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Marie De Saedeleer
Place of birth: Sint-Martens-Latem, Belgium
Notes: Marie was the eldest of five daughters of the Belgian artist Valerius de Saedeleer. He was among a group of artists encouraged by Gwendoline and Margaret Davies [qv] to come to Wales as refugees in 1914. The family settled in Aberystwyth, with strong ties to University College, Aberystwyth. Marie, like her sister Elisabeth, [qv] became interested in weaving. They both taught in the newly formed Arts and Crafts department of the college, together with their father. On her return to Belgium in 1921 Marie worked with her sister Elisabeth at the Arts Centre they set up in Etikhove, Belgium.
Marie de Saedeleer and her sisters
Marie is one of the two girls standing at the front by their loom. Elisabeth is at the back.
Edith Picton Turbervill
Place of birth: Fownhope, Herefordshire
Service: Welfare worker, MP, Y W C A
Death: 1960, Cause not known
Notes: Edith (born 1872) was a twin [qv Beatrice Picton-Warlow], one of many children of John Picton Turbervill who inherited Ewenny Priory, Glamorgan in 1891. Always very devout, she worked with the families of navvies working on the Vale of Glamorgan railway and poor families in London After six years in India she returned to Britain to be foreign secretary of the Y.W.C.A. When war broke out, she raised quarter of a million pounds to build Y.W.C.A. hostels for young women munitions and farm workers. A strong supporter of ordination of women, she preached in several non-conformist chapels in Wales before becoming the first woman to preach in an Anglican church, in 1919, wearing ‘cassock and surplice’. As she was over six foot tall, with ‘a rather loud voice’, she impressed the newspapers. In that year too she joined the Labour party. After two unsuccessful attempts, she was elected MP for Wrekin in Shropshire in 1929. During her brief Parliamentary career she successfully introduced the bill to stop the execution of pregnant women.
Sources: Angela V John: Rocking the Boat, Parthian Press 2018
Report of the inaugural meeting launching the provision of Y.M.C.A. hostels for munitions workers in Wales (part 1). Glamorgan Gazette 13 October 1916.
Report of the inaugural meeting launching the provision of Y.M.C.A. hostels for munitions workers in Wales (part 2). Glamorgan Gazette 13 October 1916.
Report of Edith Picton Turbervill preaching in the Bishopsgate Congregational Chapel. Cambrian Daily Leader 14th February 1919.
‘Small Talk’ column describing Edith Picton Turbervill preaching at a regular Church of England service in North Somercotes, Lincs. Glamorgan Gazette 11th July 1919.
Report of Edith Picton Turbervill joining the Labour Party. Cambria Daily Leader 18th January 1919
The Labour women MPs elected in 1929, Edith Picton Turbervill is centre back. Front right is a very young Jennie Lee, later married to Aneurin Bevan. Aged 24, she was too young to vote, but not too young to stand. Next to her is Ellen Wilkinson.
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.
Report of Llanfairpwll WI’s first Annual Meeting. North Wales Chronicle 22nd Sept 1916
Place of birth: Swansea
Service: Widow, Mother, Munitions Worker
Death: --, Tawe Lodge, Swansea, Tuberculosis / Y diciau
Notes: Margaret Morris began work at NEF Pembrey after her soldier husband was killed in August 1916. There she is said to have contracted the tuberculosis from which she died. She left children aged 12, 8 and 2 and a half.
Place of birth: Lancashire, 1880
Service: Wife and Mother
Notes: Gertrude Fairclough was the wife of Major Rowland Fairclough, Royal Welch Fusiliers, and spent her married life in Mold, Flintshire. Family traditions says that once her husband had joined his regiment in France (despite being 48 in 1914), she moved into a hotel.
Gertrude Fairclough c.1915
Gertrude Fairclough née Appleby, wife of Major Rowland Fairclough, Royal Welch Fusiliers.
Service: Wife and Mother
Notes: Elizabeth Hopkins, nee Thomas (1882-1959) and David Hopkins (1877-1949) - married 8th October 1905. Photograph taken around 16th November 1914 when David enlisted in the South Wales Borderers. David and Elizabeth already had four children, the eldest only 8 years old, the youngest 21 months. Although David is proud to have volunteered Elizabeth looks distinctly worried about the future - with good reason for David was seriously wounded at Gallipoli from which he never fully recovered.
Olwen Jones (née Lewis)
Service: Wife, mother
Notes: 'My grandmother Olwen Jones with her two daughters, Dora Louise, on the left, aged two+ and Frances, right thirteen months younger. This was taken in 1916, when my grandfather [Percy Jones, Welsh Regiment] was conscripted and sent to France. He was wounded, but eventually returned to Abercarn and they had two more children post the war.' Rosemary Scadden.
Olwen Jones and daughters
Olwen Jones with her daughters Dora and Frances. Photograph taken when husbad Percy Jones was conscripted in 1916.
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
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
Gertrude Winifred Allan Dyer
Place of birth: Newport
Service: Worker, QMAAC
Death: 1918-01-27, Cause not known
Memorial: Christchurch Cemetery, Newport, Monmouthshire
Notes: aged 38. On her grave it says that the stone was erected by her family and ‘Newport Women’s Liberal Association of which she was the secretary for 18 years’. A plaque has also been placed on her grave by the Commonwealth War Commission. Her name also appears on the WW1 Roll of Honour book kept in Newport Reference Library and the Welsh National Book of Remembrance.