Saturday, 8 July 2017

Dorothy Willis, nee Hart (1894 – 1916) and Sarah Frances Ruby Hart (1900 – 1919) - British women who died serving in WW1

Dorothy and Sarah Hart were sisters. Their parents were Geroge W. Hart, a florist, and his wife, Mildred Ann, nee Garnar.  The Hart children were:  Dorothy, b. 1894, Hilda, b. 1895, Arthur, b. 1896, Gladys, b. 1898, Sarah Frances Ruby, b. 1900, Albert E., b. 1901, Mildred, b. 1903, Harold, b. 1904, Thomas, b. 1907, Regina, b. 1909 and Linda, b. 1910.   The family lived in the High Street in Willingham in the county of Cambridgeshire.

Dorothy married Albert E. Willis in Edmonton in September 1913.  Their son George E. Willis, was born in May or June 1914.   Dorothy worked in a munitions factory during the First World War and she died of TNT poisoning on 7th July 1916.   Dorothy’s sister, Sarah Frances Ruby Hart, joined the Women’s Royal Air Force as a Member.  Sarah died on 20th October 1919.  The sisters were buried together in Willingham Cemetery, Cambridgeshire, UK.

Women Members of the Women’s Royal Naval Service (WRNS) and the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) were seconded to air bases run by the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service.  When the RFC and RNAS merged to form the Royal Air Force, it was decided to form a separate Women’s Royal Air Force (WRAF).

Photograph reproduced by kind permission of Sarah and Dorothy’s relative, Helen Buckland and with thanks to Debbie Cameron who posted their story on the Facebook Page Remembering Women on the Home Front in WW1.

Sources:  Find my Past, Free BMD and
https://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/research/online-exhibitions/women-of-the-air-force/womens-royal-air-force-wraf-1918-1920.aspx

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