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

Eleanor Vachell

Place of birth: Cardiff

Service: Botanist, Volunteer, VAD

Notes: Eleanor was born in 1879, the daughter of a doctor. She became a noted botanist, and took over responsibility for the Department of Botany and the Herbarium at the National Museum of Wales in October 1914 when the Keeper joined his regiment. She also volunteered at the 3rd Western General Hospital, Cardiff. She became a VAD in 1918, dividing her time very strictly between the hospital and the museum. Eleanor Vachell died in 1948.

Sources: https://www.routledge.com/The-Biographical-Dictionary-of-Women-in-Science-Pioneering-Lives-From/Ogilvie-Harvey-Rossiter/p/book/9780415920384

Reference: WaW0200

Eleanor Vachell botanist and VAD

Eleanor Vachell

Eleanor Vachell botanist and VAD

Red Cross record card showing details of Eleanor Vachell’s employment.

Red Cross record card

Red Cross record card showing details of Eleanor Vachell’s employment.


Not known / Anhysbys

Place of birth: South Wales

Service: Brickmaker

Notes: This young woman puddling silica clay was photographed for the Employment of Women collection at the newly established Imperial War Museum, c.1917.

Reference: WaW0182

Young woman puddling clay

Brickmaker

Young woman puddling clay


Not known / Anhysbys

Place of birth: South Wales

Service: Brickmaker

Notes: This young woman puddling silica clay was photographed for the Employment of Women collection at the newly established Imperial War Museum, c 1917.

Reference: WaW0183

Young women puddling clay

Brickmaker

Young women puddling clay


Not knowm / Anhysbys

Place of birth: South Wales

Service: Brickmaker

Notes: This young woman moulding silica clay bricks was photographed for the Employment of Women collection at the newly established Imperial War Museum, c 1917.

Reference: WaW0184

Young woman moulding bricks

Brickmaker

Young woman moulding bricks


Not known / Anhysbys

Place of birth: South Wales

Service: Brickmaker

Notes: This woman moulding silica bricks was photographed for the Employment of Women collection at the newly established Imperial War Museum, c.1917.

Reference: WaW0189

Woman moulding bricks

Brickmaker

Woman moulding bricks


Edith Haines (Spridgeon)

Service: Bus Conductress

Notes: Edith Haines was one of the first women bus conductresses in Swansea

Reference: WaW0074

Edith Haines in bus conductress's uniform

Edith Haines

Edith Haines in bus conductress's uniform

Edith Haines (née Spridgeon, right), with Maggie (unknown, left), and  Nellie Spridgeon centre

Edith Haines (right), with Maggie (unknown, left), and Nellie Spridgeon centre

Edith Haines (née Spridgeon, right), with Maggie (unknown, left), and Nellie Spridgeon centre


Mabel Elsie Davies

Place of birth: Fforestfach

Service: Canteen worker, NEF Pembrey

Notes: Mabel was the eldest daughter of Eliza [qv] and Huw Davies. Fourteen when her father died, she started munitions work at Pembrey. When her age was discovered, she was transferred to work in the canteen.

Sources: People’s Collection Wales

Reference: WaW0322

Studio photograph of Mabel Davies. Owner Mrs Dorothy Jones.

Mabel Elsie Davies

Studio photograph of Mabel Davies. Owner Mrs Dorothy Jones.


Beatrice Eveline Jones (Eveline)

Place of birth: Llanbedr, Crickhowell ?

Service: Cellist

Notes: Beatrice and her sister Auriol were professional musicians. She played at many concerts to raise funds for the Red Cross, as well as appearing professionally. She was a soloist at a Promenade Concert in the Queens Hall, London, in 1915. Her professional career developed further after the War. Her performance was admired by the poet and critic Ezra Pound in 1920, and she played in the first classical music broadcast on the BBC in June 1922, together with a pianist and a singer. Her professional name was Beatrice Eveline.

Reference: WaW0226

‘Beatrice Eveline’. cellist

Beatrice Eveline Jones

‘Beatrice Eveline’. cellist

Report of a concert to raise funds for the Belgian Field Hospital, May 1915.

Newspaper article

Report of a concert to raise funds for the Belgian Field Hospital, May 1915.


Invitation to the ‘Welcome Home Boys’ concert, December 23rd 1919.

Invitation

Invitation to the ‘Welcome Home Boys’ concert, December 23rd 1919.


Esther Davies

Place of birth: Swansea ?

Service: Chaffeuse

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. Mrs Beynon, a Police Inspector’s wife, was found not guilty.

Reference: WaW0302

Photograph of Mrs Esther Davies, South Wales Weekly Post 13th September 1919.

Press photograph

Photograph of Mrs Esther Davies, South Wales Weekly Post 13th September 1919.

Report of first court hearing of the Esther Davies case. South Wales Weekly Post 16th August 1919rnrn

Newspaper report

Report of first court hearing of the Esther Davies case. South Wales Weekly Post 16th August 1919rnrn


Report of verdict in the Esther Davies murder case. South Wales Weekly Post, 8th November 1919rn

Newspaper report

Report of verdict in the Esther Davies murder case. South Wales Weekly Post, 8th November 1919rn


Elsie Agnes Courtis

Place of birth: Llandaff, 1894

Service: Chauffeuse, FANY, 1914 - 1918

Notes: Elsie originally signed up for ‘kitchen or nursing duties’, but later became an ambulance driver. She was awarded the Military Medal in 1917 ‘for bravery in rescuing wounded under fire in France’.

Reference: WaW0129

Photograph of women, including Elsie Courtis, who were awarded the Military Medal, 1918.

Women awarded the Military Medal

Photograph of women, including Elsie Courtis, who were awarded the Military Medal, 1918.

Elsie Courtis’s award of the Military Medal recorded in the London Gazette, 26th June 1918

London Gazette, 26th June 1918

Elsie Courtis’s award of the Military Medal recorded in the London Gazette, 26th June 1918


One of Elsie Courtis’s VAD record cards.

VAD record card

One of Elsie Courtis’s VAD record cards.



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