Saturday, 17 June 2017

Winifred Shepherd (1882 – 1917) – British VAD

With thanks to Callan Chevin for finding Winifred and colouring her photograph for us. 

Winifred was born in Plymouth, Devon, UK in 1882. Her parents were Joseph James Shepherd and his wife Mary Elizabeth Shepherd, nee Anning.   Winifred had the following siblings:  John, b. 1874, Kathleen, b. 1875, Olive, b. 1877, Victor, b. 1888, Florence, b. 1889 and Muriel, b. 1892.   John, Kathleen and Olive became teachers.   Winifred joined a Voluntary Aid Detachment during the First World War and died on 17th June 1917 of an illness contracted while on duty. 

Winifred's name is not included on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission List of Female Casualties of the First World War so I do not know where she was buried.



 

Saturday, 3 June 2017

Princess Patricia of Connaught (1886 - 1974)

Did you know we had a Princess Patricia in the British Royal Family?  Victoria Patricia Helena Elizabeth was one of Queen Victoria’s granddaughters.  She was born on 17th March 1886 in London.  Her Mother was Princess Louise Margaret of Prussia and her Father was Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn, third son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (no wonder the Royal Family changed their name during the First World War).

Princess Patricia was a bridesmaid at the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of York – the future King George V and Queen Mary.

Patricia travelled with her family to Canada in 1911 when her Father was appointed Governor General of Canada.   Her portrait was on the One Dollar note of the Dominion of Canada issued in March 1917.

When the War broke out, Canada answered the call immediately. Montreal millionaire  Andrew Hamilton Gault – who had served with the Royal Canadian Rifles in South Africa – decided to found a unit of elite troops who had already experienced action. He raised a regiment of light infantry and asked permission to use Princess Patricia’s name.  So Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry came into being and the princess was their Colonel-in-Chief until her death.  

She designed and embroidered a banner for the regiment to carry into battle  Princess Patricia also designed the cap badge and collar badges for the regiment – depicting a single daisy, in honour of Hamilton Gault’s wife, Marguerite.

The Regiment attended and the band played at Princess Patricia’s wedding in 1919 to commoner The Hon. Alexander Ramsay, after which she gave up her royal title and became Lady Patricia Ramsey.

The Princess Patricia’s Light Infantry Regiment still exists in Canada today, with their HQ in Edmonton – www.ppcli.com 
 
Photo:  Presenting the Colours
 
 

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Helen Hetterley, QAIMNS (1891 - 1917) - British

Staff Nurse HELEN HETTERLEY of the Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service died on 30th May 1917.
 
Helen was born on 4th May 1891. Her parents were George, a butler, and Elizabeth Hetterley, nee Kirby, who lived in Station Rd., Oakham.  Helen’s siblings were: Lilian, b. 1889, Phillis, b. 1890, Hilda, b. 1893, Sybil, b. 1897, Charles, b. 1900, Marjorie, b. 1902, Humphrey, b. 1903 and Herbert, b. 1906. 
Helen trained as a nurse and in 1911 was working as a children’s nurse with a wealthy family in London.  During WW1, Helen worked at the Military Hospital in Canterbury where she contracted T.B.  After initial treatment, when nothing further could be done for her, Helen returned home, where she died on 30th May 1917.   Helen was buried in Oakham Cemetery in Rutland - Grave Reference: 30. 45.

Helen’s cousin, Sergeant Joseph Hetterley, joined the Army Service Corps in March 1915 and served with the 2nd Northumberland Field Ambulance on the Western Front.  He served during the Second Battle of Ypres and was killed in July 1915.

Sources:  Commonwealth War Graves Commission List of Female Casualties of the First World War; Find my Past and http://www.theygavetheirtoday.com/oakham-town-wwi.html and with thanks to Callan Chevin who found the photograph of Helen and of her grave.

Monday, 15 May 2017

Alice Palmieri (1872 – 1917) – British subject, nurse

Alicia was a British subject born in 1872 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She trained at the New York City Hospital and was later Superintendent at the Yellow Fever Hospital, Havana, Cuba under Major General William Crawford Gorgas, US Army Medical Corps.

Alicia met her future husband, Jean Baptist Palmieri (born 1/3/1868 in Ponce, Peurto Rico), while serving in the Spanish-American War in 1898.

On 29th April 1915, Alicia was one of five VAD nurses who left Waterloo Station in London to travel to Kragujevac, Serbia via Salonica.  'The Ladies Field' of 23rd October 1915 reported on the event:
 
“Sister Palmieri nursed the typhus-stricken Serbians at Kragujevac under conditions calculated to daunt the bravest. Subsequently they were able to move into two buildings formerly used as stables, after having the floors cemented and the whole place fumigated and white-washed. Sister Palmieri is now temporarily in France”.

Alicia was posted to the Russo-Serbian Unit in September 1916 and worked as a nurse at Petrograd, Russia.  She died on 15th May 1917 in hospital in Petrograd and is commemorated on the Archangel Memorial in Russia.   Her next of kin was listed as Miss McMann, 21 Woodfield Crescent, Paddington, London.

Alicia’s husband joined the American Army in September 1918 in San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas. He was a naturalised American citizen and a government employee, living at 222 Camargo Street, San Antonio. He gave his nearest relative as Marjorie Palmieri (born 27th January 1912). Marjorie’s mother’s maiden name was given as Vandewil which could mean that was possibly Alicia’s maiden name. 

Jean Baptist served in Belgium and returned to New York from Le Havre on the 23rd November 1920 aboard the SS La Savoie. When he applied for a passport in 1921, giving his address as Santurce, Porto Rico.


From the Commonwealth War Graves Commission List of Female Casualties of the First World War: 

ARCHANGEL MEMORIAL, Russian Federation

PALMIERI, Nurse, Mrs. ALICIA. Voluntary Aid Detachment. 15 May 1917. 

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Ethel Locke-King (1864 - 1956) - British businesswoman

Ethel was born Ethel Gore-Brown in 1864 in Tasmania where her father, Sir Thomas Gore-Brown was Governor.  In 1894, Ethel married Hugh Locke-King and they went to live at “Brooklands” in Weybridge, Surrey. Shortly after their marriage, Ethel and Hugh purchased a hotel called “Mena House” just outside Cairo in Egypt which had formerly been a hunting lodge.  They made it into a luxury hotel and added a golf course on the advice of a friend – Alice Gress.    

They began their married life by farming the Brooklands estate but Hugh was passionately interested in motor racing and soon began building a race track on their land. The Motor Car Act of 1903 in Britain restricted motor vehicles to a 20 miles per hour speed limit which meant that trials between motor vehicles could not take place on public roads.

The earliest mention of a trial between motor vehicles was recorded as being from Paris to Rouen in July 1894, which was followed in 1895 with a race between Paris and Bordeaux.

Ethel took over the supervision of the development of the Brooklands racing circuit and aerodrome when the hard work involved in organising the construction adversely affected her husband’s health. Ethel’s family helped out, lending sufficient money to pay off debts incurred by the building work. Brooklands Motor Racing Circuit and Aerodrome was opened on June 1907 with a luncheon for motor car manufacturers.    On 17th June 1907, Ethel led the inaugural procession of cars on to the track in her Itala car.  The first race was held on 6th July 1907 and around ten thousand people attended the event.   Women were not allowed to race but in 1908 the Ladies Bracelet Handicap was run with nine entrants.  The winner was Muriel Thompson in an Austin, with Ethel Locke-King in the Italia second and Christobel Ellis in an Arrol-Johnston third.   The Brooklands Automobile Club then banned women drivers until 1928.  A similar ban was imposed on women's football teams after WW1.

During the First World War, Ethel Locke-King (seen here on the right) was Assistant County Director of Surrey, UK. She was responsible for establishing and organising twelve auxiliary military hospitals, one of which was in their home Brooklands House and is now Brooklands College.  Several of the other hospitals were in houses owned by Hugh Locke-King.  Ethel oversaw the management of 700 volunteers in nineteen Voluntary Aid Detachments.  Mena House Hotel in Egypt was requisitioned for use by the Australian Army during WW1.

For her work during the conflict, Ethel was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in 1918.

If you have not already visited Brooklands, I can highly recommend it.  The banking was absolutely incredible and would never be permitted in Formula One today.   After the death of her husband in 1926, Ethel continued to farm the Brooklands estate, with particular interest in their herd of Guernsey cattle.  After Hugh Locke King’s death in 1926, Dame Ethel continued to play an active role in the Brooklands track company until its sale to new investors in 1936.  She died in 1956.

The famous British race track, which was the first purpose-built circuit for racing motor cars in the world, is the subject of a temporary exhibition being held at Brooklands Museum in April 2017.  The Exhibition, which is organised by the Surrey Museums Partnership together with 43 Surrey museums, will to mark Surrey Museums Month. The theme of this year’s Museums Month, held annually. This year’s theme celebrates the history of the county’s “Surrey Women”.

To find out more about the exhibition at Brooklands please see their website https://www.brooklandsmuseum.com/about/latest-news/april-is-surrey-museums-month

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Remembering Margaret Mayne who died on 20th April 1917

With grateful thanks to Callan Chevin for information about Margaret Mayne, who was born in Ballinamallard, Co. Tyrone, Ireland in 1882.

Margaret trained as a nurse and worked as a Staff Nurse in the North Staffordshire Infirmary from 1907 until the outbreak of WW1.  She died in Harwich Hospital on 20th April 1917.  A plaque to the memory of Margaret, who was awarded the Associate Royal Red Cross Medal for her work, was placed in the Chapel of the North Staffordshire Infirmary. Since 2015, this plaque has been situated in the Atrium at the Royal Stoke University Hospital, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, UK.

Margaret's name is not on my copy of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission List of Female Casualties of the First World War.  If anyone knows more about Margaret, please get in touch.


Monday, 10 April 2017

Sinking Of HMHS Salta - 10th April 1917

Proving just how dangerous crossing the Channel was in WW1, His Majesty’s Hospital Ship ‘Salta’ hit a mine and sank on 10th April 1917, going down in under ten minutes.  Among those who died were 9 nurses of the Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Nursing Reserve, 42 Royal Army Medical Corps personnel and 79 crew members.

HMHS ‘Salta’ was on her way from Britain to the port of Le Havre in France to collected wounded to transport them to Britain for treatment.

The ship was a passenger liner built by French ship builders Societe de Forges et Chantier de la Mediterranee at Seyne-sur-Mer in Var.   She was run by the Societe General de Transport Maritime Steam and requisitioned by the British Admiralty in 1914 to be converted into a hospital ship.  

The nurses who died were buried in the Saint Marie Cemetery, Le Havre, Seine-Maritime, France:



CRUICKSHANK, Nursing Sister, ISABELLA. Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service. Lost at sea (mine explosion) half mile north from Whistle Buoy, Le Havre, 10 April 1917. Age 48. Daughter of William and Isabella Mutch Cruickshank, of Aberdeen. Grave Reference: "Salta" Memorial.

ENGLAND, Stewardess, F J. H.M.H.S. "Salta", Mercantile Marine. Lost at sea (mine explosion) half mile north from Whistle Buoy, Le Havre, 10 April 1917. Grave Reference: "Salta" Memorial.
FOYSTER, Nursing Sister, ELLEN LUCY. Special Reserve, Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service. Lost at sea (mine explosion) half mile North from Whistle Buoy, Le Havre, 10 April 1917. Age 36. Daughter of Rebecca Foyster, of 37, Madeira Avenue, Worthing, Sussex, and the late H. A. Foyster. On active service 1915-1917. Grave Reference: "Salta" Memorial.
GURNEY, Staff Nurse, E S. Special Reserve, Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service. Lost at sea (mine explosion) half mile north from Whistle Buoy, Le Havre, 10 April 1917. Grave Reference: "Salta" Memorial.
JONES, Nursing Sister, GERTRUDE EILEEN. Special Reserve, Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service. Lost at sea (mine explosion) half mile North from Whistle Buoy, Le Havre, 10 April 1917. Age 31. Grave Reference: "Salta" Memorial.
MANN, Staff Nurse, AGNES GREIG. Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service, attd. H.M.H.S. "Salta.". Drowned at sea on H.M.H.S. "Salta." (mine explosion), half a mile N. from Whistle Buoy, Le Havre, 10 April 1917. Age 25. Daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Mann, of 17, Clepington St., Dundee. Grave Reference: Div. 62. 1.
MASON, Staff Nurse, FANNY. Special Reserve, Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service. Lost at sea (mine explosion) half mile North from Whistle Buoy, Le Havre, 10 April 1917. Age 27. Daughter of Thomas and Catherine Elizabeth Mason, of Ivy Court, Giggleswick, nr. Settle, Yorks. Native of Hawes, Yorks. Grave Reference: "Salta" Memorial.
McALISTER, Staff Nurse, CLARA. Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service. Lost at sea (mine explosion) half mile North from Whistle Buoy, Le Havre, 10 April 1917. Age 36. Sister of Marion McAlister, of Little Hill, Pulborough, Sussex. Grave Reference: "Salta" Memorial.
ROBERTS, Staff Nurse, JANE. Special Reserve, Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service. Lost at sea (mine explosion) half mile North from Whistle Buoy, Le Havre, 10 April 1917. Grave Reference: "Salta" Memorial.

More information can be found in Women Casualties Of The Great War In Military Cemeteries - Volume 1: Belgium & France

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