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 unit

Kate Owen

Place of birth: Aberystwyth

Service: Cook, then tailoress, WAAC/QMAAC, 1917 - 1918

Notes: Kate Owen joined the WAAC in Autumn 1917, aged 45. She was a trained seamstress, and was rapidly moved into the Tailoring department. She served at several of the main camps, including Halton Camp Buckinghamshire and Kinmel Camp, north Wales (twice). She was discharged in September 1918.

Sources: National Archives WO-398-170-4

Reference: WaW0319

Service record for Kate Owen, showing her various postings.

Service record

Service record for Kate Owen, showing her various postings.


Mary Ann Whaley

Place of birth: Cardiff ?

Service: Store hand, WFC [Womens Forage Corps]

Death: 1918, Influenza / Y Fliw

Notes: Mary Ann was a store hand in the Women’s Forage Corps, which sourced and processed feed for the Army’s horses. Over one million horses and mules were used by the British Army during the War, mostly for haulage and transport. Mary Ann was 39 when she died; her next of kin was her father Thomas Whaley of Cardiff.

Sources: Femina Patriae Defensor Paris 1934

Reference: WaW0221

Mary Ann’s name on Nominal Roll of Officials and Member[s] who have died while serving in the W.F.C

Nominal Roll

Mary Ann’s name on Nominal Roll of Officials and Member[s] who have died while serving in the W.F.C


Doris Jones

Place of birth: Llangenny

Service: Farm worker, WLA, 1917 - 1918

Notes: Doris and her sister Winnie were farmer's daughters, and worked for the Women's Land Army

Reference: WaW0167

Doris (left) and Winnie Jones, Landgirls in Llangenny 1917

Doris Jones (left)

Doris (left) and Winnie Jones, Landgirls in Llangenny 1917

Doris Jones harvesting, 1918

Doris Jones

Doris Jones harvesting, 1918


Winnie Jones

Place of birth: Llangenny

Service: Farm worker, WLA

Notes: Winnie and her sister Doris were farmer’s daughters, and worked for the Women’s Land Army

Reference: WaW0168

Winnie Jones (to the right)

Winnie Jones (R)

Winnie Jones (to the right)


Mary Sutherland

Place of birth: London

Service: Forester, WLA, 1916 -17

Death: 1955, Wellington, New Zealand, Cause not known

Notes: Mary Sutherland was the first woman in Britain to gain a degree in Forestry. She studied at University College, Bangor from 1912 to 1916. After graduation (in the same year as Mary Dilys Glynne and Violet Gale Jackson qv) she worked in the forestry division of the Women’s Land Army, and from 1917 as an assistant experimental officer for the Forestry Commission. Following the contraction of the Forestry Commission in 1922 she moved to New Zealand where she worked for the newly formed State Forest Service.

Sources: Dictionary of New Zealand Biography, 1998.

Reference: WaW0314

Report of Bangor graduates including Mary Sutherland, Violet Gale Jackson and Mary Glynne. North Wales Chronicle 7th July 1916.

Newspaper report

Report of Bangor graduates including Mary Sutherland, Violet Gale Jackson and Mary Glynne. North Wales Chronicle 7th July 1916.

Mary Sutherland in the 1920s in New Zealand. Te Amorangi Trust Museum.

Mary Sutherland

Mary Sutherland in the 1920s in New Zealand. Te Amorangi Trust Museum.


Gwladys Perrie Williams (Morris)

Place of birth: Llanrwst

Service: Educationalist, administrator, WLA

Death: 1958/07/13, Cause not known

Notes: Born 1889 to Welsh speaking parents, Gwladys was the star pupil at Llanrwst County (one of only two members of the 6th Form there), and a graduate of University College Bangor. She was awarded a fellowship to study mediaeval French at the Sorbonne, Paris, and received a DLitt in 1915. Her edition of Le Bel Inconnu (1929) is still read. Back in Wales 1917 she was appointed WLA organising inspector in South Wales. Gwladys was admitted to Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion in 1918. She published ‘Welsh Education in Sunlight & Shadow’ (1919), comparing Welsh and French Intermediate education based on her own experiences. It includes a large number of Central Welsh Board examination papers from Junior Certificate to degree level. She married in 1918 [Sir] Rhys Hopkins Morris, first head of BBC Wales and MP for Carmarthen West, but kept her own name professionally. They met at Bangor University.

Reference: WaW0415

Report showing Gwladys Perrie Williams’s school achievements. The Weekly News 27th December 1907.

Newspaper report

Report showing Gwladys Perrie Williams’s school achievements. The Weekly News 27th December 1907.

Report of Gwladys’ membership of the Society of Cymmrodorion.

Newspaper report

Report of Gwladys’ membership of the Society of Cymmrodorion.


Welsh Education in Sunlight & Shadow. Constable 1918.

Book

Welsh Education in Sunlight & Shadow. Constable 1918.

Gwladys’s edition of Le Bel Inconnu, 1991 printing.

Book

Gwladys’s edition of Le Bel Inconnu, 1991 printing.


Margaret Haig Thomas (Mrs/Lady Mackworth, Lady Rhondda)

Place of birth: London

Service: Suffragette, business woman, Commissioner and Controller, editor and publisher, Women’s National Service Department, Ministry of

Death: 1958/07/20, London, Cause not known

Notes: Margaret Haig Thomas, born 1883, was the only child of D.A.Thomas MP, first Viscount Rhondda, and his wife Sybil. The family home was in Llanwern. The family were supporters of women’s suffrage, and Margaret joined the WSPU in Newport in 1909, becoming increasingly militant. In June 1913 she spent six days in Usk Gaol following an attempt to burn out a pillar box in Newport. She strongly supported the war, but did not follow Emmeline and Christabel Pankhurst’s extreme jingoism. After working on behalf of Belgian refugees in the early months of the war, she was travelling to New York in the Lusitania, with her father, when it was hit by a German torpedo and sunk on 7th May 1915. Margaret and her father both survived, though she was unconscious in the water for over two hours. [click on the link for her account recorded in 1950 http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02qvqwp ]. In 1916 she began work for the Ministry of National Service in Wales, and London, becoming Commissioner of Women’s National Service in Wales and Monmouthshire early in 1917, particularly charged with encouraging girls and women into agriculture. Soon she was also heavily recruiting young women for the WAAC, particularly those qualified to work as army clerks in France. Women were also needed for the newly formed WRNS and WRAF. In February 1918 she was appointed Chief Controller of the Women’s Section of the Ministry of National Service.rnOn the death of her father in 1918 Margaret inherited the title of Lady Rhondda. She continued in business and public life for many years after the war.rn

Sources: Angela V John Turning the Tide’, Parthian Books 2013 http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02qvqwp

Reference: WaW0257

Advertisement for a meeting in Brecon to be addressed by Lady Mackworth. Brecon County Times 12th April 1917

Newspaper advertisement

Advertisement for a meeting in Brecon to be addressed by Lady Mackworth. Brecon County Times 12th April 1917

First section of a long report of Lady Mackworth’s experiences in the sinking of the Lusitania.  Cambrian Daily Leader 10th May 1915. For full account go to http://newspapers.library.wales/search?alt=full_text%3A%22Lady%22+AND+full_text%3A%22Mackworth%22&range%5Bmin%5D=1915-1-01T00%3A00%3A00Z&range%5Bmax%5D=1915-12-31T00%3A00%3A00Z&page=5

Newspaper report

First section of a long report of Lady Mackworth’s experiences in the sinking of the Lusitania. Cambrian Daily Leader 10th May 1915. For full account go to http://newspapers.library.wales/search?alt=full_text%3A%22Lady%22+AND+full_text%3A%22Mackworth%22&range%5Bmin%5D=1915-1-01T00%3A00%3A00Z&range%5Bmax%5D=1915-12-31T00%3A00%3A00Z&page=5


Report of Mrs Mackworth’s release from Usk Gaol. Aberdare Leader 19th July 1913.

Newspaper report

Report of Mrs Mackworth’s release from Usk Gaol. Aberdare Leader 19th July 1913.

Photograph of newly recruited WAAC clerks on the steps of the Law Courts, Cardiff, June 1917. They are about to leave for France. Margaret Mackworth is front right

Photograph of WAAC clerks

Photograph of newly recruited WAAC clerks on the steps of the Law Courts, Cardiff, June 1917. They are about to leave for France. Margaret Mackworth is front right


Margaret Mackworth’s article on National Service for Welsh women, in the periodical Welsh Outlook, vol 4, no 7, July 1917.

Welsh Outlook

Margaret Mackworth’s article on National Service for Welsh women, in the periodical Welsh Outlook, vol 4, no 7, July 1917.

Advertisement for Women’s War Work Week exhibition, held at Howells department store, Cardiff, April 1918.

Newspaper advertisement

Advertisement for Women’s War Work Week exhibition, held at Howells department store, Cardiff, April 1918.


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.


Margaret Irene John

Place of birth: Penygraig

Service: Administrator, lady superintendent , Womens League

Notes: Margaret John, a teacher of domestic arts in Monmouthshire, who had trained in Aberystwyth, Cardiff and London, joined the Women’s Legion in 1916 as one of their skilled cooks. After some months as Lady Superintendent in Wiltshire she was sent to France as ‘area administratrix’ in October 1917.

Reference: WaW0380

Report of local JP’s daughter Margaret John being posted to France. Rhondda Leader 27th October 1917.

Newspaper report

Report of local JP’s daughter Margaret John being posted to France. Rhondda Leader 27th October 1917.


Dilys Herbert

Place of birth: Ammanford

Service: Volunteer, ambulance driver, Womens Legion

Notes: Dilys was one of the members of the Women’s Legion of Motor Drivers to be inspected by the Queen at Buckingham Palace in March 1918. She had been involved in voluntary work throughout the war, including being an enumerator in the National Registration ‘of all persons between the ages of 15 and 65’ in August 1915.

Reference: WaW0340

Report of Womens Legion reception at Buckingham Palace.Cambria Daily Leader 21st March 1918

Newspaper report

Report of Womens Legion reception at Buckingham Palace.Cambria Daily Leader 21st March 1918

Article naming Dilys Herbert as a volunteer enumerator. Herald of Wales and Monmouthshire Recorder 7th August 1915rn

Newspaper report

Article naming Dilys Herbert as a volunteer enumerator. Herald of Wales and Monmouthshire Recorder 7th August 1915rn



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