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Sarah Hannah Bagnall
Place of birth: Wrexham
Death: 1916/03/09, Moss, Wrexham, Explosion / Ffrwydrad
Memorial: Holy Trinity Church, Gwersyllt, Wrexham, Denbighshire
Notes: Sarah, aged 1, died when a souvenir shell brought home by her father exploded, killing or fatally injuring her and her three cousins. Her mother Mary Bagnall was seriously injured as well as her father and aunt Sarah Roberts. The children were buried in two graves in Holy Trinity Churchyard, Gwersyllt, where a memorial to the four girls was dedicated in March 2016.
Report of the shell explosion that killed four girls and injured three adults, North Wales Chronicle 10th March 1916
Memorial to Sarah Bagnall, Ethel Roberts, Mary Roberts and Violet Williams at Holy Trinity Churchyard, Gwersyllt, dedicated March 2016.
Gertrude Mary Bailey (née Buchanan)
Place of birth: Sunderland
Service: Businesswoman, Committee woman, Grand Dame, 1914 - 1919
Death: 1942, Cause not known
Notes: Gertrude Bailey moved to Newport following her marriage to the wealthy Newport ship-repairer C H Bailey in 1895. Following his death in 1907 she continued to run his successful business. From the outbreak of War she became involved in many war-related activities, included help for Belgian Refugees and the Red Cross, and serving on the War Pensions committee. In 1917 Gertrude established a crèche for the children of women munitions workers. She received the CBE in 1918; curiously there is no citation with her name. Perhaps she was involved in too many things to list. In 1920 she handed over the business to her sons, and became one of Newport’s first two women magistrates. Gertrude was anti-suffrage before the War, and patron of temperance societies. Who’s Who in Newport (1920) described her as ‘La Grande Dame of the place’.
Sources: Sylvia Mason: Every Woman Remembered. Saronpublishers 2018\r\nhttp://www.newportpast.com/gallery/photos/php/search.php?search=munition&search2=&Submit=Submit
Alice M Bale
Notes: Alice Bale was the first head of the Infants Department of Marlborough Road School when it opened in 1900. She retired in 1924. In 1918 she was elected as one of the three headteacher members of the Welsh University Court.
Report of Alice Bale’s election to the Welsh University Court. Llangollen Advertiser 15th March 1918.
Marlborough Road School
Architect’s drawing of the new Marlborough Road School. Western Mail 12th January 1900.
Isabelle Eugenie Marie Barbier
Place of birth: Cardiff 1885
Service: Nurse, CHR, 11/08/1914 - 1919
Notes: Isabelle Barbier was one of the daughters of Paul Barbier, professor of French at Cardiff University. She trained as a nurse at Bristol Royal Infirmary. Called up very early in the war, she was called upon to help Maud MacCarthy, the Principal Matron in France, who had crossed to France at the same time and who spoke no French. Isabelle became her personal assistant throughout the War, working in France and Flanders. She later became a nun, and died in 1982 aged 96.
Edith Frances Barker
Place of birth: Liverpool
Service: Nurse, VAD, February/Chwefror 1915 – Apr
Death: 1918/04/03, St Omer, France, Illness / Salwch
Memorial: St Collen\'s Church, Llangollen, Denbighshire
Notes: Born 1869, the daughter of a Liverpool Brewer, Edith lived with two brother in Pen-y-Bryn Hall, Llangollen for a number of years from 1901. She nursed in Malta and France where she died aged 49. She is buried in Longueness (St Omer) Souvenir Cemetery, and her name appears on Llangollen War Memorial.
Imperial War Graves Document
Document giving instruction for inscriptions on headstones in Souvenir Cem Longueness. Edith Barker’s age is given as 49.
War memorial, Llangollen. Edith’s name is near the top of the second column from the left.
Ethel Clara Basil Jayne
Place of birth: Llanelly
Service: Businesswoman, laundry owner, munitions welfare officer, government advisor
Death: 1940, St Albans, Cause not known
Notes: Ethel Jayne was born in 1874, daughter of the proprietor of the Brynmawr Coal and Iron Company Ltd. She trained in laundry work, and set up her own steam laundry company, Little Laundries Ltd, in Harrow in about 1906. At the outbreak of war she joined the Women’s Volunteer Reserve, and also worked organising canteens for the French Red Cross. In 1916 she was appointed chief welfare officer for the Armstrong Whitworth armaments company, becoming responsible for more than 20,000 women employed in the North of England and Glasgow. Her welfare innovations included steam laundries. In 1919 she gave evidence on welfare to the Parliamentary Committee on Women in Industry. She was among the first recipients of the OBE in August 1917. After her death her ashes were buried in the family grave in Llanelli.
Ethel Basil Jayne 1907
Ethel Basil Jayne driving to one of her early laundries in a pony and trap. This was her preferred mode of transport.
Miss Ethel Basil Jayne’s name in the first list of OBEs. London Gazette 24th August 1917.
Gwyneth Marjorie Bebb (Thomson)
Place of birth: Oxford
Death: 1921, Edgbaston, Birmingham, Complications of childbirth / Cymhlethdodau esgor
Notes: Gwyneth Bebb moved to Wales when her father, Llewellyn John Montford Bebb, was appointed Principal of St David’s College Lampeter in 1898. She attended Lampeter Girls School for a while (and was an enthusiastic hockey-player). She studied law at St Hugh’s College, the 6th woman to study law at Oxford, and was the first to gain first-class marks in her finals, though she was not allowed to graduate. In 1913 she and three other women started an unsuccessful legal action, known as Bebb vs. the Law Society, to enable women to enter the legal profession. There was considerable support in the Welsh press. By this date women could practise in all other professions except the law and the Church. The case failed, and it was not until the Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act of 1919 that women were admitted to the legal profession. During the War Gwyneth worked at the Ministry for Food. As Head of the Legal Department of the Ministry of Food in the Midlands she used her legal skills to help prosecute black-marketeers. While there she met and married T W Thompson, a solicitor. Her first child was born the day after the Sex Discrimination (Removal) Act became law. Soon afterwards she was accepted to read for the Bar at Lincoln’s Inn. She would have become Britain’s first women barrister if she had not died, aged 31, following the disastrous birth of her second child.
Newspaper photograph and article ‘Are Lawyers Afraid of Women’s Brains?’ Daily Sketch, December 1913.
Report of a hockey match between Lampeter Ladies’ Team and Lampeter Girls’ School. Gwyneth is the only Girls’ School member mentioned. Carmarthen Journal 27th June 1903.
Report of Gwyneth Bebb’s evidence at the Appeal Court. Carmarthen Weekly Reporter 4th July 1913.
Report of Gwyneth Bebb (Mrs Thomson)’s admittance to Lincoln’s Inn. Cambria Daily Leader 31st December 1919.
Place of birth: Belgium
Service: Teacher, refugee
Notes: Marie Becker was one of the Belgian refugees hosted in Holywell, and seems to have been a spokeswomen for the group. Her appointment to teach the Belgian children at Holywell County School was reported in the English and Welsh press.
Report of Marie Becker’s appointment at Holywell County School. Flintshire Observer 21st January 1915.
Report of Marie Beckers's appointment at Holywell County School. Y Brython 21st January 1915.
Minna Amelia Benner (née MacFarlane)
Place of birth: Scotland
Service: Doctor, 1914 - 1934
Death: 1962, Hertfordshire, Cause not known
Notes: Minna Benner was one of the first women to qualify as a doctor at Glasgow University, in 1897. After some years in Ireland, working as an assistant MoH, she moved to Newport in 1914 as Assistant Schools Medical Officer. In 1917 she became Newport’s first medical officer for the Maternity and Child Welfare Scheme. She had a particular interest in nutrition of children (a paper she gave on the subject was published in Perspectives in Public Health in 1924), and was a feminist interested in social reform. She lived to be 99.
Sources: British Medical Journal, Who’s Who in Newport 1920
Alys Bertie Perkins (née Sandbrook)
Place of birth: Swansea
Service: Commandant and committee woman, British Red Cross
Notes: Alys Bertie Perkins was Commandant and Secretary of Swansea Red Cross Society, and commandant in charge of recruitment across the whole county of Glamorgan. By early 1918 Swansea was reported to have the greatest number of Red Cross hospital beds in the whole of South Wales. She was awarded the OBE in January 1918, when she described by the Cambria Daily Leader as ‘the enthusiastic and popular Sketty Red Cross worker and organiser’.
Alys Bertie Perkins
Photograph of Alys Bertie Perkins OBE, part of the Women’s Work Collections of the Imperial War Museumrn
Advertisement for a Red Cross course of first aid and nursing. Cambria Daily Leader 22nd February 1916.
Supplement to the Edinburgh Gazette, with Alys Bertie Perkins’s award of OBE January 9th 1918.