Jump to content
Great War Forum

Remembered Today:

ejwalshe

The Two Madonnas of Pervyse

Recommended Posts

ejwalshe

 

'The awful thing was that when you had got your wounded away from the lines, there was nowhere to take them. The hospital ... could only take in the practically dying men ... Please God I shall never see men suffer in conditions like that again.' - Lady Dorothie Feilding The second daughter of the ninth earl of Denbigh, Lady Dorothie Feilding was the first woman to be awarded the Military Medal, and one of the most decorated ambulance drivers of the Great War; she, along with 'The Two Madonnas of Pervyse' (Mairi Chisholm and Elsie Knocker), were awarded the British Military Medal, the French Croix de Guerre and were made Knights of the Belgian Order of Leopold II. The fourth female member of Dr. Hector Munro's Flying Ambulance Corps was Mrs. Helen Hayes Gleason, of the United States.

 

The second daughter of the ninth earl of Denbigh, Lady Dorothie Feilding was the first woman to be awarded the Military Medal, and one of the most decorated ambulance drivers of the Great War; she, along with 'The Two Madonnas of Pervyse' (Mairi Chisholm and Elsie Knocker), were awarded the British Military Medal, the French Croix de Guerre and were made Knights of the Belgian Order of Leopold II. The fourth female member of Dr. Hector Munro's Flying Ambulance Corps was Mrs. Helen Hayes Gleason, of the United States.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
wmfinch

Absolutely fascinating ... Thank you for posting :-) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Maureene

There are some online books

The Cellar-house of Pervyse : a tale of uncommon things from the journals and letters of the Baroness T'Serclaes and Mairi Chisholm by G E Mitton 1917 Archive.org. Volunteer ambulance drivers Elsie Knocker and Mairi Chisholm in Belgium. Audio LibriVox recording Archive.org

Elsie and Mairi Go To War : two extraordinary women on the Western Front by Diane Atkinson 2010 Archive.org Lending Library

 

There is also a book of  fiction  where there is reputed to be  a representation of these two women, but not as the main character.

 

Young Hilda at the Wars by Arthur H Gleason 1915 Archive.org. The photograph at the front of the book is stated to be that of Helen, the author’s wife. Other characters in the book are stated to be based on Ambulance drivers Elsie Knocker and Mairi Chisholm who worked as volunteers in Belgium.[65]

 

[65]     A page from Chapter V, Elsie and Mairi Go to War: Two Extraordinary Women on the Western Front by Diane Atkinson. 

 

Maureen

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
derekb

Excellent, thanks.

 

D.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Marilyne

Diane Atkinson's book is definitely one to read if you want to whole story. Very well researched, very well written.

Also to have an idea of the work of the Munro ladies, you light want to read: Lady Under Fire, The Wartime Letters of Lady Dorothie Feilding MM, 1914-1917, edited by A & N HALLAM, Pen & Swords, 2010

this lady was, by the way, not very enthusiastic about the book written by Elsie Knocker. in a letter to her mother, dated 20th November 1916, she complains:

 Mrs Knocker has published a damnable book called ‘The Cellar house of Pervyse’. Thank God she has left me out of it practically, but a lot of ‘Munco’ about it & people will undoubtedly associate one with that type of woman. Get it, read it, see if you don’t think it the worst taste you ever saw. It makes one sick of being a woman & I am so sorry she has made little Mairi Chisholm look a fool too.

[…] object be very admirable but there seems to me to be a little too much Mrs K & a little too many shells but if it gets them the dollar then it is a good thing … At the same time I could not help thinking that there were many others of the same sex doing equally valuable work although they did not happen to be in Pervyse.

 

This opinion gives you another mindset when reading said book.

 

M.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
williywonker

Of course, neither women were entitled to the Clasp to the 1914 Star; another example of an over-zealous curator.

Mal

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...