne (Lizzie) Jones

Place of birth: Cardigan

Service: Munitions Worker

Death: 1916-10-23, Cardigan, TNT poisoning / Gwenwyno TNT

Memorial: Cenotaph, Cardigan, Cardiganshire

Notes: aged 22, had worked at NEF Pembrey. Her mother Mary Anne Williams claimed compensation for her daughter's death

Sources: http://www.wwwmp.co.uk/ceredigion-war-memorials/

Reference: WaW0034

Name of Elizabeth Jones on Cardigan War Memorial

Cardigan War Memorial

Name of Elizabeth Jones on Cardigan War Memorial


Lizzie's mother Mary Anne Jones claiming compensation for her daughter's death.

Newspaper report

Lizzie's mother Mary Anne Jones claiming compensation for her daughter's death.

Lizzie’s photograph was collected by the Women’s Subcommittee of the Imperial War Museum as part of its collection of women who died during the War.

Lizzie Jones

Lizzie’s photograph was collected by the Women’s Subcommittee of the Imperial War Museum as part of its collection of women who died during the War.


Letter from the Town Clerk of Cardigan about a photograph of Lizzie Jones

Letter

Letter from the Town Clerk of Cardigan about a photograph of Lizzie Jones



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