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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Sorted by occupation

Elsie Towyn Jones (Taylor)

Place of birth: Cwmaman

Service: Administrator, WAAC, 1917 - ?

Notes: Elsie was the elder daughter of the Rev Josiah Towyn Jones, MP for East Carmarthen. As an MP’s daughter, her name appears quite frequently in Welsh newspapers. She became an ‘Official’ in the WAAC in October 1917. After a spell as transport officer, responsible for the travel arrangements of WAACs, in March 1918 she was promoted ‘quartermistress’ of the WAAC in France, responsible for all uniform supplies. In June she survived a bombing raid, and by August was back at WAAC headquarters in London using her ‘invaluable technical knowledge’ to advise Sir Douglas Haig. She became engaged to Geoffrey Moore in February 1917.

Reference: WaW0236

Report of Elsie becoming a WAAC ‘Official’’, Carmarthen Journal 19th Oct 1917.

Newspaper article

Report of Elsie becoming a WAAC ‘Official’’, Carmarthen Journal 19th Oct 1917.

Report of Elsie’s promotion to Quartermistress. Herald of Wales 23rd March 1918rnrn

Newspaper report

Report of Elsie’s promotion to Quartermistress. Herald of Wales 23rd March 1918rnrn


Report of bombing raid in France. The Cambria Daily Leader 4th June 1918

Newspaper report

Report of bombing raid in France. The Cambria Daily Leader 4th June 1918

Elsie Towyn Jones at WAAC headquarters. Amman Valley Chronicle 15th August 1918rn

Newspaper report

Elsie Towyn Jones at WAAC headquarters. Amman Valley Chronicle 15th August 1918rn


Elsie Towyn Jones’s promotion to Administrator, London Gazette 28th February 1919.rn

London Gazette

Elsie Towyn Jones’s promotion to Administrator, London Gazette 28th February 1919.rn

Elsie Towyn Jones, Amman Valley Chronicle 25th October 1917

Elsie Towyn Jones

Elsie Towyn Jones, Amman Valley Chronicle 25th October 1917


Margaret Irene John

Place of birth: Penygraig

Service: Administrator, lady superintendent , Womens League

Notes: Margaret John, a teacher of domestic arts in Monmouthshire, who had trained in Aberystwyth, Cardiff and London, joined the Women’s Legion in 1916 as one of their skilled cooks. After some months as Lady Superintendent in Wiltshire she was sent to France as ‘area administratrix’ in October 1917.

Reference: WaW0380

Report of local JP’s daughter Margaret John being posted to France. Rhondda Leader 27th October 1917.

Newspaper report

Report of local JP’s daughter Margaret John being posted to France. Rhondda Leader 27th October 1917.


Mary Evans

Place of birth: Trawsfynydd, 1890?

Service: Agricultural student

Notes: Mary Evans was the sister of the poet Hedd Wyn, Ellis Humphrey Evans. She was studying at Madryn Agricultural College, near Pwllheli. This letter, written in Autumn 1917, asks for money, talks about her life, and expresses hiraeth for her late brother.

Reference: WaW0097

Letter from Mary Evans to her parents 1

Mary Evans letter 1

Letter from Mary Evans to her parents 1

Letter from Mary Evans to her parents 2

Mary Evans letter 2

Letter from Mary Evans to her parents 2


Letter from Mary Evans to her parents 3

Mary Evans letter 3

Letter from Mary Evans to her parents 3

Translation of Mary Evans's letter into English

Mary Evans letter English

Translation of Mary Evans's letter into English


Constance Fane Roberts

Place of birth: Llandre

Service: Army Remount Service: Gwasanaeth Ail-farchogaeth y Fyddin

Death: 1917-10-09, Motor accident/Damwain car

Memorial: Grave, Llandre, Cardiganshire

Notes: aged 22, died together with her fiance Captain Brereton Ockleston Rigby

Sources: http://www.wwwmp.co.uk/ceredigion-war-memorials/

Reference: WaW0018

Grave of Constance Fane Roberts, llandre Church

Llandre Church

Grave of Constance Fane Roberts, llandre Church


Margaret Lindsay Williams

Place of birth: Cardiff

Service: Artist

Notes: Trained in Cardiff and London, Margaret Lindsay Williams lobbied to become an official war artist attached to the Welsh Division in France. This was not allowed, and she was also unsuccessful in an application to work for the Department of Industry. However she devoted her time to fund—raising for the Welsh Hospital at Netley with several exhibitions. She also had several commissions for very large works. These included Cardiff Royal Infirmary during the Great War painted in 1916, and an enormous (20 x 16 foot) painting of the Welsh National Service held in Westminster Abbey in June 1918 in support of the Welsh Prisoners of War Fund.

Sources: Margaret Lindsay Williams, 1888 – 1960: Wedded to her Art. Angela Gaffney. University of Wales 1999. https://artuk.org/discover/artists/williams-margaret-lindsay-18881960

Reference: WaW0338

A self-portrait of Margaret Lindsay Williams, 1909

Margaret Lindsay Williams

A self-portrait of Margaret Lindsay Williams, 1909

The woman on the left is Elizabeth Montgomery Wilson [qv], Territorial Force Nursing Service, Principal Matron, 3rd Western Hospital.  The other woman is Sister Mary Jones [qv] also Territorial Force Nursing Service.

Cardiff Royal Infirmary during the Great War, 1916

The woman on the left is Elizabeth Montgomery Wilson [qv], Territorial Force Nursing Service, Principal Matron, 3rd Western Hospital. The other woman is Sister Mary Jones [qv] also Territorial Force Nursing Service.


Mary Olwen Evans

Place of birth: Llangadog, April 1896

Service: Assistant (Cook) : , QMAAC

Death: 1919-03-23, Influenza?/Y Ffliw?

Notes: aged 20, buried Ebbw Vale

Sources: http://www.wwwmp.co.uk/carmarthenshire-war-memorials/

Reference: WaW0013


Mary Ann Evans

Place of birth: Ebbw Vale

Service: Assistant cook, QMAAC

Death: 1919/03/23, Percy House Auxiliary Military Hospital, Isleworth, Middlesex, Influenza ? / Fliw ?

Notes: According to the 1911 census, Mary Ann probably came from a Welsh speaking family. Her father was a colliery foreman. She was working in Middlesex when she died, probably of influenza. Her name has recently been recorded on a commemorative headstone at Risca cemetery.

Sources: http://firstworldwar.gwentheritage.org.uk/content/catalogue_item/mary-ann-evans

Reference: WaW0283

Headstone commemorating Mary Ann Evans, Risca cemetery.

Commemorative headstone

Headstone commemorating Mary Ann Evans, Risca cemetery.

Grave record of Mary Ann Evans

Grave record

Grave record of Mary Ann Evans


Gwladys Rowlands

Place of birth: Talywain

Service: Assistant Cook, WAAC/QMAAC, 1917/09 - 1919/10

Notes: Gwladys joined the WAAC in September 1917 when she was working as a housemaid in Pontypool Hospital. Her WAAC papers survive in the National Archives, including a letter to Lady Mackworth (Margaret Haig Thomas) in August 1917, enquiring about the possibility of joining a women’s army corps. She served as an assistant cook, first at Bisley near London, then at Catterick Camp in Yorkshire. Gwladys was discharged from the WAAC on compassionate grounds in October 1919.

Sources: National Archives WO-398-193-26

Reference: WaW0291

Gwladys Rowlands’s reference from Pontypool Hospital.

Reference for WAAC admission

Gwladys Rowlands’s reference from Pontypool Hospital.

WAAC uniform for Gwladys Rowlands (1)

Uniform list

WAAC uniform for Gwladys Rowlands (1)


WAAC uniform for Gwladys Rowlands (2)

Uniform list

WAAC uniform for Gwladys Rowlands (2)

Name of Gwladys Rowlands on the Roll of Honour at Pisgah Baptist Church, Talywain.

Roll of Honour

Name of Gwladys Rowlands on the Roll of Honour at Pisgah Baptist Church, Talywain.


Sarah Ann Rees

Place of birth: Newport

Service: Assistant Cook, WAAC, Ionawr - Mawrth 1918 / January

Notes: Ann Rees applied to the WAAC as a kitchen maid; her current employment was flour packer at Star Mills, Newport. Curiously, though her religion is given as C of E, her references are from Father Hickey, Priest of St Mary’s Church, Stow Hill, and Sister Agnes of St Joseph’s Convent, and she went to Holy Cross school. Apparently she joined the WAAC without her parents’ knowledge or consent early in 1918; following correspondence from her and her mother, Ann was given a compassionate discharge on 14th March 1918.

Reference: WaW0379

Letter from Sarah Ann Rees asking for discharge from the WAAC. National Archives.

Letter

Letter from Sarah Ann Rees asking for discharge from the WAAC. National Archives.

Letter from Mrs Bridget Rees, Ann’s mother, explaining why she is needed at home [1]. National Archives.

Letter

Letter from Mrs Bridget Rees, Ann’s mother, explaining why she is needed at home [1]. National Archives.


Letter from Mrs Bridget Rees, Ann’s mother, explaining why she is needed at home [2]. National Archives.

Letter

Letter from Mrs Bridget Rees, Ann’s mother, explaining why she is needed at home [2]. National Archives.

Letter from Mrs Bridget Rees, Ann’s mother, explaining why she is needed at home [3]. National Archives.

Letter

Letter from Mrs Bridget Rees, Ann’s mother, explaining why she is needed at home [3]. National Archives.


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



Administration