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Place of birth: Abertillery
Service: Staff Nurse, TFNS
Death: 1917-09-03, Karachi, Appendicitis/Llid y pendics
Memorial: War Memorial; Nurses’ Memorial; Delhi Gate, Kingsland; Liverpool Cathedral; Delhi, Herefordshire; Lancashire; India
Notes: Born 1891, her father was a builder and joiner. She worked for some time in Liverpool before serving overseas. Her parents retired to Kingsland, Herefordshire where she is memorialised; her name also appears on the Nurses’ memorial in Liverpool Cathedral, the Nurses’ memorial in York Minster and the Indian war memorial the Great Gate at Delhi.
Roll of Honour, Kingsland Church
Name of Staff Nurse Ethel Saxon on the Roll of Honour, Kingsland Church
Sarah Anne Sybil Lucille Seabourne (Hinton)
Place of birth: Abergavenny
Service: Munitions worker
Notes: Born 1898, Sybil was a munitions worker though it has not been possible to establish where she worked. She married Clifford Hinton in 1920, and died in 1972.
Sybil Seabourne with fellow munitions workers. She is third from the left, wearing an armband. Perhaps she was the group forewoman.
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.
Grave of May Selwood
Grave of May Selwood who is credited with being the longest WW1 widow in Britain. Christchurch Cemetery, Newport
Annie Mary Slade (Hall)
Place of birth: Pentre, Rhondda
Service: Munitioms worker, 1916 - 1919
Death: After 2003, Cause not known
Notes: Annie Slade was born in 1903. Her mother was originally from Aberystwyth and her father ‘a bit of a boss’ in the pit. (He died as a result of an injury when Annie was a young teenager). She and her family were lucky to survive a tip slide in 1909. Aged 15 and a half she joined the WAAC in Newport, but her age was discovered (she was on a list to be sent to France) and she and her friend were discharged. At 16 she began working for the National Shell Filling Factory at Rotherwas, Hereford. A long account of her experiences was published in In the Munitions: Women at War in Herefordshire, when she was 100 years old.
Sources: In the Munitions: Women at War in Herefordshire, edited Bill Laws 2003.
Report of the Pentre landslide in which Annie’s family’s house was destroyed. Evening Express 8th February 1909
Helen Smith (Thomas)
Place of birth: Swansea
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.
Helen Smith with her rescuer Ernest Cowper. Photograph taken in Queenstown, County Cork, Ireland. Helen is wearing new clothes donated by local well-wishers.
Newspaper report (1)
Report of the story of Lusitania survivor Helen Smith (1). 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
Newspaper report (3)
Report of the story of Lusitania survivor Helen Smith (3). Cambrian Daily Leader 10 May 1915
Mary E Smith
Place of birth: Dolgellau
Service: Forewoman, QMAAC
Death: 1918-08-21, Dolgellau, Sickness / Salwch
Memorial: War memorial, Dolgellau, Merionethshire
Notes: aged 42. Buried St Mary's Dolgellau.
Place of birth: Goginan
Service: Clerk ?, WAAC, 1917 -
Notes: Enid seems to have joined the WAAC in Autumn 1917.
Newspaper photograph and report
Newspaper photograph of Enid Spedding, WAAC. Cambrian News 3rd May 1918.
Daisy Colnett Spickett
Place of birth: Pontypridd
Service: Nurse, VAD
Notes: Daisy, a lawyer’s daughter, joined the VAD when it was formed in 1910. She served in hospitals in Wales and England, and on hospital ships. Follow the link for a very interesting interview with Daisy recorded 1974 (IWM). There are 8 reels of tape amounting to about 2 hours of recording.
Jane Charlotte Stapleton Cotton (née Methuen)
Service: WI President
Notes: Jane Stapleton was the wife of Col Richard Stapleton Cotton, a land-owner and keen promoter of agricultural and social improvements. He introduced the idea of forming a Women’s Institute in Llanfairpwll, Anglesey, after meeting the Canadian Mrs Margaret Watt, who was involved in early Women’s Institutes in Canada. The first institute opened in June 1915, with Jane Stapleton as President. The programme was very much dictated by Col Stapleton Cotton; he and his dog Tinker remain the only two males to have been full WI members.
Sources: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01sdvv0; www.afwi.org.uk/the-first-wi-in-britain.html
Col Stapleton Cotton and his dog Tinker
Col Stapleton Cotton and his dog Tinker were the only males ever to be full members of the Women’s Institute.rn
Report of Llanfairpwll WI’s first Annual Meeting. North Wales Chronicle 22nd Sept 1916rn
Maud Starkie Bence
Place of birth: Suffolk
Service: Volunteer, 1914 - 1916
Death: 1916-06-01, Folkestone, Cause not known
Memorial: Memorial brass, St Brynach, Aberhonddu
Notes: aged 48. MSB was an well-known golfer.' Miss Starkie Bence will be remembered for the zeal, energy, and ability she threw into the work of the South Wales Borderers Comforts Scheme'. The plaque was erected in her memory by the South Wales Borderers.
Sources: The Brecon County Times Neath Gazette and General Advertiser for the Counties of Brecon Carmarthen Radnor Monmouth Glamorgan Cardigan Montgomery Hereford 10th September 1914; The Brecon County Times Neath Gazette and General Advertiser for the Counties of Brecon Carmarthen Radnor Monmouth Glamorgan Cardigan Montgomery Hereford 6th July 1916
St Brynach's Church, Llanfrynach
Plaque commemorating Maud Starkie Bence, St Brynach's Church, Llanfrynach