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MotherMave

Captured at Beaurieux 28th May 1918

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MotherMave

Dear Forum, I have posted this on "The Western Front" forum, but have just seen this sub-forum and hope it's OK to put this here as well. Apologies in advance if it isn't OK. I am wondering if anyone can give me any idea how the Germans captured both British and French, including French Medical Orderlies, one of whom was an English Nurse, Louisa Constance Colt-Williams, at Beaurieux, Field Laz. 261 on the 28th May 1918. She was held for 4 and a half months, some of that in Germany. Beaurieux was the village between the Aisne and the Craonnelle Plateau according to the letter she wrote to the Father of a young Officer who died after she was forced to go to Germany. I am trying to find out about her life and how she came to be in France and the difficulties she encounterd as she must have been an amazing lady, as was the hundreds of other Nurses who were involved in that awful war. Thanking you in advance for any information that will help me with my research. Regards, Mother Mave

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trenchtrotter

The date you mention suggests to me she may have been captured in the German offensive on the Aisne Marne in May 1918. They made huge advances and she was probably a nurse at a rear hospital that was captured in the advance. Maybe she choose to stay and tend the wounded and was captured. A common occurrance to medical personnel.

Regards

TT

From my reply to this question on the same thread in Western Front section just in case you missed it..

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Sue Light

There is an article in the current edition of Stand To! about the capture, in May 1918, of No.37 Casualty Clearing Station (British) and l'Hopital d'Origine d'Evacuation 32 (French) who were sharing premises at Mont Notre Dame, not far south of Beaurieux. In that case the writer states that 21 female nurses were taken prisoner, together with many more male personnel. As I believe No.37 CCS was not carrying any British military nursing sisters at that time, the assumption is that these women were employed by the French in their hospital. The article certainly gives good background to the action. If you haven't already seen it, I'm happy to scan it and send it.

Sue

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MotherMave
There is an article in the current edition of Stand To! about the capture, in May 1918, of No.37 Casualty Clearing Station (British) and l'Hopital d'Origine d'Evacuation 32 (French) who were sharing premises at Mont Notre Dame, not far south of Beaurieux. In that case the writer states that 21 female nurses were taken prisoner, together with many more male personnel. As I believe No.37 CCS was not carrying any British military nursing sisters at that time, the assumption is that these women were employed by the French in their hospital. The article certainly gives good background to the action. If you haven't already seen it, I'm happy to scan it and send it.

Sue

Thanks so much Sue, it may be invaluable to at least find more out and understand the circumstances of her capture. I would be obliged if you could scan it and send to me, thank you.

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MotherMave
There is an article in the current edition of Stand To! about the capture, in May 1918, of No.37 Casualty Clearing Station (British) and l'Hopital d'Origine d'Evacuation 32 (French) who were sharing premises at Mont Notre Dame, not far south of Beaurieux. In that case the writer states that 21 female nurses were taken prisoner, together with many more male personnel. As I believe No.37 CCS was not carrying any British military nursing sisters at that time, the assumption is that these women were employed by the French in their hospital. The article certainly gives good background to the action. If you haven't already seen it, I'm happy to scan it and send it.

Sue

Hi Sue, I am so sorry for taking so long to reply to you and send my Email address, but I have been away on holiday to Turkey and whilst there was taken ill with kidney stones! Anyway, I would really appreciate it if you could scan the article for me. I am hoping to write an article on Louisa Constance Colt-Williams and therefore would need to have as much background info as I can.

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MotherMave
There is an article in the current edition of Stand To! about the capture, in May 1918, of No.37 Casualty Clearing Station (British) and l'Hopital d'Origine d'Evacuation 32 (French) who were sharing premises at Mont Notre Dame, not far south of Beaurieux. In that case the writer states that 21 female nurses were taken prisoner, together with many more male personnel. As I believe No.37 CCS was not carrying any British military nursing sisters at that time, the assumption is that these women were employed by the French in their hospital. The article certainly gives good background to the action. If you haven't already seen it, I'm happy to scan it and send it.

Sue

Hi Sue, I am so sorry for taking so long to reply to you and send my Email address, but I have been away on holiday to Turkey and whilst there was taken ill with kidney stones! Anyway, I would really appreciate it if you could scan the article for me. I am hoping to write an article on Louisa Constance Colt-Williams and therefore would need to have as much background info as I can.

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Smithmaps

MM

You need to read this thread from end to end.

Battle of the Aisne

As Beaurieux was a key town in the initial advance, and was totally over run with many stories.

Guy

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Sue Light
Hi Sue, I am so sorry for taking so long to reply to you and send my Email address

Mave

I still haven't received an email address - not sure whether you're sending and it's not arriving ... if there's a problem sending it via the forum PMs, you can contact me via my website - link is at the bottom of the post.

Regards --- Sue

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MotherMave

I wrote to the French Red Cross to see if they could help me, please see below:- Dear Sir/Madam, I am researching an Englishwoman who was in the French Red cross and was captured with two other Nursing Sisters, who were not British, by the Germans and was among French Medical Officers also captured and taken to the 261st Field Lazarette at Beaurieux. The lady in question was Louise Constance Colt-Williams, a Nurse who gave invaluable assistance to 3 British Officers who were also captured and from the R.A.M.C.attached 25th Brigade, R.F.A. at Maizy. Louise was repatriated before the examiner T.BYARD, Captain, wrote the report, on 8th November at 17, Mancester Square. The report was from Captain W.A. Rees, age 35, address:- Portroller House, Stornaway, who was captured 28th May 1918 at Maizy and not wounded. This was from the National Archives WO/161/97/65. I would like to know how to find out about these remarkable women who joined the French Red Cross in WW1. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance. Mother Mave

This was the reply:- Hello!

I didn't find the information regarding Louisa Colt-Williams in the index of Red Cross Nurses for 1914-1918, which is unfortunately incomplete.

By contrast, I found this name in a French Red Cross newsletter/report of October 1918:-

Louisa Colt-Williams is mentioned in despatches in the service of the Army Medical Corps on 9 Sept 1918 and was decorated with the Croix de Guerre (citation and decoration from the War Ministry). She was taken prisoner by the Germans and subjected to the bombings of the 27-28 May 1918 while she was at her post at HOE52B, Postal Sector 79C1059. (This is a military evacuation hospital close to the war Zone but I am unable to locate it).

I hope that this information will help you in your research.

Best Wishes

Virginie Alauzet

Can anyone help with the area Louisa's Post was situated? Thanking anyone who answers in advance, Mavis

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