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chrisharley9

Beatrice Elizabeth Stevens

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chrisharley9

From the Times of 18th October 1918

I would like to submitt this lady as non commemorated casualty of the Great War. However I will need documentary proof that she was serving as member of this organisation at the time of her death. Is anyone able to help me please.

post-4020-1274709930.png

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Sue Light

Chris

The only place I can see that she appears is her medal index card, as a canteen worker, French Red Cross - the medal roll might give some dates of service. A recent thread showed that a good number of women who went out with the British Committee of the French Red Cross still have service cards with the British Red Cross Archives, so they might be the only source of information. No other records of women who served with the British Committee French Red X are known to have survived - i.e. none in France.

Sue

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chrisharley9

Sue

thanks very much

Chris

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Jim Strawbridge

Chris, Commemoration should be fairly easy to prove.

1) . In St. Mary & St. Nicholas church, Compton, Berkshire there is a brass memorial inscribed "To the glory of God and in ever loving memory of Beatrice Elizabeth Stevens de la Croix Rouge Francaise (French Red Cross) youngest child of W.G. Stevens of this parish who died at Troyes France on active service Oct. 2nd 1918. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Their name liveth for ever more”.

2). There is a memorial in All Saints Churchyard, Chilton, Oxfordshire in her name. This takes the form of a red granite cross lying recumbent on her father's grave. The cross reads “In dear memory of Beatrice Elizabeth Stevens. La Cruix Rou (R.I.P.) ge Francaise who died at Troyes, France, October 2nd 1918. Paix”.

Both memorials state that she died in Troyes whilst serving.

3) Her name as Beatrice Stevens is listed on the York Minster panels under “British Committee of the French Red Cross” .

I am not sure what commemoration you are seeking. Is it CWGC grave status? As she was a known WW1 death in service the reason that the CWGC hasn't got her is either the Brit. Comm. of the French Red Cross were not a recognised organisation (others will know better than me), the family didn't want it or she just got missed. I have yet to trace her grave but the CWGC would have commemorated her on a memorial anyway. I suspect that it is that the Brit. Comm. of the French Red Cross were not eligible.

Other French Red Cross not, so far as I am aware, commemorated by the CWGC, are :-

Annie Adamson - not on York Minster panel

Emily Maud Cryan

Mildred Constance Davis

Anne Ellen Dickson - not on York Minster panel

Amelia Geffken - not on York Minster panel

Dorothy Marguerite Inman - recognised by CWGC. Shows as BCFRC but also as QMAAC

Grace King

Mina MacDonald (unusually entered on three different panels at York Minster)

J.C. Niven

Angele Pettit

Beatrice Elizabeth Stevens

As I have outlined, there are 8 women listed as war casualties on the York Minster panel that is headed "British Committee of the French Red Cross". None of these have been CWGC commemorated save for Inman who was adopted by the CWGC in 2005 (thanks to the efforts of Tony Murphy) as it appears that she had left the FRC and was, at the time of her death, a QMAAC.

What I am saying is that so far as I can tell NO Brit. Comm. of the French Red Cross member has been recognised for CWGC status. In my humble opinion they should be but that is a seperate issue and lumped in with the anomoly that VADs who had served overseas are recognised and those that just served at home were not.

 

edit   it did read "recumbent on her parents grave".   I have changed this to "recumbent on her father's grave" as her mother is buried elsewhere..

 

Edited by Jim Strawbridge

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chrisharley9

Jim

I will be submitting her for acceptance as a non comm by the CWGC

we already have

Name: LEE, WILLIAM

Initials: W

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Commander

Regiment/Service: French Red Cross Society

Secondary Unit Text: attd. British Committee

Age: 31

Date of Death: 29/05/1918

Service No: 10349

Additional information: Croix de Guerre with Palm (France). Son of William and Marion Lee, of Uddingston, Glasgow.

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: V. E. 9.

Cemetery: MARFAUX BRITISH CEMETERY

Name: ROOPER, RALPH BONFOY

Initials: R B

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Commander

Regiment/Service: French Red Cross Society

Secondary Unit Text: attd. British Committee

Age: 23

Date of Death: 29/05/1918

Additional information: Croix de Guerre with Palm (France). Son of Mr. P. L. and Mrs. A. N. Rooper, of Little Court, Speldhurst, Kent. Born at Chester.

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: VI. E. 6.

Cemetery: MARFAUX BRITISH CEMETERY

I have already submitted Mrs Gartside Tipping of the British Committee.

You mentioned Mildred Constance Davis; she is commemorated by CWGC

Name: DAVIS, MILDRED CONSTANCE

Initials: M C

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Driver

Regiment/Service: French Red Cross Society

Age: 25

Date of Death: 08/10/1918

Additional information: Daughter of the Rev. Edward Smith, Rector of Hazelbury-Bryan, Sturminster Newton, Dorset; wife of the late Capt. R. N. Davis.

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: III. A. 58.

Cemetery: MAZARGUES WAR CEMETERY, MARSEILLES

Chris

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chrisharley9

Unfortunately there is no overseas DC ref

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Sue Light

Chris

I don't think anyone dying overseas during the war could have a British death certificate unless they died within a 'British sector' (for want of a better term). So an area where British troops were fighting, or if on the lines of communication, within a British military camp, hospital or other British defined area. The deaths would, however, be reported, and copies of the French/Belgian (or wherever) certificates are held on microfilm at The National Archives in RG35 - classed as 'Miscellaneous Foreign Death Returns.' I'm not sure how comprehensive they are.

Sue

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Sue Light

It's a long time since I've looked at these, and then it was for soldiers dying in French hospitals further north. When I'm at TNA over the next couple of weeks I'll have a look through them - they might prove interesting in the search for women dying in the French sector and is something I've never thought of doing before.

Sue

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chrisharley9

Sue

that would be excellent. Perhaps we could meet up there sometime so that you could show me the ropes as I have never done the NA before

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Sue Light

That would be good Chris. Personally I find Saturdays good, as travelling is a bit cheaper and easier, but I'm cutting down my working hours in a few weeks time so won't have many restrictions (a 'yoo-hoo!' here :lol: ). And everything seems to have changed so much over the last year or two that I'm often not sure I know the ropes either!

Sue

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chrisharley9

As I seem to be temporary unemployed anytime is good to me Sue; that me know when you are going to have a trip up there again

Chris

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Phil Wood

The memorial to Beatrice Stevens is on my website at http://westberkshirewarmemorials.org.uk/memorial.php?link=WB295 (click on the image to see it more clearly), the Compton village memorial is also there.

If anyone can flesh out her story I would love to hear about it. And good luck in getting her recongnised by the CWGC.

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Sue Light

Rather late in the day, but I just came across this, which might be of interest to someone.

Sue

post-416-0-81945900-1367095675_thumb.jpg

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Jim Strawbridge

The York Minster panels show, under British Committee of the French Red Cross, eight names. These are Edith Maud Cryan, M.E. Davis, D.M. Inman, Grace King, Mina McDonald, J.C. Niven, A Pettit and Beatrice Stevens.Evelyn F. Shaw was working as a F.A.N.Y. I believe that the next of kin for Beatrice Stevens was not her father as he was William Guy Stevens, a racehorse trainer in Berkshire. The P. Stevens is likely to be her older brother, Guy P. Stevens. This is not a criticism as it is interesting to see the letter.

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Marilyne

FOUND HER !!!!

All it took was a mail to Troyes… Elizabeth Stevens still lies in the Communal Cemetery of Troyes, in a perpetual concession that was requested by the director of the French-british canteen where Elizabeth worked, Miss Bertha Dykes Spencer.

I've got the paperwork of the request and her death certificate. I'll post the details once I've translated the whole shebang for you non French speakers.

The one problem is that the grave is still there, but because it's in a very bad state, it's part of an abandonment procedure. I don't know if there's anything we can do…

 

2044820918_tombeElisabeth.jpg.7dd8a135b410bcd621f6db49c15d9da3.jpg

 

I know it's not appropriate, but I feel like jumping around and shouting it out … this is my first real contribution to HISTORY !!!

OK, stopping nonsense… off to work!

 

M.

Edited by Marilyne

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Marilyne
On ‎28‎/‎04‎/‎2013 at 20:20, Jim Strawbridge said:

The York Minster panels show, under British Committee of the French Red Cross, eight names. These are Edith Maud Cryan, M.E. Davis, D.M. Inman, Grace King, Mina McDonald, J.C. Niven, A Pettit and Beatrice Stevens.

 

Jim,

just going through the names here… M. E. Davis… is that "E" correct??? There's a Mildred Constance ("C") Davis, driver for the French Red Cross in Mazargues… in the CWGC database… which by the way completes my list for Marseilles…

 

M

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Jim Strawbridge
2 hours ago, Marilyne said:

 

Jim,

just going through the names here… M. E. Davis… is that "E" correct??? There's a Mildred Constance ("C") Davis, driver for the French Red Cross in Mazargues… in the CWGC database… which by the way completes my list for Marseilles…

 

M

 

My own thoughts are that they are the same woman.

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Marilyne

Then she is the exception to the rule for CWGC eligibility of BCFRC personnel …

 

M.

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Jim Strawbridge
20 hours ago, Marilyne said:

Then she is the exception to the rule for CWGC eligibility of BCFRC personnel …

 

M.

 

I have scanned my records and she is, indeed, the only one that I can find who is celebrated by the CWGC. She is buried in a row of three female casualties the others being Amy Goldsmith (TFNS) and Mary Young (V.A.D.). In a busy hospital situation with frequent deaths to deal with, "planting" these ladies together made sense at the time but when the CWGC came along it would seem strange to commemorate two and not the third.

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Marilyne

A small Victory: I have just been informed of the fact that the abandonment procedure on Beatrice's grave has been stopped!!

the cemetery workers will put it in order a bit.

I'll go down in December to see if anything more drastic needs to be done and will keep everybody informed.

 

M.

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frev

Always great to hear such news Marilyne - well done!

 

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