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

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Welsh Book of Remembrance /Llyfr Cofio Cenedlaetho

Memorial: The Temple of Peace, Cardiff, Glamorgan

Notes: The Welsh Book of Remembrance was created as a Roll of Honour to accompany the unveiling of the Welsh National War Memorial in Cathays Park, Cardiff, in 1928. It is an attempt to list all those ‘Men and Women of Welsh Blood or Parentage … Who Gave Their Lives in the War 1914 – 1918’. Before the opening of the Temple of Peace in 1938 the book was on display in the National Museum. A number of women are included: the stewardesses Hannah Owen and Louisa Parry who died when RMS Leinster was torpedoed in 1918; members of QMAAC Gertrude Dyer, Jean Roberts, Mary Elizabeth Smith and Lizzie Dora Stephens; and VADs Gladys Maud Jones, Gwynedd Llewellyn, Amy Curtis, Eva Davies, Margaret M Evans, Lilian Jones, Edith Tonkin, Jenny Williams and Frances Sprake Jones QAIMNS.rnIt is not clear why these particular women were chosen for inclusion. This site has the name of many women who could have been included. Additionally Gladys Maud Jones and Gwynedd Llewellyn, despite their names, had no recent connection with Wales.

Sources: http://www.walesforpeace.org/whybookofremembrance.html; https://www.llgc.org.uk/llyfrycofio

Reference: WaW0237

The Welsh Book of Remembrance, containing names of 35,000 service men and women who died during the Great War.

The Welsh Book of Remembrance

The Welsh Book of Remembrance, containing names of 35,000 service men and women who died during the Great War.


Editha Elma (Bailey), Lady Glanusk (Sergison)

Place of birth: Haywards Heath, Sussex

Service: ‘Active war worker’, Red Cross

Notes: Lady Glanusk was born in 1871 and married the 2nd Baron Glanusk in 1890. From the outbreak of war she became very involved in wartime activities, and was an indefatigable writer to the newspapers, calling for young women to encourage their men to join up, and demanding the internment of enemy aliens. She was the President of the Red Cross in Breconshire, (for which she was awarded a CBE in 1920), and was heavily involved in the Penoyre Red Cross Hospital in Brecon. Two of her three sons were killed in the war, one a 17-year-old midshipman.

Reference: WaW0228

Lady Glanusk with the matron and staff of Penoyre Hospital, Brecon.

Lady Glanusk

Lady Glanusk with the matron and staff of Penoyre Hospital, Brecon.

Letter to ‘The Women of Breconshire’ published in the Brecon County Times 5th November 1914.

Newspaper letter

Letter to ‘The Women of Breconshire’ published in the Brecon County Times 5th November 1914.


Letter ‘The Alien Enemy Danger’ published in the Brecon County Times 25th March 1915

Newspaper letter

Letter ‘The Alien Enemy Danger’ published in the Brecon County Times 25th March 1915

Red Cross record card detailing the service of Lady Glanusk

Red Cross record card

Red Cross record card detailing the service of Lady Glanusk


Red Cross record card detailing the service of Lady Glanusk (reverse)

Red Cross record card (reverse)

Red Cross record card detailing the service of Lady Glanusk (reverse)

Citation for award of CBE to Lady Glanusk, London Gazette (Supplement) 30th March 1920

London Gazette

Citation for award of CBE to Lady Glanusk, London Gazette (Supplement) 30th March 1920


Gladys *

Place of birth: Cardiff

Service: Girl

Notes: Photograph of a teenage girl dressed in the uniform of a regular soldier in the Royal Artillery (too large for her) complete with swagger stick, seated in a chair. Her hair is tied back with a large bow, indicating that she is probably no older than 16 or 17.; Reverse of photograph indicating it was taken at Gale’s Studios Ltd, Queen’s Street, Cardiff. Inscribed in ink ‘From Gladys / To Ada’.

Reference: WaW0077

Photograph of Gladys, a teenage girl, dressed in the uniform of the Royal Artillery, c.1914

Photograph of Gladys, Cardiff

Photograph of Gladys, a teenage girl, dressed in the uniform of the Royal Artillery, c.1914

Reverse of photograph, taken at  Gale’s Studios Ltd, Queen’s Street, Cardiff, inscribed 'To Ada From Glady's.

Reverse of photograph of Gladys

Reverse of photograph, taken at Gale’s Studios Ltd, Queen’s Street, Cardiff, inscribed 'To Ada From Glady's.


Evelyn Margaret Abbott

Place of birth: Grosmont, Monmouthshire

Service: Nurse, Scottish Womens Hospitals, January - June 1916

Death: 1958, London , Cause not known

Notes: Evelyn, born 1883, was the daughter of the Grosmont school master. A professional nurse trained in London, she spent six months working at the Scottish Women’s Hospitals hospital at Royaumont Abbey north of Paris. Follow the link to see the hospital on film

Sources: http://movingimage.nls.uk/film/0035\r\nhttp://scottishwomenshospitals.co.uk/women/\r\n

Reference: WaW0248


Mary Andrews

Place of birth: Briton Ferry

Service: Nurse, VAD ?

Notes: Mary Andrews was awarded the Royal Red Cross in May 1919. She served at Oswestry Military Hospital.

Reference: WaW0272


Jean Arbuckle

Place of birth: Scotland

Service: Schoolgirl

Notes: 'My mother, Jean Wardlaw Arbuckle, was born in Scotland and spent her early years there in various small towns and villages in the central belt from Gourock in the west to Preston Pans in the east. She was the third of twelve children. When she was about 11 years old, the family moved to the coal-mining valleys in Wales, as her father sought promotion in the coal industry.My mother was 15 years old when World War I broke out. The memories she passed down to me were of the extreme difficulty in obtaining food, and its high cost, until rationing was brought in. She said that it was extremely unfair for poorer families, and that rationing made the situation much fairer. At the beginning of the War the family lived in Tondu, just north of Bridgend, but moved to Llanharan, eight miles from Bridgend some time during 1915. She attended Bridgend County School during those years, travelling by train from Llanharan station. The scarcity of staff seems to have caused some level of amalgamation of the boys and girls schools. It seems to have been quite a lax regime with a considerable amount of truancy. The pupils often disappeared during the day, walking to Merthyr Mawr, boys and girls together.One day she decided to leave school early, and hitched a lift with a farmer, riding in his horse-drawn trap back to Llanharan on the then narrow and twisting road. My grandfather had one of the few cars in the area at that time, and she heard it coming towards them along the road. She knew that if he saw her she would get the strap, so she jumped off the trap, over the hedge, and then walked the rest of the way home.The family were members of the Plymouth Brethren, but this does not seem to have stopped the children running a bit wild.' Janet Davies 13.11.2015.

Reference: WaW0078


Mary Bagnall

Place of birth: Wrexham ?

Service: Mother, Wife

Notes: Mary was one of the victims of the explosion of a shell brought home as a souvenir by her soldier husband John Bagnall. He accidentally dropped it on 9th March 1916 at their home in Moss, Wrexham. The explosion fatally injured her baby daughter Sarah, and her nieces Violet Williams and Mary Roberts, and killed her niece Ethel Roberts. Mary lost most of both feet, and her husband and sister Sarah Roberts both lost legs. The girls were buried in two graves at Holy Trinity Churchyard, Gwersyllt, where a memorial was erected in March 2016.

Sources: http://www.dailypost.co.uk/news/north-wales-news/wrexham-remembers-four-children-killed-11027982

Reference: WaW0215

Report of the shell explosion that killed four girls and injured three adults, North Wales Chronicle 10th March 1916

Newspaper report

Report of the shell explosion that killed four girls and injured three adults, North Wales Chronicle 10th March 1916

Report of the explosion giving the names of the victims.

Newspaper report

Report of the explosion giving the names of the victims.


Sarah Hannah Bagnall

Place of birth: Wrexham

Service: Child

Death: 1916/03/09, Moss, Wrexham, Explosion / Ffrwydrad

Memorial: Holy Trinity Church, Gwersyllt, Wrexham, Denbighshire

Notes: Sarah, aged 1, died when a souvenir shell brought home by her father exploded, killing or fatally injuring her and her three cousins. Her mother Mary Bagnall was seriously injured as well as her father and aunt Sarah Roberts. The children were buried in two graves in Holy Trinity Churchyard, Gwersyllt, where a memorial to the four girls was dedicated in March 2016.

Sources: http://www.dailypost.co.uk/news/north-wales-news/wrexham-remembers-four-children-killed-11027982

Reference: WaW0217

Report of the shell explosion that killed four girls and injured three adults, North Wales Chronicle 10th March 1916

Newspaper report

Report of the shell explosion that killed four girls and injured three adults, North Wales Chronicle 10th March 1916

Report of the explosion giving the names of the victims.

Newspaper report

Report of the explosion giving the names of the victims.


Memorial to Sarah Bagnall, Ethel Roberts, Mary Roberts and Violet Williams at Holy Trinity Churchyard, Gwersyllt, dedicated March 2016.

Newspaper report

Memorial to Sarah Bagnall, Ethel Roberts, Mary Roberts and Violet Williams at Holy Trinity Churchyard, Gwersyllt, dedicated March 2016.


Isabelle Eugenie Marie Barbier

Place of birth: Cardiff 1885

Service: Nurse, CHR, 11/08/1914 - 1919

Notes: Isabelle Barbier was one of the daughters of Paul Barbier, professor of French at Cardiff University. She trained as a nurse at Bristol Royal Infirmary. Called up very early in the war, she was called upon to help Maud MacCarthy, the Principal Matron in France, who had crossed to France at the same time and who spoke no French. Isabelle became her personal assistant throughout the War, working in France and Flanders. She later became a nun, and died in 1982 aged 96.

Sources: http://www.fairestforce.co.uk/6.html

Reference: WaW0104


Edith Frances Barker

Place of birth: Liverpool

Service: Nurse, VAD, February/Chwefror 1915 – Apr

Death: 1918/04/03, St Omer, France, Illness / Salwch

Memorial: St Collen\'s Church, Llangollen, Denbighshire

Notes: Born 1869, the daughter of a Liverpool Brewer, Edith lived with two brother in Pen-y-Bryn Hall, Llangollen for a number of years from 1901. She nursed in Malta and France where she died aged 49. She is buried in Longueness (St Omer) Souvenir Cemetery, and her name appears on Llangollen War Memorial.

Sources: https://grangehill1922.wordpress.com/2013/11/19/edith-frances-barker/

Reference: WaW0174

Document giving instruction for inscriptions on headstones in Souvenir Cem Longueness. Edith Barker’s age is given as 49.

Imperial War Graves Document

Document giving instruction for inscriptions on headstones in Souvenir Cem Longueness. Edith Barker’s age is given as 49.

Red Cross record for Edith Frances Barker (reverse).

Red Cross Record Card (reverse)

Red Cross record for Edith Frances Barker (reverse).


Red Cross record for Edith Frances Barker. This gives her age as 37.

Red Cross Record card

Red Cross record for Edith Frances Barker. This gives her age as 37.


War memorial, Llangollen. Edith’s name is near the top of the second column from the left.

War Memorial

War memorial, Llangollen. Edith’s name is near the top of the second column from the left.



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