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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Noel Streatfield


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Over Yule I read a novel by writer Noel Sreatfield reprinted by Persephone Press, titled 'Saplings'. She is most known for her children's book 'Ballet Shoes'.

Only just found out that she was quite active in the Great War according to a website devoted to her work.http://www.whitegauntlet.com.au/noelstreatfeild/index.htm

In 1914 she volunteered in the kitchens of a hospital for wounded soldiers.

In 1915 producted two plays in support of the War effort and was a munitions worker at Woolwich Arsenal as from 1916

Has anyone researched her Great War service? Particularly interested in the plays that she produced in 1915.

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I found this on an Australian site:

During the Great War Noel worked firstly as a volunteer in a soldier's hospital kitchen near Eastbourne Vicarage and later produced a play entitled 'Vingt-et-Un', a two-act fairy tale by Lucy and Virginia Wintle, in aid of the Red Cross. Apparently she also appeared and sang in this play. This encouraged her to produce and once again appear in a further play, 'When Daydreams End'. This was described in the programme as 'A Phantasy in Three Acts by Noel Streatfeild'. When things took a turn for the worse on the Front in 1916 she moved to London and obtained a job making munitions in Woolwich Arsenal. It wasn't uncommon for her to work 12-hour shifts.

Following war's end she determined to be an actress so in January, 1919, enrolled at the Academy of Dramatic Art (later Royal Academy) in London. It wasn't too long before she began to appear on the stage but seems to have had a bad experience on her first overseas tour to South Africa in 1926. Noel then turned to writing, doing a correspondence course before leaving for a further overseas tour in October, 1928, this time to Australia. On17th February, 1929, while she was still in Australia, Noel's father died of a sudden heart attack.

Noel's first novel, 'The Wicharts', was published in 1931 and she began carrying out social work as member of Deptford Voluntary Child Care. The members of this organisation attended school, medical and dental inspections. This was followed up by visits to the children's homes in order to convince the parents to have the prescribed treatments carried out. Soon she took on public speaking, asking listeners to show their support for the various London child care committees.

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That's fantastic Sandie -thanks very much. Great to have the names of Noel Streatfield's two Great War plays. Regards, Michael Bully

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