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 date of death

Minnie James (née Watkins)

Place of birth: Merthyr Tydfil

Service: Mother

Death: 1954, Cause not known

Notes: Minnie was married to William James in January 1891. They had six surviving children. Her three elder sons all served during the War. David was killed in September 1915, aged 24. Thomas died from wounds Christmas day 1918, aged 21, and Jack, who had been wounded too, died of tuberculosis in June 1920 also aged 24. rnIn 1938 Minnie James, then aged 72, was selected to represent all the Welsh mothers who had lost sons during the War, and to open The Temple of Peace.rn

Sources: http://www.walesforpeace.org/wfp/theme_TempleInternationalism.html

Reference: WaW0264

Mrs Minnie James at the opening of the Temple of Peace, Cardiff, 10th November 1938rn

Minnie James

Mrs Minnie James at the opening of the Temple of Peace, Cardiff, 10th November 1938rn


Winifred Margaret Coombe Tennant (née Pearce-Serocold)

Place of birth: Stroud

Service: Committee woman, suffragist, bard, spiritualist, patron, mother.

Death: 1956, London, Cause not known

Notes: Winifred was born in 1874; her mother, née Mary Richardson, was Welsh. She married Charles Coombe Tennant in 1895 and they lived at Cadoxton Lodge, near Neath. She became a member of the NUWSS in 1911 and later served on its committee, as well as chairing the Neath committee. During the war she was chair of the Neath Pensions committee and the Glamorgan War Agricultural committee; she was also interested in rural housing and penal reform (she became a JP in 1920). In 1917 she was admitted to the Gorsedd of Bards, taking the bardic name ‘Mam o Nedd’. She chaired the Arts and Crafts committee for the 1918 Eisteddfod, and later became Mistress of the Robes. She had become interested in spiritualism following the death of her baby daughter Daphne in 1908; this revived following the death of her eldest son, killed in Flanders in September 1917, aged 19. She became a well-respected medium though her identity was known only to a few people – she used the pseudonym Mrs Willett. She stood unsuccessfully as a Liberal candidate for the Forest of Dean in the 1922 general election, and was a staunch patron of Welsh artists, particularly Evan Walters.

Sources: Winifred Tennant: a life through Art Peter Lord NLW 2007.\r\nhttp://yba.llgc.org.uk/en/s2-COOM-MAR-1874.htm

Reference: WaW0268

Winifred Coombe Tennant c 1920

Winifred Coombe Tennant

Winifred Coombe Tennant c 1920

Report of Winifred Coombe Tennant’s election to the committee of the NUWSS, Cambria Daily Leader 8th July 1915.

Newspaper report

Report of Winifred Coombe Tennant’s election to the committee of the NUWSS, Cambria Daily Leader 8th July 1915.


Winifred as organiser of the Glamorgan War Agricultural Committee, Herald of Wales 20th May 1916.

Newspaper report

Winifred as organiser of the Glamorgan War Agricultural Committee, Herald of Wales 20th May 1916.

Report of a meeting discussing rural reconstruction in Wales after the War. Herald of Wales 10th August 1918.rn

Newspaper report

Report of a meeting discussing rural reconstruction in Wales after the War. Herald of Wales 10th August 1918.rn


Report of opening of the Art and Crafts Section of the National Eisteddfod, Neath 1918. Also Herald of Wales 10th August 1918.rn

Newspaper report

Report of opening of the Art and Crafts Section of the National Eisteddfod, Neath 1918. Also Herald of Wales 10th August 1918.rn


Gladys Maud Feiling (née Norman)

Place of birth: Bleddfa, Radnorshire

Service: Official, WAAC / QMAAC, September 1917 - September 191

Death: 1958, Cause not known

Notes: Gladys Feiling, born in 1879, married Cecil Feiling, a London solicitor in 1906 but seems to have been childless and describes herself as ‘quite independent’ in her application to become a WAAC officer in 1917. The papers connected with her WAAC career survive, though damaged, in the National Archives. After a medical and training which she passed with only 69% she is described as having ‘very little experience of any kind’, but of being ‘the right type to go to France’. By 1919 she was a Deputy Controller of QMAAC, and was awarded the OBE in June 1919. She seems to have served in the ATS in WW2.

Sources: National Archives WO 398/75/6, https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/35017/supplement/7105/data.pdf

Reference: WaW0209

Photograph of Gladys Feiling collected by the Women’s Subcommittee of the Imperial War Museum.

Gladys Maud Feiling

Photograph of Gladys Feiling collected by the Women’s Subcommittee of the Imperial War Museum.

Reverse of photograph of Gladys Feiling outlining her career In the WAAC/QMAAC. Photograph collected by the Women’s Subcommittee of the Imperial War Museum.

reverse of photograph

Reverse of photograph of Gladys Feiling outlining her career In the WAAC/QMAAC. Photograph collected by the Women’s Subcommittee of the Imperial War Museum.


Letter of application to join the WAAC, 17th September 1917.

Letter

Letter of application to join the WAAC, 17th September 1917.

Letter of application to join the WAAC 17th September 1917. (page 2)

Letter (2)

Letter of application to join the WAAC 17th September 1917. (page 2)


Letter accepting a posting to France, November 1917

Official letter

Letter accepting a posting to France, November 1917


Evelyn Margaret Abbott

Place of birth: Grosmont, Monmouthshire

Service: Nurse, Scottish Womens Hospitals, January - June 1916

Death: 1958, London , Cause not known

Notes: Evelyn, born 1883, was the daughter of the Grosmont school master. A professional nurse trained in London, she spent six months working at the Scottish Women’s Hospitals hospital at Royaumont Abbey north of Paris. Follow the link to see the hospital on film

Sources: http://movingimage.nls.uk/film/0035\r\nhttp://scottishwomenshospitals.co.uk/women/\r\n

Reference: WaW0248


Minnie Pallister

Place of birth: Kilkhampton, Cornwall

Service: Teacher, activist, writer

Death: 1960, Cause not known

Notes: Minnie Pallister was born in Cornwall in 1885, and was educated at Cardiff university, after which she became a teacher in Bryn Mawr. She was elected president of the Monmouthshire Federation of the Independent Labour Party just before the outbreak of War in 1914. She was renowned as a speaker on peace and the Labour movement, and was the national organiser in Wales of the No Conscription Fellowship. She was also an accomplished pianist, accompanying the Brynmawr Ladies Choral Society and others in fund-raising concerts for the Red Cross.

Reference: WaW0230

Minnie Pallister, teacher, activist, writer

Minnie Pallister

Minnie Pallister, teacher, activist, writer

Report of Minnie Pallister’s appointment as Monmouthshire ILP President, Llais Llafur 1st August 1914

Newspaper report

Report of Minnie Pallister’s appointment as Monmouthshire ILP President, Llais Llafur 1st August 1914


Notice of meeting in Merthyr, 18th September 1915.rnrn

Notice of meeting

Notice of meeting in Merthyr, 18th September 1915.rnrn

Report of a lecture by Minnie Pallister, the Pioneer 27th May 1916

Newspaper report

Report of a lecture by Minnie Pallister, the Pioneer 27th May 1916


Mildred Lloyd Hughes

Place of birth: Lampeter

Service: Nurse, QARNNS

Death: 1962, Wirral, Cause not known

Notes: Mildred Hughes was a professional nurse, born in 1879. She was already a QARNNS sister in 1911, and at the outbreak of war was Superintending Sister at the Royal Naval Hospital, Gibraltar, where she had been since 1912. In 1916 she became Head Sister (i.e. Matron) of Plymouth Naval Hospital, from where she wrote a letter to the parents of VAD Maggie Evans on Maggie’s death [qv]. She remained at Plymouth until she was appointed head of QARNNS in 1929. She retired in 1934. She received the Royal Red Cross in 1916, and a second award in 1919.

Sources: http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/index.php?/topic/158399-mildred-lloyd-hughes-qarnns/

Reference: WaW0252

Letter from Mildred Hughes to the parents of Maggie Evans. Yr Udgorn 7 August 1917

Letter

Letter from Mildred Hughes to the parents of Maggie Evans. Yr Udgorn 7 August 1917

Presentation of bar to Royal Red Cross by King George V, British Journal of Nursing 6th December 1919

Citation

Presentation of bar to Royal Red Cross by King George V, British Journal of Nursing 6th December 1919


Emma May Inker (Stevens)

Place of birth: Penarth

Service: Cook, WAAC / WRAF, 1918/03/15 – 1918/12/31

Death: 1992, Cause not known

Notes: Emma, born 2nd May 1894, worked as a seamstress and in service before joining the WAAC in March 1918. Shortly afterwards she was transferred to the WRAF on its formation on 1st April 1918. She was discharged on compassionate grounds on 31st December as her father was ill. Her daughter Rita Spinola says ‘She never talked much about her time in WW1 as a cook, but she did mention that once whilst marching in London someone shouted out to her “you’re out of step!”.’

Reference: WaW0267

WRAFs at the RAF Brigade sports. Emma Inker can just be seen in the second row between the 6th and 7th people sitting on the ground. Thanks to Rita Spinola.

RAF Brigade sports

WRAFs at the RAF Brigade sports. Emma Inker can just be seen in the second row between the 6th and 7th people sitting on the ground. Thanks to Rita Spinola.

Close-up of Emma May Inker WRAF at the RAF Brigade Sports 1918. Thanks to Rita Spinola.

Emma May Inker

Close-up of Emma May Inker WRAF at the RAF Brigade Sports 1918. Thanks to Rita Spinola.


WRAF discharge paper for Emma Inker on ‘compassionate grounds’. This shows her transfer from WAAC to WRAF.rnrn

WRAF Discharge Certificate

WRAF discharge paper for Emma Inker on ‘compassionate grounds’. This shows her transfer from WAAC to WRAF.rnrn


Helen Smith (Thomas)

Place of birth: Swansea

Service: Child

Death: 1993, Swansea, Cause not known

Notes: Helen Smith, born 1908, was the daughter of Alfred and Elizabeth Smith of Swansea who emigrated to America when Helen was a few months old. In 1915 they decided to return to Swansea, and sailed on the Lusitania. When the ship was torpedoed on 7th May 1915 Helen had become separated from her parents and baby brother Hubert. They died, but she was rescued by a Canadian journalist, Ernest Cowper. She was reunited with her aunt Cecelia Owens, another passenger who had lost her two sons in the sinking. She later married John Henry Thomas and lived the rest of her life in Swansea.

Sources: http://www.rmslusitania.info/people/second-cabin/helen-smith/

Reference: WaW0227

Helen Smith with her rescuer Ernest Cowper. Photograph taken in Queenstown, County Cork, Ireland. Helen is wearing new clothes donated by local well-wishers.

Helen Smith

Helen Smith with her rescuer Ernest Cowper. Photograph taken in Queenstown, County Cork, Ireland. Helen is wearing new clothes donated by local well-wishers.

Report of the story of Lusitania survivor Helen Smith (1). Cambrian Daily Leader 10 May 1915

Newspaper report (1)

Report of the story of Lusitania survivor Helen Smith (1). Cambrian Daily Leader 10 May 1915


Report of the story of Lusitania survivor Helen Smith (2). Cambrian Daily Leader 10 May 1915

Newspaper report (2)

Report of the story of Lusitania survivor Helen Smith (2). Cambrian Daily Leader 10 May 1915

Report of the story of Lusitania survivor Helen Smith (3). Cambrian Daily Leader 10 May 1915

Newspaper report (3)

Report of the story of Lusitania survivor Helen Smith (3). Cambrian Daily Leader 10 May 1915


May Selwood

Place of birth: Newport

Service: Wife, widow

Death: 1995-11-03, Cause not known

Notes: May’s husband William Henry Selwood died of shell shock on 1st January 1919. She remained a widow for her remaining 76 years – credited with being the longest WW1 widow in Britain. She is buried in Christchurch Cemetery, Newport.

Reference: WaW0106

Grave of May Selwood who is credited with being the longest WW1 widow in Britain. Christchurch Cemetery, Newport

Grave of May Selwood

Grave of May Selwood who is credited with being the longest WW1 widow in Britain. Christchurch Cemetery, Newport

Death Notice of William Henry Selwood, died 1st January 1919

Death Notice of William Henry Selwood

Death Notice of William Henry Selwood, died 1st January 1919


Maria Eley

Place of birth: Cardiff

Service: Rugby player

Death: 2007, Cause not known

Notes: Maria Eley played fullback for Cardiff Ladies Rugby Team during 1917 and 1918, including a match against Newport ladies in Cardiff Arms Park on December 16th 1917, when she was 16 years old. Cardiff lost. Maria died in 2007 aged 106.

Sources: http://www.scrumqueens.com/news/wales-v-uk-forces-99-years

Reference: WaW0240

Advertisement for Grand Rugby Match 16th December 1917. Western Morning News.rnrn

Newspaper advertisement

Advertisement for Grand Rugby Match 16th December 1917. Western Morning News.rnrn



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