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 name

Edith Mary Tonkin

Place of birth: Ely, Cardiff

Service: Ward maid, VAD

Death: 1918-10-13, 3rd General Hospital Le Treport, Pneumonia / Niwmonia

Memorial: War memorial, Llandaff, Glamorgan

Notes: Edith worked as a ward maid at the 3rd General hospital in Tréport, France, where she died aged 26.

Reference: WaW0061

Edith Mary Tonkin, VAD,'s name on Llandaff War Memorial

Llandaff War Memorial

Edith Mary Tonkin, VAD,'s name on Llandaff War Memorial

Register for Mont Huon cemetery, Tréport, with entry for Edith Tonkin.

War Graves Register

Register for Mont Huon cemetery, Tréport, with entry for Edith Tonkin.


Edith Townsend

Place of birth: Cardiff

Service: Waitress, QMAAC, 1918 -

Notes: Edith Townsend and her sister Gladys were associated with Roath Road Wesleyan Methodist Church, Cardiff. They described their early experiences in the Roath Roamer (Vol.44, p.6). After training they spent time near Woolwich (and experienced three air raids), before being sent north to Newcastle - 'very much like Cardiff'. Image and information courtesy of Glamorgan Archives (DWESA6).

Sources: https://archifaumorgannwg.wordpress.com/

Reference: WaW0120

Sisters Edith and Gladys Townsend in QMAAC uniform, 1918.

Edith and Gladys Townsend, QMAAC

Sisters Edith and Gladys Townsend in QMAAC uniform, 1918.


Gladys Townsend

Place of birth: Cardiff

Service: Waitress, QMAAC, 1918 -

Notes: Gladys Townsend and her sister Edith were associated with Roath Road Wesleyan Methodist Church, Cardiff. They described their early experiences in the Roath Roamer (Vol.44, p.6). After training they spent time near Woolwich (and experienced three air raids), before being sent north to Newcastle - 'very much like Cardiff'. Image and information courtesy of Glamorgan Archives (DWESA6).

Sources: https://archifaumorgannwg.wordpress.com/

Reference: WaW0121

Sisters Edith and Gladys Townsend in QMAAC uniform, 1918

Edith and Gladys Townsend QMAAC

Sisters Edith and Gladys Townsend in QMAAC uniform, 1918


Nora Treadwell

Place of birth: Lancashire

Service: Worker, WAAC

Notes: Little is known about Nora Treadwell. She was brought up in Bryncoch, Glamorgan; her parents may have lived at Primrose Bank, Bryncoch.

Reference: WaW0192

Nora Treadwell in WAAC uniform

Nora Treadwell

Nora Treadwell in WAAC uniform

Women's Army Auxiliary Corps postcard, 18 June 1918. This postcard was sent by Nora to her great grandmother Mrs Treadwell, from Plymouth where she was working at a convalescent hospital.

Postcard

Women's Army Auxiliary Corps postcard, 18 June 1918. This postcard was sent by Nora to her great grandmother Mrs Treadwell, from Plymouth where she was working at a convalescent hospital.


Mabel Mary Tunley

Place of birth: Pontypridd, 1870

Service: Acting Principal Matron, QAIMNS, 1903 - 1925

Notes: After serving in the Boer War, Mabel Tunley joined QAIMNS in 1903 as a staff nurse, rising to become Acting Principal Matron in France and Flanders during WWI. Among other awards, she received the Military Medal for 'exceptionally good work in assisting getting all the patients, 260, down to the cellars, so that when the Clearing Station was eventually hit not one of the patients received a scratch. Her cheeriness and courage were instrumental in keeping everyone who came in contact with her up to the mark. She was slightly wounded and remained at duty.' Bethune, 7th August 1916.

Sources: http://anurseatthefront.org.uk/names-mentioned-in-the-diaries/other-people/medical-colleagues/mabel-mary-tunley/

Reference: WaW0087

Matron Tunley

Mabel Mary Tunley

Matron Tunley

Matron Tunley (reverse)

Mabel Mary Tunley (reverse)

Matron Tunley (reverse)


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.


Jennie Vaughan

Place of birth: Glamorganshire ? or London ?

Service: Teacher, activist

Notes: Jennie Vaughan was an assistant teacher at Garnant Council School; she was self-taught and had not been to training college. She may not have been a natural teacher. In 1915 she was punched by the mother of ‘the worst girl in the school’, a case that was reported at great length in the Amman Valley Chronicle and elsewhere. She also had a dispute with the school managers over her pay. Jennie was elected to the executive council of the Llanelly District Parliamentary Division Labour Party in April 1918, and made some speeches strongly in support of the Labour candidate in the 1918 general election.

Reference: WaW0289

Beginning of a long report on Jennie Vaughan’s assault case, The whole reported in the Amman Valley Chronicle 23rd September 1915, p 3, is over 4000 words.

Newspaper report

Beginning of a long report on Jennie Vaughan’s assault case, The whole reported in the Amman Valley Chronicle 23rd September 1915, p 3, is over 4000 words.

Jennie Vaughan’s complaint about pay. Carmarthen Journal 4th June 1915.

Newspaper report

Jennie Vaughan’s complaint about pay. Carmarthen Journal 4th June 1915.


Report of Jennie Vaughan’s speech supporting the Labour candidate. Amman Valley Chronicle 5th December 1918.

Newspaper report

Report of Jennie Vaughan’s speech supporting the Labour candidate. Amman Valley Chronicle 5th December 1918.


Lizzie Veal

Place of birth: Cardiff

Service: Railway Worker, GWR

Notes: Lizzie Veal was associated with Roath Road Wesleyan Methodist Church, Cardiff.The Roath Road Roamer, published monthly from November 1914, contained information about women war workers as well as men. Lizzie was one of ‘our Lady Roamers’, featured in April 1919. At that time she would have been one of over 1000 women employed by the GWR as porters and ticket collectors. Image and information courtesy of Glamorgan Archives (DWESA6).

Sources: https://archifaumorgannwg.wordpress.com/

Reference: WaW0109

Lizzie Veal was a Great Western Railway worker. She may have been a porter or a ticket clerk.

Lizzie Veal, Railway Worker

Lizzie Veal was a Great Western Railway worker. She may have been a porter or a ticket clerk.


Gladys Mina Watkins

Place of birth: Abergavenny

Service: Staff nurse, QAIMNS

Notes: Gladys Watkins, born about 1882, joined QAIMNS in April 1909, and was sent to France very shortly after the outbreak of war. She was invalided home in September 1917, suffering from ’neurasthenia’; she seems to have had a complete mental breakdown. She spent much of the next two years in hospital, nursing homes, or staying with her sister Edith who was also a nurse. She faced numerous army medical boards, most of which declared her fit for home or sedentary service. Letters from Gladys herself, her sister and various doctors survive in her records in the National Archives. They describe her agoraphobia, suicidal tendencies and night terrors ‘associated with bursting shells’. She tendered her resignation from QAIMNS in the summer of 1918, though this was deferred and later withdrawn. By summer 1919 her health was improving: ‘I have been doing outdoor work, poultry etc, for the last three months and now feel much stronger’. She was passed fit ‘for home service’ in October 1919, and continued her career at Netley Military Hospital. The last record of her is summer 1923, when her file says ‘Warn for tour of foreign service’.rnGladys was awarded the Royal Red Cross on her return from France in 1917.rn

Sources: National Archives WO 399_8743

Reference: WaW0279

Report of the award of Royal Red Cross to Gladys Mina Watkins. Abergavenny Chronicle 26th January 1917

Newspaper report

Report of the award of Royal Red Cross to Gladys Mina Watkins. Abergavenny Chronicle 26th January 1917

Letter from Gladys’s doctor in Ross on Wye describing her condition.

Letter

Letter from Gladys’s doctor in Ross on Wye describing her condition.


Letter from Gladys’s doctor in Ross on Wye describing her condition, continued.

Letter

Letter from Gladys’s doctor in Ross on Wye describing her condition, continued.

Part of letter from Matron in Chief, QAIMNS, suggesting Gladys should be demobilised.

Letter

Part of letter from Matron in Chief, QAIMNS, suggesting Gladys should be demobilised.


Record of Gladys’s medical boards.

Official record

Record of Gladys’s medical boards.


Dorothy Mary Watson

Service: Munitions Worker

Death: 1917:07:31 , NEF Pembrey, Explosion / Ffyrwydrad

Memorial: Cenotaph, Swansea, Glamorgan

Notes: aged 19. Died in an 'unexplained' explosion with Mildred Owen and two male workers.

Sources: Funeral / Angladd South Wales Daily Post 11 August / Awst 1917; Inquest/Cwest The Carmarthen Journal and South Wales Weekly Advertiser 24th August / Awst 1917

Reference: WaW0062

Name of Dorothy Mary Watson on Swansea Cenotaph

Swansea Cenotaph

Name of Dorothy Mary Watson on Swansea Cenotaph

Grave of Dorathy Mary Watson Dan-y-Graig Cemetery, Swansea

Grave of Dorothy Mary Watson

Grave of Dorathy Mary Watson Dan-y-Graig Cemetery, Swansea


Report of the funeral of Dorothy Mary Watson and Mildred Owen.

Newspaper report

Report of the funeral of Dorothy Mary Watson and Mildred Owen.

Report of inquest into the deaths of Dorothy Mary Watson and Mildred Owen.

Newspaper Report

Report of inquest into the deaths of Dorothy Mary Watson and Mildred Owen.


Mary’s photograph was collected by the Women’s Subcommittee of the Imperial War Museum as part of its collection of women who died during the War.

Dorothy Mary Watson

Mary’s photograph was collected by the Women’s Subcommittee of the Imperial War Museum as part of its collection of women who died during the War.



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