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 occupation

Mary Evans

Place of birth: Trawsfynydd, 1890?

Service: Agricultural student

Notes: Mary Evans was the sister of the poet Hedd Wyn, Ellis Humphrey Evans. She was studying at Madryn Agricultural College, near Pwllheli. This letter, written in Autumn 1917, asks for money, talks about her life, and expresses hiraeth for her late brother.

Reference: WaW0097

Letter from Mary Evans to her parents 1

Mary Evans letter 1

Letter from Mary Evans to her parents 1

Letter from Mary Evans to her parents 2

Mary Evans letter 2

Letter from Mary Evans to her parents 2


Letter from Mary Evans to her parents 3

Mary Evans letter 3

Letter from Mary Evans to her parents 3

Translation of Mary Evans's letter into English

Mary Evans letter English

Translation of Mary Evans's letter into English


Constance Fane Roberts

Place of birth: Llandre

Service: Army Remount Service: Gwasanaeth Ail-farchogaeth y Fyddin

Death: 1917-10-09, Motor accident/Damwain car

Memorial: Grave, Llandre, Cardiganshire

Notes: aged 22, died together with her fiance Captain Brereton Ockleston Rigby

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

Reference: WaW0018

Grave of Constance Fane Roberts, llandre Church

Llandre Church

Grave of Constance Fane Roberts, llandre Church


Mary Olwen Evans

Place of birth: Llangadog, April 1896

Service: Assistant (Cook) : , QMAAC

Death: 1919-03-23, Influenza?/Y Ffliw?

Notes: aged 20, buried Ebbw Vale

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

Reference: WaW0013


Mary Ann Evans

Place of birth: Ebbw Vale

Service: Assistant cook, QMAAC

Death: 1919/03/23, Percy House Auxiliary Military Hospital, Isleworth, Middlesex, Influenza ? / Fliw ?

Notes: According to the 1911 census, Mary Ann probably came from a Welsh speaking family. Her father was a colliery foreman. She was working in Middlesex when she died, probably of influenza. Her name has recently been recorded on a commemorative headstone at Risca cemetery.

Sources: http://firstworldwar.gwentheritage.org.uk/content/catalogue_item/mary-ann-evans

Reference: WaW0283

Headstone commemorating Mary Ann Evans, Risca cemetery.

Commemorative headstone

Headstone commemorating Mary Ann Evans, Risca cemetery.

Grave record of Mary Ann Evans

Grave record

Grave record of Mary Ann Evans


Gwladys Rowlands

Place of birth: Talywain

Service: Assistant Cook, WAAC/QMAAC, 1917/09 - 1919/10

Notes: Gwladys joined the WAAC in September 1917 when she was working as a housemaid in Pontypool Hospital. Her WAAC papers survive in the National Archives, including a letter to Lady Mackworth (Margaret Haig Thomas) in August 1917, enquiring about the possibility of joining a women’s army corps. She served as an assistant cook, first at Bisley near London, then at Catterick Camp in Yorkshire. Gwladys was discharged from the WAAC on compassionate grounds in October 1919.

Sources: National Archives WO-398-193-26

Reference: WaW0291

Gwladys Rowlands’s reference from Pontypool Hospital.

Reference for WAAC admission

Gwladys Rowlands’s reference from Pontypool Hospital.

WAAC uniform for Gwladys Rowlands (1)

Uniform list

WAAC uniform for Gwladys Rowlands (1)


WAAC uniform for Gwladys Rowlands (2)

Uniform list

WAAC uniform for Gwladys Rowlands (2)

Name of Gwladys Rowlands on the Roll of Honour at Pisgah Baptist Church, Talywain.

Roll of Honour

Name of Gwladys Rowlands on the Roll of Honour at Pisgah Baptist Church, Talywain.


Editha Elma (Bailey), Lady Glanusk (Sergison)

Place of birth: Haywards Heath, Sussex

Service: ‘Active war worker’, Red Cross

Notes: Lady Glanusk was born in 1871 and married the 2nd Baron Glanusk in 1890. From the outbreak of war she became very involved in wartime activities, and was an indefatigable writer to the newspapers, calling for young women to encourage their men to join up, and demanding the internment of enemy aliens. She was the President of the Red Cross in Breconshire, (for which she was awarded a CBE in 1920), and was heavily involved in the Penoyre Red Cross Hospital in Brecon. Two of her three sons were killed in the war, one a 17-year-old midshipman.

Reference: WaW0228

Lady Glanusk with the matron and staff of Penoyre Hospital, Brecon.

Lady Glanusk

Lady Glanusk with the matron and staff of Penoyre Hospital, Brecon.

Letter to ‘The Women of Breconshire’ published in the Brecon County Times 5th November 1914.

Newspaper letter

Letter to ‘The Women of Breconshire’ published in the Brecon County Times 5th November 1914.


Letter ‘The Alien Enemy Danger’ published in the Brecon County Times 25th March 1915

Newspaper letter

Letter ‘The Alien Enemy Danger’ published in the Brecon County Times 25th March 1915

Red Cross record card detailing the service of Lady Glanusk

Red Cross record card

Red Cross record card detailing the service of Lady Glanusk


Red Cross record card detailing the service of Lady Glanusk (reverse)

Red Cross record card (reverse)

Red Cross record card detailing the service of Lady Glanusk (reverse)

Citation for award of CBE to Lady Glanusk, London Gazette (Supplement) 30th March 1920

London Gazette

Citation for award of CBE to Lady Glanusk, London Gazette (Supplement) 30th March 1920


Ethel Davies

Place of birth: Bodhyfryd, Holyhead

Service: ‘member’

Memorial: Armenia Chapel, Holyhead, Anglesey

Notes: Nothing is known of Ethel Davies, whose name appears on the Roll of Honour in Armenia Chapel, Holyhead

Sources: http://www.anglesey.info/holyhead-armenia-chapel-war-memorials.htm

Reference: WaW0160

Record of the war service of Ethel Davies, Bodhyfryd,  member, on the Roll of Honour of Armenia Chapel Holyhead

Roll of Honour

Record of the war service of Ethel Davies, Bodhyfryd, member, on the Roll of Honour of Armenia Chapel Holyhead


Marjorie Wagstaff

Place of birth: Newport ?

Service: ‘Shaving lady’, VAD ?

Notes: Marjorie Wagstaff was a volunteer from Newport who would go in to the Newport Section of the 3rd Western General Military Hospital twice a week to shave the patients. By the end of the war she had performed over 2,000 shaves. Her picture featured in the Daily Mirror as well as the South Wales Argus.

Reference: WaW0336

Marjorie Wagstaff, pictured in the South Wales Argus. Thanks to Peter Strong.

Marjorie Wagstaff

Marjorie Wagstaff, pictured in the South Wales Argus. Thanks to Peter Strong.


Elsie Williams

Place of birth: Abetillery ?

Service: Baling Hand, Women\\\'s Forage Corps

Notes: Elsie’s name appears on a list of names of women who died working in the Women’s Forage Corps. Her next of kin is given as Mrs Williams, 7 Cyrils Place, Abertillery. Nothing further is known of her.

Reference: WaW0223


Elsie Williams

Place of birth: Abertillery ?

Service: Baling Hand, Womens Forage Corps (WFC)

Notes: Elsie’s name appears on a list of names of women who died working in the Women’s Forage Corps. Her next of kin is given as Mrs Williams, 7 Cyril Place, Abertillery. Nothing further is known of her.

Reference: WaW0146

List of members of the WFC who died in service.

Nominal Roll

List of members of the WFC who died in service.



Administration