Browse the collection
Sorted by name
Place of birth: Abergavenny
Service: Nurse, VAD, 1918/07/01 - 1919
Notes: Maisie Bowcott worked in English hospitals, first in Wimborne, Dorset, and then at the Military Hospital, Tidworth, Hants.
Frances Ethel Brace
Place of birth: Manorbier
Service: Nurse, QAIMNS, 16/06/1916
Death: 1916-09-21, Military Hospital, Malta, Malaria
Memorial: War Memorial, Cosheton; Llanelwy, Pembrokshire, Flintshire
Notes: Frances Brace trained at Carmarthen Infirmary, and joined QAIMNS in 1916. She was posted to Salonika as a staff nurse. There she contracted malaria and dysentery, and was transferred to Malta. She died there on 2ist September 1916, aged 30.
Annie Matilda Breeze
Place of birth: Machynlleth
Service: Nurse, TFNS ?, 1914 -
Notes: Annie Breeze probably trained in London, as her name appears at number 1 on the Roll of Honour at the Welsh Chapel, King’s Cross. She worked in hospitals in Aldershot before leaving for France in 1916. She was awarded the Royal Red Cross that year.
Annie Breeze’s name on Roll of Honour
Annie Breeze’s name on Roll of Honour of those who served in WWI, Kings Cross Welsh Chapel London
Report concerning Annie Breeze, Cambrian News and Merioneth Standard 3rd November 1916
Annie Elizabeth (Nancy) Brewer (Mistrick)
Place of birth: Newport
Service: Nurse, Fondation Baye
Death: 1921/01/30, Newport, Brights disease
Notes: Annie Brewer, also known as Nancy, was born in 1874. Her father worked in the Dos Road Nail factory. She qualified in ‘the nursing and attendance of insane persons’ in 1899. After a few years working in hospitals she seems to have become a nurse/companion, travelling to many parts of Europe. At the outbreak of War she joined a private French hospital and ambulance organisation, the Fondation Baye, and worked as part of the Fondation in many war zones of France. She was wounded when her ambulance was bombed, and also suffered serious illness. She remained in France in the Army of Occupation until late 1920. She was decorated several times by the French government, including two awards of the Croix de Guerre and also the Legion d’Honnour. During her time in France she also married a young ambulance driver, Daniel Mistrick. She returned to Newport early in 1921 to nurse her mother, but died very shortly afterwards. Annie took many photographs of her time in France, and was also frequently photographed by others. A selection can be seen below.
Announcement of award of Croix de Guerre
Announcement in the Journal Officiel de la Republique Français, 17th December 1917: Miss BREWER (Nancy), voluntary nurse in the de Baye unit, at the hospital at Dugny: a highly skilled nurse whose moral strength and devotion have been conspicuously shown on many occasions, notably 18 August 1917 during the shelling of her ambulance. Gave on that day a magnificent example of coolness and of absolute disregard for danger, lavishing her care on the wounded while under enemy artillery fire.
Nurses looking at a zeppelin
Photograph by AB of a group of nurses looking up at a zeppelin flying over.
Announcement of award of Medaille de la Reconaissance français
Announcement in the Journal Officiel de la Republique Français 22nd October 1920: Miss Brewer (Annie Elizabeth, Nancy), British, senior nurse in the unit of Mlle de rnBaye: has been with this at the Front since 1915, at Vitry-le-François, at Deuxnouds, before Beauzée, at Souilly, at Dugny; since the Armistice has been attached to the Army of Occupation, notably at Saarbrücken; taken ill in April 1918, has had to undergo a long period in hospital; scarcely able to return to duty, daily imposing on herself new tasks way beyond her strength; at present undergoing treatment in rnhospital in a condition that her doctors describe as extremely serious.
Place of birth: Cardiff
Service: Worker, WAAC/QMAAC, 1917 - 1919
Notes: May Brooks was a clerk in a confectionary firm before joining the WAAC. She served at various places in the south of England. She contracted influenza, spending a week in hospital, and was discharged on compassionate grounds in June 1919. Image and information courtesy of Glamorgan Archives (DWESA6).
May Brooks, WAAC/QMAAC. Image courtesy of Glamorgan Archives
May Brooks in the outdoor uniform of the WAAC/QMAAC. Image courtesy of Glamorgan Archives
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)
Place of birth: Cardiff
Service: Messenger, Girl Guides / Geidiau
Notes: Edith Carbis's photograph appeared in the 'Roath Road Roamer’, January 1915. She seems to have left school, and acted as a messenger for the Lady Mayoress.
Florence Missouri Caton
Place of birth: ‘at sea’ off Cuba
Service: Nurse, SWH, September 1915 – July 1917 /
Death: 1917/7/15, Salonika, Appendicitis / Llid y pendics
Notes: Florence Missouri Caton was born on board ship (possibly the source of her middle name, though no evidence has yet been found) in about 1876, to parents from Wrexham. A trained nurse, she worked in Lancashire before joining the Scottish Women’s Hospitals in 1915. She had two periods of work in the Balkans. Shortly after her arrival in 1915 her unit was captured by the Austrians, and released in December. In August she returned to Serbia, working in various hospitals and dressing stations until she died of appendicitis in July 1917. She is buried In Lembet Road Military Cemetery, Salonika.
Report of death of Florence Caton, Y Brython, 30 August 1917. Translation: ‘Laying the nurse to rest. In faraway Serbia the remains of Nurse Caton of Wrexham were laid to rest. She had endeared herself to the wretched people of that country through her untiring labour of love in their midst. There is talk of erecting a white marble cross on her small grave.’
Ellen Catherine Clay (née Williams)
Place of birth: Penrhos
Service: Nurse (Commandant), Chairman WLA Holyhead, VAD, WLA/Byddin Dir y Merched
Notes: Born a farmer’s daughter in about 1866, Ellen Williams married a local doctor, Thomas William Clay, in 1898. At the outbreak of War she became Assistant Commandant of Holyhead VAD. She worked in Holborn Red Cross Hospital as well as in Anglesey; additionally she helped run the Red Cross Canteen at Holyhead Railway Station. Mrs Clay also chaired the recruitment committee for the Women’s Land Army. She died in 1935.
Sources: Holyhead and Anglesey Mail 7 May / Mai 2014
Place of birth: Swansea
Service: Nurse, SWH, 1915 - 1916
Notes: Daughter of a Swansea pub landlord Elizabeth Clements trained as a nurse at Llanelli Workhouse, where she became Head Nurse. She joined the Scottish Women's Hospitals in 1915 and served in Serbia. She and the unit in which she served were taken as prisoners of war by the Austrians on 10th November 1915. It was an anxious time for her family