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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).
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.
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.
Margaret K Turner
Service: Chemistry demonstrator, University College Aberystwyth / Coleg Prifysgol A, 1915
Notes: Margaret was appointed Demonstrator in the Chemistry department of Aberystwyth University early in the war. She worked on the preparation of diethylamine, an inhibitor used in pharmaceuticals. At the end of this contract she wrote to the War Committee of the Institute of Chemistry ‘I can put all my time and energy at your service for the next 6 weeks, and am anxious to know whether the few helpers down here could not be allowed to contribute further to the needs of the country? I should be much obliged if you could inform me whether there is any other preparations we can make, as I, for one, am willing and eager to give up all ideas of holidays whilst there remains so much to be done’. We do not know if this offer was taken up.
Sources: Chemistry Was Their Life: Pioneer British Women Chemists 1880 – 1949. Marelene Rayner-Canham & Geoff Rayner-Canham Imperial College Press 2008
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.
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.
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.
Report of Jennie Vaughan’s speech supporting the Labour candidate. Amman Valley Chronicle 5th December 1918.
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).
Lizzie Veal, Railway Worker
Lizzie Veal was a Great Western Railway worker. She may have been a porter or a ticket clerk.
Place of birth: Newport ?
Service: ‘Shaving lady’, VAD ?
Notes: Marjorie Wagstaff was a volunteer from Newport who would go in to the Newport Section of the 3rd Western General Military Hospital twice a week to shave the patients. By the end of the war she had performed over 2,000 shaves. Her picture featured in the Daily Mirror as well as the South Wales Argus.
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
Report of the award of Royal Red Cross to Gladys Mina Watkins. Abergavenny Chronicle 26th January 1917
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
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.