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

Hannah Davies

Place of birth: Glog, Pembrokeshire

Service: Sister

Death: 1918 ?, Glog, Pembrokeshire, Influenza / Ffliw

Notes: Hannah was the sister of two soldiers, William and John, both serving overseas. John, the younger, was killed and is buried in Jerusalem. William survived, but brought home Spanish flu. He survived that too, but Hannah caught it nursing him, and died. Letters from both brothers, in Welsh and English, survive.

Reference: WaW0243

Letter in English from William to Hannah Davies, written on YMCA paper, on January 21st, 1918.

Letter

Letter in English from William to Hannah Davies, written on YMCA paper, on January 21st, 1918.

Reverse of letter in English from William to Hannah Davies, written on YMCA paper, on January 21st, 1918.

Letter (reverse)

Reverse of letter in English from William to Hannah Davies, written on YMCA paper, on January 21st, 1918.


Letter in Welsh  from William to Hannah Davies, written on Church Army Recreation Hut paper. Winter 1917-18

Letter

Letter in Welsh from William to Hannah Davies, written on Church Army Recreation Hut paper. Winter 1917-18

Letter in Welsh  from William to Hannah Davies, written on Church Army Recreation Hut paper. Winter 1917-18 (reverse)rn

Letter (reverse)

Letter in Welsh from William to Hannah Davies, written on Church Army Recreation Hut paper. Winter 1917-18 (reverse)rn


Gladys Butler

Place of birth: Valleys, 1914

Service: Small child

Notes: Gladys Butler had vivid memories of being dressed in a miniature soldier's uniform (c.1916/17) and being stood on a table. When admired as a 'smart soldier boy', she insisted 'I'm not a boy, I'm a girl!' (CF November 2014)

Reference: WaW0090


Arvona (Fona) Powell Jones

Place of birth: Gorseinon July 10th, 1915

Service: Small child

Notes: Fona confirmed her address and date of birth: July 10th, 1913. She recalled a story about her mother during the First World War asking her, because her father had received call-up papers, ‘You don’t want your father to go to war do you? She replied’ ‘Oh! Yes!’, because she had seen her uncle, who was at sea, in a uniform with a whistle around his neck. She thought therefore that her father would have a uniform and a whistle too. So she was delighted at the prospect of her father dressed in a uniform and whistle. But she remembers her mother’s face falling. ‘Oh! She was terribly disappointed that I had said that I wanted my father to go to war.’ But her father worked in the steelworks and since steel was required during the war he worked there for the duration of the war. rnHer parent’s names were Mary Ann Powell and Richard Jones; her father came from Cydweli and her mother was local to Gorseinon area. Her father had worked in the steelworks in Cydweli too. rnShe also talks of her uncle, Brynmor, who was in the navy and who hated the war. At the end of the war he gave his navy clothes to her mother and told her to do what she wanted with them. She made Fona a dress from the bell-bottoms – they were of serge and added flowers etc onto it. She wore it all the time – to chapel and all. This was when she was about 5-6 years old. She remembers wearing it and swinging of a tree branch in it. rnHer mother’s brother (Tom in 1915 according to the family’s family tree)) died of typhoid in Crystal Palace during the war and she has a photograph of a wedding during the war with the men dressed in black in memory of him. rnAnother of her mother’s brothers (Baden) was called up but when he arrived at the mess plates were being thrown all over the place. The Armistice – peace agreement had just been signed. And that’s all he saw of the war. Fona also recalled how, for the duration of the war, her mother removed a model of an eagle which was on top of the family’s grandfather clock and stored it away in a drawer, because it was a reminder and symbol of Germany. After the war it was restored to its place on top of the clock! ‘Memory is a strange thing isn’t it.

Sources: fona_jones_gorseinon.wave_sound

Reference: WaW0075

A family wedding showing a blurred Fona Jones, bottom left. The women were all dressed in mourning for Fona's uncle Tom, who had died in 1915.

Fona Jones bottom left (blurred) at family wedding.

A family wedding showing a blurred Fona Jones, bottom left. The women were all dressed in mourning for Fona's uncle Tom, who had died in 1915.

Fona Jones's mother Mary Anne Jones née Powell as a young woman.

Mary Anne Jones née Powell c.1905

Fona Jones's mother Mary Anne Jones née Powell as a young woman.


Margaret Evans Thomas

Place of birth: Pwllheli

Service: Staff Nurse, TFNS, 1914 - 1918

Death: 1918-11-08, 1st London General Hospital, Pneumonia

Memorial: War Memorial; Nurses Memorial, Pwllheli; St Asaph, Caernarfon; Flintshire

Notes: Margaret Evans Thomas was a trained nurse, aged 28 when she died of pneumonia following influenza. Her name appears on the Nurses Memorial in St Asaph’s Cathedral.

Sources: http://www.flintshirewarmemorials.com/memorials/st-asaph-memorial/st-asaph-cathedral-welsh-nurses-ww1/thomas-margaret-evans/

Reference: WaW0017

Name of M E Thomas on Pwllheli War Memorial

Pwllheli War Memorial

Name of M E Thomas on Pwllheli War Memorial

Letter from Miss Sidney Brown to Agnes Conway of the Womens Section of the Imperial War Museum listing Margaret’s name as having died of pneumonia.

Letter

Letter from Miss Sidney Brown to Agnes Conway of the Womens Section of the Imperial War Museum listing Margaret’s name as having died of pneumonia.


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


Gertrude Madley

Place of birth: Llanelli, 1892

Service: Staff Nurse, QAIMNS Reserve / Wrth gefn, September 1916 - May 1920

Notes: Gertrude Madley was the daughter of a tinplate rollerman, and worked as a tinplate hand before training as a nurse in Swansea in 1913. She joined Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service Reserve as a Staff Nurse in September 1916. At just twenty-three years of age she was one of the youngest nurses to serve with the Reserve during the Great War. She served initally in Malta, and then, 1918 - 1920, in France

Sources: http://greatwarnurses.blogspot.co.uk/2014/09/from-small-acorns-mighty-oaks-grow.html

Reference: WaW0098

Staff Nurse Gertrude Madley QAIMNS in France 1919

Gertrude Madley in France 1919

Staff Nurse Gertrude Madley QAIMNS in France 1919


Alice Meldrum

Place of birth: Trevor Llangollen, 1880

Service: Staff Nurse, QAIMNS Reserve / Wrth gefn, 1914 - 1920

Notes: Alice Meldrum survived the sinking of the Hospital Ship HMHS Anglia 17th November 1915. The ship was carrying wounded men from Boulogne to Folkestone when it struck a mine. Alice's account reads:“We carried as many as possible on deck, and those that could threw themselves into the sea; others were let down in the lifeboat, but unfortunately it was only possible to lower one boat, as the ship was sinking so rapidly. The patients kept their heads wonderfully, there was no panic whatever, and when one realises that in the vast majority of cases they were suffering from fractured limbs, severe wounds, and amputations, it speaks volumes for their spirit, their grit and real bravery for they must have suffered agonies of pain. After we had satisfied ourselves that there was no possible chance of getting any more patients out, for by that time our bows had quite gone under, and only the ship’s stern was above water, with the propellers going at a terrific rate and blinding us with spray, we then got down onto the rudder and jumped into the sea……”. Three hundred wounded and crew were saved by naval and other ships in the area. She wrote 'there was a humourous side to it, for we must have looked very weird in the different garments that had been so kindly supplied to us by the officers and men of the destroyers, who did everything in their power for our welfare……..I would remind you that 40 minutes in the water in November is not the kind of sea-bathing that many would indulge in from choice …….After a good meal on the Ambulance Train, we were soon on our journey to London.”. Alice Meldrum was awarded the Royal Red Cross, and also wrote a short account of her experiences. She spent the remainder of the War working at field hospitals in France.

Sources: http://greatwarnurses.blogspot.co.uk/2009/11/sinking-of-hospital-ship-anglia.html

Reference: WaW0101

Experiences of Life on a Hospital Ship in Wartime Alice Meldrum's memoir

Alice Meldrum's memoir

Experiences of Life on a Hospital Ship in Wartime Alice Meldrum's memoir

Alice Meldrum's application to join QAIMNS

Application to join QAIMNS

Alice Meldrum's application to join QAIMNS


Alice Meldrum VAD

Alice Meldrum

Alice Meldrum VAD

Alice Meldrum's Royal Red Cross

Royal Red Cross

Alice Meldrum's Royal Red Cross


Margaret Dorothy Roberts

Place of birth: Dolgellau

Service: Staff Nurse, QAIMNS Reserve / Wrth gefn, 29/09/1915 - 31/12/1917

Death: 1917-12-31, SS Osmanieh, Drowning

Memorial: Cathedral Nurse, Llanelwy, Flintshire

Notes: aged 47. SS Osmanieh was sunk by a German mine off Alexandria, Egypt. Grave in Hadra War Memorial Cemetery, Alexandria, Egypt. Born in the Workhouse in Dolgellau, she spent many years in Australia before returning to Britain to join the QAIMNS Reserves.

Sources: http://www.flintshirewarmemorials.com/memorials/st-asaph-memorial/st-asaph-cathedral-welsh-nurses-ww1/roberts-margaret-dorothy/; http://emhs.org.au/person/roberts/margaret_dorothy

Reference: WaW0051

Margaret Dorothy Robert's name on the Nurses' Memorial, St Asaph

Nurse Margaret Dorothy Robert's name on the Nurses' Memorial, St Asaph

Margaret Dorothy Robert's name on the Nurses' Memorial, St Asaph

Margaret Dorothy Roberts

Margaret Dorothy Roberts

Margaret Dorothy Roberts


Jane (Jennie) Roberts

Place of birth: Bryncrug

Service: Staff Nurse, QAIMNS

Death: 1917-04-10, HMHS Salta, Drowning / Boddi

Memorial: Cathedral Nurse, Llanelwy, Flintshire

Notes: aged 30. She died when His Majesty’s Hospital Ship “Salta” was sunk off Le Havre on 10 April 1917. She was lost at sea and her body was never recovered. Her name appears on the Salta Memorial at Ste Marie Cemetery, Le Havre, Normandy, France, and on the memorial plaques in the porch of St Cadfan's Church, Tywyn

Sources: http://www.flintshirewarmemorials.com/memorials/st-asaph-memorial/st-asaph-cathedral-welsh-nurses-ww1/roberts-jane/http://www.mawddachestuary.co.uk/warmemorials/#TywynChurch

Reference: WaW0052

Jane Robert's name on the Nurses' Memorial, St Asaph

Nurse Jane Robert's name on the Nurses' Memorial, St Asaph

Jane Robert's name on the Nurses' Memorial, St Asaph

Name of Jane Roberts in the memorial porch, Tywyn Church

Tywyn Church

Name of Jane Roberts in the memorial porch, Tywyn Church


Jane/Jennie’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

Jane (Jennie) Roberts

Jane/Jennie’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


Catherine Williams

Place of birth: Colwyn Bay

Service: Staff Nurse, QAIMNS

Death: 1919-08-04, Cause not known

Memorial: War memorial, Colwyn Bay, Caernarvonshire

Notes: aged 38. Buried Bron-y-Nant cemetery Colwyn Bay.

Sources: http://historypoints.org/index.php?page=colwyn-bay-memorial-fww-surnames-s-y

Reference: WaW0064

Name of Catherine Williams on Colwyn Bay War Memorial

War Memorial Colwyn Bay

Name of Catherine Williams on Colwyn Bay War Memorial



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